Deliberating the deliberation

Posted: September 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

The social issue I chose was drunk driving.  By searching for related videos with the key work “drunk driving” on YouTube, I found two clips that I felt worth discussing.

The first video is a 33-second piece of news from RT, a Russian news channel.  The news reported an out-of control Russian fork-lift driver slammed into stock shelves holding thousands of bottles of Cognac and vodka, giving a new meaning to drunk driving (notice: the accident was not really caused by drunk driving).

The second clip I chose was a two-minute commercial. The video took a narrative appraoch using the voice and image of a teenage boy who would have the chance to live and to experience the world but was killed by a teenage drunk driver when his mother was pregnant.

My response to the videos:

As a viewer of both clips, I found the first video objective and neutral while the second one more sentimental. In the first video, the out-of-control fork-lift driver  ran into the shelves, but other than great financial lose, no one actually conducted drunk driving, and no one was seriously hurt. In the second commercial, the plot, the teen boy image, the music and the voiceover  created a sad atmosphere, and my instant response was it was really sad, and I did feel sorry about the victim. But the commercial didn’t make me think deep on the issue of drunk driving, since the image of the drunk teenage and the scene of the accident were not well made.

YouTubers’ comments:

Comments on both clips did reflect  part of Hess’s findings, but they also showed some other features:

1. Lack of seriousness.

2. Use of parody. Responding to the first clip, one YouTuber made a parody video out of the original news to mock the accident. However, there was no parody video on the second clip.

3. Name-calling and finger-pointing among YouTubers who held conflicting views.

4. Honest discussions and contributive deliberations did exist on YouTube. Some viewers gave  pertinent comments on the issue of drunk driving and in-store safety(referring to the first case).

5. Irrelevance of the comments. One common feature I found in both cases was that the irrelevance of the responses. Commenters tended to digress from the original issue and put more focus on minor details. In the first clip, a few people mentioned the word “domino” to describe the fall-down of the shelves, but non of them mentioned anything about the accident. More notable evidences can be found in the second clip, where many viewers comment on the belly of the teenage boy, the name of the actor, the time logic of the video, etc.   Also, the video maker was distracted from the opinion he was trying to portray by others discursive comments. In order to be responsive, the video maker actually responded to the various discursive comments.

5. No notable comments on YouTube democracy. Probably because the comment function were enabled and the publishers of the video were non-government entity.

  1. tinamomo says:

    I like the way you put up your findings, it’s very easy to read and leave me to think through every piece. Here is my response:
    1. I think the seriousness of the comments really depends on the type of the video. I noticed your second videos is home-made, so YouTubers might pay more attention to the quality of the video rather than the content. I chose two news clips and the responses turn out to be more serious.
    2. The great thing about YouTube is that it allows “video comment”. I think parody has something to do with the popularity of the video.
    3. I think people tend to be less objective while they are online, so it’s unavoidable.
    4. This is why I don’t agree with Hess. I find many great responses to the videos I selected.
    5. It’s the same with my case. It’s amazing to see how enthusiastic people are in discussing their interested topic. Sometimes the conversation-like responses could go on for pages, totally irrelevant from the original topic.
    6. Again, depends on the topic.

  2. You wrote: “Comments on both clips did reflect part of Russ’s findings,” but our author this week was not Russ. His name is Hess. Please try to be accurate.

    Your choice of the first video is very strange because (as you said) the video is NOT ABOUT drunk driving. So you did not do what the assignment asked you to do, which was: “Choose two videos (about that ONE issue) …”

    • Sijia says:

      Apologizing for the wrong name, it was very thoughtless.
      About my chioce of the first video, I thought it would be interesting to find out what kind of comments the YouTubers would make when the key word of the video is “drunk driving”, but the content is not really about the issue.

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