Is YouTube a Good or Bad Influence on Society?


Most of you reading have spent some time on YouTube. Just about every video imaginable can be found on site, from how-to-videos to political ads. The influence which YouTube has on communication can be seen through the various videos which are put out on the site by different organizations. As such, it is important to question if the media influence brought about by YouTube is for the greater good or hinders the ability to share thoughtful content with society.

A article noted that YouTube is open to anyone, which allows there to be just about anything uploaded onto the site. The experience can be either positive or negative, depending upon the situation in question. For example, there are many different political ads on YouTube which tackle current issues, leading viewers to create their own responses and fuel creative discussion which can sometimes be negative in nature. Some, however, feel as though these issues should not sway one from continually sharing on the site and the way in which the video content is delivered to viewers.   

Pew Journalism Research Center found that about 21% of videos on YouTube were related to politics in some form. Politics is a common topic, as it allows for discussion and debate. The idea of being able to share what is interesting is an innovative idea which many people connect with. As well, users share what they see on YouTube with others, creating a mix of videos spread across different social networks. In this way, YouTube is seen a positive outlet in which viewers are able to share ideas and form communities online based on those shared interests. There are some drawbacks which can cause some to think about how they share the videos they view with others on YouTube.              

But an article on Teen Ink noted that so much free speech has the potential to create controversy, as there are some who will stand up to certain organizations or people in the form of videos. This is seen to be a negative effect as it can lead to copyright violations and censorship. This has in turn caused a debate about how the issue of censorship should be employed on YouTube for certain videos. In a study in the Journal of Electronic Publishing, it was noted that these issues should not sway one from continually sharing on the site and the way in which the video content is delivered to viewers.   

One’s personal views can greatly reflect how they view YouTube. Those who see YouTube as a place to share and watch a multitude of videos on various subjects embrace the media influence which YouTube brings. Yet, there are some that see YouTube as something which should be controlled in order to be maintained. It is only a negative idea to those who make it a negative idea; it is not necessarily negative by nature. To understand the way media is influenced by YouTube, it is best to think about how one chooses to share what they learn or see on YouTube.

Watch this video on the impact which YouTube has had on different people and judge for yourself whether this is a positive or a negative.