6 Sep

I chose the issue about “Whale Killing” on Youtube.
The first video I want to discuss about is “Whale Wars: Whale Kill.” The video is uploaded by the Animal Planet channel which conducted “documentary-style reality television series” named “Whale Wars” to convey the idea “Stopping Japanese Whaling.” It is actually a very cruel and uncomfortable video in which we can see a Japanese fleet (which be indicated in narration) was hunting a whale by harpoon and shotgun. The whale struggled for a while (the video was cut therefore we cannot sure how long it took. Yet, I saw some other video which indicates the death struggle may be longer than 30 minutes.) There are about 1300 comments toward this video. The highest rated comment was made by jaxntwins who commented “Fxxking japs ALWAYS shooting down animals and peoples planes. They should be slaughtered!!!” It is a very radical and immature comment and I am really surprised which would get the highest rated. There are some rational responses, however, many comments I saw are indignant and irrational. For example, “Let’s barbecue tonight” commented by Newcastle317. It shows what Hess said, most Youtubers are looking for entertainment than other serious issues.
The other video I found about the issue is “Most Racist Australian Commercial.”  The interesting thing about the video is that it is actually a beer commercial. The campaign advocated “a boycott on Lion Nathan beers because a large shareholder in the company is Japanese brewer Kirin.” However, I can’t find any evidence which shows Kirin having any connection to whaling. The highest rated comment of this video was made by TheSmithy0314 who said “i dont see how thats “racist” at all… it just states that the japanese whalers are killing whales. its a fact. better title would be “slightly politically incorrect australian commericial”. Stop the slaughter.” From some Youtubers’ responses, I think the uploader may be surprised at the video may increasing the connection between Japan and whaling. PrYdEd said that “I don’t think its racist, its not any other nation constantly whaling and killing dolphins.” On the other hand, there are lots responses supporting the “racist” point about Australian and even pointing out other racism incident. WYGampS said “The Aussies kill a Japanese in their ad, rape thai girls everyday, do racsim toward minorities and quite a few indonesians, indians and chinese have been victimised. For all those sins the Aussies believe they love whales, incent whales, hahaha. kinda Nazis” He/she used the word “Nazis” to describe Australians that is a really strong accusation. Despite there are some deliberate comments, most of comments are offensive and irrational.
I think from the comments toward this issue, it indeed approves Hess’ point of view. Youtube is seen as an entertainment tool in which people can share things interesting rather than some serious issues. When it comes to serious issues, Youtubers tend to use immature or agitating attitude to respond.


6 Responses to “Deliberation”

  1. Carol September 9, 2010 at 12:41 am #

    The video you found on Youtube is very interesting. After I watched your video, I think maybe how the concept were structured and described in the video will influence Youtubers’ comments. For example, your first video, as you mentioned, is a documentary-style video that show audiences graphically how whales were killed by Japanese. By simply watching the realistic video, the audience could easily be persuade by the video and believe that Japanese is cruel, at the same time, pay more attention to this issue. On the other hand, the second video you found deliveres the same message in a more sarcastic way. I think it is a way that will irritate some audience (not only because of the racial thing), and cause more debate.
    I think the main reason for people to have different attitudes toward the style of two videos is that the documentary-style videos tend to leave a space for audience to have their own thoughts toward the issue; but the sarcastic style of video shows the strong intention of persuading the audience.

  2. Kayley Thomas September 9, 2010 at 8:08 pm #

    As we mentioned in class, something I become really curious about is how people end up viewing these particular videos and why. Judging from the seeming immaturity and crassness of the kind of comments you point out, I can’t imagine one of these users searching out an Animal Planet documentary video on whales. Further, what drives someone to comment on such a video? I’m not sure how one would do it, but it would be interesting to set up a study somehow tracking not just how we find and choose videos on Youtube to watch, but how these particular users end up here (I suppose we could ask them, but how many would take it seriously?)

    That race has become so tied up in these videos and the reactions to them make me wonder if racial prejudices/jokes might somehow be linked to the users’ motivation for viewing/posting, despite the first video’s real focus on whaling and the second’s on pointing out the racism of the commercial (though not within the video, just the title of the post). How do the people whose comments are so inflammatory end up viewing these to start with? Why? It really puzzles me and could definitely be a fruitful study if done properly.

    • Mindy McAdams September 11, 2010 at 11:55 am #

      I think in the case of these videos we are probably seeing an effect of the “Related Videos” links. Videos about Japanese and race are linked to one another, and YouTubers hop from one to the next.

  3. fanninchen September 10, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    The first video is too shocking that makes me wonder at first “is that a gun shot?” It’s hard to believe that people would be this cruel to animals! I agree with you that there are certainly great evidence shows that most of the people consider youtube as a playground, and it’s a place where people talk and not taking any responsibility. It’s probably a great thing of democracy that we are able to speak out loud as we wish, but in this case, some comments are cold-blooded that makes us wonder if it was really a good idea- free will, meaningless threaten?

  4. Mindy McAdams September 11, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    I’m glad you embedded the videos in your post (it makes them easier to watch), but it would be nice if you also included a direct link to the comments, like this:

    All those racist anti-Japanese comments really surprised me! But I was also surprised to see how many people are talking about the cruelty to the whales. It seems that the number of crazy or hateful comments is greater than the number of serious ones in this case.

    Your second video is quite unusual! It’s a very good choice for the assignment because it is clearly commenting on the whale hunting, but the comments (more than 12,000!!!) focus mostly on the racist portrayal of Japanese as whale killers.

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