Thursday, 9 April 2009

A thorough analysis of YouTube comments, sarcasm, abuse and silliness

Funnier than most videos on YouTube is the comments beneath them. Because YouTube reaches the entire world, young and old, stupid and clever, communist and capitalist, racist and fascist (these aren't all antonyms) the comments reflect this diverse group.

Just look at any of the top videos' comments from the front page of YouTube to find a profanisaurus of abuse, sarcasm, banality and incredibly profound discussion, not.

For example, I’ve applied some basic marketing research to the below video. If you can't be bothered to watch or it's been taken down it's a clip of BBC horse racing reporter Clare Balding commenting on the winner of the Grand National's dodgy teeth.

Of the first 157 comments they can be split into a variety of themes as displayed in the following table. A fascinating and many may say unnecessary, insight into the minds of the YouTube community.

Gist of commentComment count
YouTube usernameTypical comment
Someone politely taking offence at the incident16emmafan4evrI think that was really rude of her. How would she like it if she was embarrased like that on live tv?
Someone taking offence and adding abuse34AcademyAwardsGirlThat was horrible. What a bitch!
People pointing out Clare's hypocrisy3Coli20Glass houses and all that.......
People pointing out Clare's hypocrisy with abuse26eddyspencerShe said that while she is more manly than him...she is the rough version of Gordon Brown i think..
General abuse of Clare29adamfatherofall666she an inbread dog
People commenting on the beauty of the other comments14thispagesuxha ha ha, these comments are brutal lol.
Agreeing with Clare's evaluation of the teeth9loxjWell he does have bad teeth....
People taking offence at others comments20moroccovidsr u a bible basher
Bad jokes1563421094Well it is a horse race.............
Other random comments5girlzruleboysdroolI thought all you Brits had bad teeth....what's the problem? haha. Calm down.

Now I’m not outside of all this banter, partaking as I have in a bit of discussion, or 'user baiting' when I know I really shouldn't. See below, my comments are 'ME'.

A lot of YouTube users have trouble with sarcasm

ME (6 months ago) +1
I'm just flabbergasted Brad and Morgan agreed to reshoot that scene. Not Kevin Spacey though, he'll do anything for a bit of publicity.

BryanWay (6 months ago) +3
They didn't reshoot it. It's simply been re-edited.

BlightyLume (6 months ago) 0
I think he may have been joking, friend...

1984slament (5 months ago) 0
really? ... lol

AustinBrock (6 months ago) +1
I think sexteta was just being sarcastic...

ME (6 months ago) 0
It's not reshot? OK that makes sense, I was wondering how they'd get permission to fly the helicopter over the power lines again. Plus Brad Pitt is fatter now and Morgan's got a limp.

This one I’m particularly proud of as my comment can't now be viewed due to the quantity of 'thumbs down' it has got.

ME (5 months ago) -9
What? I just slept through that. It was terrible. Another star in the tradition of the late great Boris Klinger

Personally, I don't care for puppets much. I don't find them believable.

chewbuggars (6 months ago) +3
it doesn't matter to these guys, besides they already knew that you weren't gonna like it.

mahina1963 (6 months ago) +3
the apparent stupidity of some people never cease to amaze me...did you not listen to what they were talking about? Why, YOU!!

ME (3 weeks ago) 0
I've just noticed that my comment is up to -9, the sense of irony is not lost on me.

mavis41558 (1 week ago) 0
I have four channels just so I can double up on negatives

And here's me discussing the issues of this sarcasm with other users.

rvfharrier (3 months ago) +3
Don't people here get the joke? It's not meant to be a serious "this is the stig" video, it's quite funny actually. People on youtube need to think.

ME (3 months ago) +1
"Don't people here get the joke?"
- Ah, now that's the age old YouTube question. Do people commenting on YouTube often not get the joke. I think the obvious answer here is no they don't, but then that just makes it more entertaining for the rest of us to take the piss out of them. Not that i'd ever do that of course...

Wouter259 (3 months ago) 0
You got that right.. xD

Airborne102st (3 months ago) +2
HAHAHAHAHAm how funny.

In this one i'm rumbled for trying to pretend to be sarcastic.

ME (3 weeks ago) 0
I remember watching this in 1985 and wondering at the potential fallout that could occur.

ditde (3 weeks ago) -6
..this wasn't around in 1985. It's just a teaser for Watchmen.

Strange boy.

ME (3 weeks ago) +5
Ha ha, you think Watchmen is just a film? Wait till Dr Manhattan hears of this.

ditde (3 weeks ago) -1
Now he's trying to turn this into a joke when he was clearly trying to look smart.

raguv2000 (3 weeks ago) +1
someone doesn't understand sarcasm

ignorant boy

ditde (3 weeks ago) -1
Was it sarcasm? Didn't seem like it to me.

If it was then I'm sorry, but I doubt it.

ME (3 weeks ago) +1
My memory serves me right. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

DoctorWeeTodd (2 weeks ago) 0
My God...

Well, learn to observe.

SoylentGreeeen (3 weeks ago) -2

You're stupid.

And finally, here i am trying to engage in intelligent discussion and getting destroyed in one cutting reply.

ME (5 hours ago) -2
Great video but there's no need to make it look like it's nothing to do with McLaren and Blackberry from the beginning.

Be honest about the fact it's all done by McLaren and their viral agency and we'll still watch the video.

Geepak (5 hours ago) 0
Thats the whole point of a viral. You really aren't that clever.


Ed Sexton said...

And if you liked my pathetic attempt at comment analysis you definitely will like the fantastically funny analysis of YouTube comments by Adam Buxton at his BUG event -

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