Until about 3 months ago I was oblivious of what was happening within the depths of YouTube. YouTube has always been a place I associated first with porn (when it first started) and then as being overrun with far more cat videos than can be healthy. Too much cuteness in one day can kill you. I, of course, knew of the science channels and would google now and then for the odd favorite movie clip. However, I was unaware of just how much interaction was going on in the comment sections of vlogs that fell within a certain set of subjects.
It appears that there is warfare between different ideologies: the men’s rights movement against the feminists, atheists against theists, evolutionists against creationists, utilitarians against Kantians. Logical thought dies in frustration at the insults from the somewhat-educated. A little knowledge becomes dangerous as wikipedia references are thrown at the feet of academics as “proof” they are wrong, even in their own field of expertise. Then there are the trolls. The trolls who are only there to provoke and incite virtual meltdowns. Trolls, who I suspect know exactly how correct others arguments and hypothesis are, but that poke and prod until someone, somewhere is sobbing silently in front of their laptop at the idiocy of it all. Trolls that can twist the mind of even the most intelligent person into a pretzel as they dance around changing the meaning of words, reframing their arguments and even your own until you’re not even sure what is going on. Arguments seem never ending as words, meanings and facts get twisted, distorted and exaggerated.
On one hand I find it awesome that there is this warfare, that ideologies are being discussed and fought over on the internet in this manner. It’s exciting to see such engagement. However, it appears that viewpoints of the few in society at large can garner a greater following in the confines of YouTube. YouTube it seems is a place where bad ideas, even insidious ideas, go to flourish. On YouTube miseducation abounds and expression of a hateful agenda can be spun as philosophy lessons. Dogma is rife. Logical and rational thought is insulted.
Luckily, there is a small sector of YouTube populated by intelligent, educated and rational human beings. I have witnessed both their intellectual conversations and their all out battles with the stupid and ignorant. But we need more!
I have found this hidden rumble in the YouTube jungle and now feel my calling is to join the ranks of the educated. I will help fight this fight! So should you.