Review: ‘The YouTube Effect’ Is a Discursive Documentary

The numbing experience of web video surfing, which I think is intentional, is recreated in The YouTube Effect, a discourse documentary that gathers a fair amount of information about YouTube’s impact on society. So I’m having trouble finding something new to say. . Directed by Alex Winter, the film explores the rise of the video-sharing platform and seeks to trace Sasquatch-sized footprints in its culture.

YouTube, the second most popular site in the world (after Google), is a stimulator. The film emulates this quality, finding its formal rhythm by layering a hodgepodge of YouTube clips complete with narration analysis by technical experts. It also spotlights several popular YouTube creators, including social his commentator Natalie Wynn, best known for her channel ContraPoints. A persuasive speaker, Wynn says he has turned down offers to partner with streamers and cable TV stations because he values ​​the “creative control” that YouTube offers.

Interrupting these success stories is a tangent to many problematic chapters in the site’s history. Hear from video game developer Briana Wu, who was targeted with death threats at GamerGate, and Caleb Kane, who describes how she fell into the far-right video matrix. These events have already made headlines, and the New York Times podcast “Rabbit Hole,” which relays Kane’s experience, often feels like a rethink.

The Internet moves fast, perhaps too quickly for such a focused overview. Even Winter seems overwhelmed with the task of managing this mass of white noise news and memes. His synopsis of the January 6th Capitol riots and his YouTube connection is almost as long as the viral video. “Charlie bit his finger”

YouTube effect
Unrated. Running time: 1 hour 39 minutes. at the theater.

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