YouTube: a modest proposal

As someone who is committed to the equality of all people, I have always rejected suggestions that there is some sort of hierarchy of humanity, that there could be some layer of mankind that could be classed as ‘inferior’. However, as the use of digital technology grows, I may be forced to rethink my assumptions. It may even be a biological thing, that as evolution progresses we will eventually be split into two subspecies – ‘regular people’ and ‘YouTube comment-writers’.

We all use YouTube as a resource, research tool and procrastination station, but I find that I desperately have to resist the urge to scroll down after watching a video for fear of getting lost in a mire of racism, ignorance, blind hatred and poor spelling and being unable to pull myself out. More than a few times have I taken my shaking hands to my keyboard, ready to fiercely slay these purveyors of filth with my valiant sword of righteousness, but I stop myself – by responding to them, I become one of them.

Allow me to show you some examples of the eloquence and eruditeness available on this website by taking a look at what certain people have seen fit to write about some videos of truly historic moments. On a video of President Obama’s inauguration, WhitePride61 writes: “The 0nly Evil in this world are the Murdering Muslims…..Oh I forgot Hussein is a Muslim!!!!! But then again, he is not an American…So I am still Right!!!!!”

Meanwhile, attached to the bottom of Martin Luther King Jr’s famous ‘I have a dream’ speech is Poison12346’s very valid point that “He’s not the only bastard that’s had a dream. GET OVER IT!!!” On the other hand, YouTube has finally solved the mysteries of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 in Dallas, Texas, once and for all – forget the grassy knoll or the CIA, it was turns out it was blitzborudboy, who writes “it was me lololololol”.

Of course there are one or two comments which are genuinely intelligent and try to cool the flaming matches between the other users. If you are one of the people who leaves these, I have this message for you: give up! It’s hopeless! Save yourself before you get bitten by their fangs of bigotry and suddenly find you can’t go out in sunlight any more.

I have a modest proposal for how to deal with the other kind of commentator – the brethren of WhitePride61, Poison12346 and blitborudboy. I have always respected a person’s right to free speech. This conviction of mine prevents me from being able to suggest that we silence them through bans and so forth. I had a slighty different idea that I had been exploring, but, after consultation with some respected people in the field of ethics, I have concluded that killing them all would sadly be considered immoral.

So here’s what I propose: we use the surveillance technology that the government is so fond of these days to identify, track down and round up all of the people that could be considered to fall under our umbrella of moronic commentators, and take them to a pen, far out in the desert. We then set up a screen and show a variety of historic moments, sporting events, music and pets pulling funny faces. As their unfounded outrage at each video adds up, they will immediately begin arguing and eventually all wipe each other out. As this unfolds, we film it and put the whole thing on YouTube.

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