YouTube is often painted as an unreliable source for academia and news due to being a platform where anyone’s voice can be heard. In reality, many channels are well researched and provide valuable insight not covered in other mediums.
National news outlets are not likely to spend extensive amounts of time researching the rumors that a man whose claim to fame is creating Minecraft videos is a pedophile, but independent channels can and do, and alert the public to the morally reprehensible actions of individuals.
The amount of social media, tweets, deleted comments, private servers and screenshots on the internet can make it difficult for the casual viewer to be informed when rumors about their favorite Youtuber begin circulating. Watching the tears and seemingly sincere laments of Minecraft streamer Lionmaker can lead a young fan to ignore the rumors of him grooming underage girls, when in reality he was arrested and jailed for possessing and distributing child porn. Drama channels do the research, interview victims, and present screenshots for their case that spread awareness on the actions of these individuals who vulnerable young viewers on the platform look up to.
Channels like The Right Opinion and j aubrey do extensive research for their videos and create multi-hour long documentaries delving into the drama and whether or not the hate the accused receives is justified. In a world where cancel culture can devastate careers, hearing an educated, well-researched argument that Ellen is not Satan or how Chris Hansen mishandled his investigations can help further inform viewers or give them a different perspective on well-known drama.
Channels also alert viewers to issues they may not know exist, such as how YouTube’s COPPA regulations could cripple their internet experience or how getting an innocent comment asking to be friends on your video may be a dangerous scam.
Outside of documenting issues and individuals, another popular genre on YouTube is video essays, where creators discuss in-depth analyses on particular topics. An internet user may roll their eyes at the latest Disney live-action remake, but essayists can explain how the films are setting a bad precedent in the industry and have devastating effects on indie companies.
They also give exposure to obscure content the average person would not have known about, with essays like “Why Over the Hedge is Surprisingly Good” and “Rango-A Bizarre Masterpiece” helping to garner interest for films that would otherwise be forgotten if not for the renewed discussion.
Charlene Pepiot is a junior studying English at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Charlene know by emailing her @email@example.com.