YouTube: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

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The consistent clicking of my computer keys mingles with the gentle hum of the monitor as I diligently type in the Google search box: Y-O-U-T-U-B-E. Without hesitating, I scroll down through the results and click on the link. The YouTube home page pops up. Good. This is what I’m looking for.
Or is it?
As of 2009, YouTube receives several million views each day. Folks from all across the globe visit for many different purposes: home videos, music, movie trailers, you name it. YouTube has it all, even it’s own orchestra. Of course, there are oodles of positive things about this site- and yes, it is wonderful that people all over the world have gathered to share videos; but- as I’m sure you’ll agree- there are also many not-so-nice aspects mixed in. Let’s face it: about 70 percent of YouTube’s registered users are 20 and under, and the viewers mostly teens and tweens. Eleven-year-olds could be browsing around the videos this very second, unaware of the dirty content they might well stumble upon.
The comments, for example, are peppered with hateful religious or political arguments, inappropriate language and repeated swearing. Older kids will quickly learn to press the ‘hide objectionable content’ button (or ignore the comments entirely), but how are little munchkins supposed to know what to click, since YouTube has the button slyly tucked away? I say, at least put it out in the open, YouTube, where everyone can see it clearly and recognize its purpose.
While the comment filter button is hidden from sight, YouTube’s home page, of course, is in plain view. Along with other things, videos and pictures of nearly naked people, questionable scenes from mature films, and some downright disturbing images are largely displayed. It’s hard not to think ill of YouTube when nude photos and intense language are smattered across its front.
The videos uploaded to this site can be fun. They can be creative, they can be uplifting, they can be helpful and instructive. But… they can also be very destructive. Countless times I’ve clicked on a video that’s title advertised what I was looking for--it’s content, however, was far off the mark, exposing me and my family to some nasty stuff. It’s disturbing, in a way, to be constantly on edge while viewing these videos.
This essay is a plea to the managers of YouTube, all the parents out there, and even you, my fellow teens. I believe parents can -and should!- monitor the videos their kids watch, and make them aware of the things they would do well to avoid. I believe YouTube can provide a better system of keeping young people away from that harmful atmosphere, perhaps by carefully filtering videos or only displaying objectionable content when directed by the user. I believe we, as teenagers, can have responsibility and show restraint when it comes to the videos we watch on YouTube. For those with accounts, I would ask you to think for a short moment before you upload something on the site. Consider it’s content; could it possibly affect lives in a negative way?
YouTube is indeed a blessing. It has done some good things. It's a good site.
But together, I think we can make it better.





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yeahhhhhhhh said...
Apr. 7, 2010 at 8:21 pm
This only applies to good people, right because people upload crud all the time and don't give a second thought
 
TheScribbler This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 7, 2010 at 8:25 pm
My point being, we should all strive to be 'good people' and give a second thought before we upload crud to the sight.
 
yeahhhhhhhh replied...
Apr. 7, 2010 at 8:26 pm
well this isn't going to change your whole youtube experience but it may win over some teens with some morals ;)
 
Biscoff replied...
Apr. 13, 2010 at 2:26 pm
dude if you got a problem with youtube then too bad the parents shouldnt be letting them on there usupervised anyways. in fact i wasnt allowed on youtube till i was 14
 
mikey!!!! replied...
Apr. 13, 2010 at 2:49 pm
yea I agree...In fact i am 23 and I am still not allowed to get on youtube without my mommy's permission
 
likey mikey replied...
Apr. 22, 2010 at 6:19 am
Cute mike lol cute :)
 
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