YouTube Poop, or YTP, is a type of video mashup created by editing pre-existing media sources for humorous, annoying, confusing or shocking purposes and often containing mature content. YouTube Poop videos are traditionally uploaded to the video-sharing website YouTube, hence the name, but may be mirrored or uploaded on other video sharing websites like Newgrounds, Vimeo, Dailymotion (usually for reasons involving copyright), or Vidme.
In a typical YouTube Poop video, visual and auditory effects are used to alter the underlying work. Some of these videos may involve completely or partially repurposing sources to create or convey a story, while others follow a non-linear narrative, and some may contain no storyline at all. Alternatively, a YouTube Poop may consist solely of an existing video repeated in a slowed or remixed loop. In many cases, YouTube Poops utilize a bizarre sequence of elements that may entertain, confuse, or irritate, depending on the viewer. Associate professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University, Michael Wesch, has defined YouTube Poops as "absurdist remixes that ape and mock the lowest technical and aesthetic standards of remix culture to comment on remix culture itself".
Media sources of YouTube Poops include television shows, movies, cartoons, commercials, video games, and other videos obtained from YouTube or elsewhere. In the late 2000s, cutscenes from games released on the Philips CD-i platform were an incredibly common source in YTPs, as their cheesy and egregious nature made them ripe for satire.
YouTube Poop is often derivative in the sense that the work of one artist (or "pooper") is sometimes used as the underlying work for another video. Lawrence Lessig, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, referred to this behavior as an example of "call & response" within a remix culture. Alternately, two YouTube Poopers may engage in "YTP tennis", wherein the same video is remixed back and forth.
Recurring YouTube poop elements
Most YouTube Poopers employ what is called "sentence mixing", where syllables in a word or phrase are rearranged or omitted to form an entirely different word or phrase. For example, the syllables in "this sofa is so cute" can be rearranged into "oh, fuck you" (with the "oh, fuck" coming from "sofa" and the "fuck you" coming from "cute").
A derivative of sentence mixing is the "sauce joke", which involves taking the first syllable of a word starting in "soʊ" (as in soak) or "sə" (as in supply) and mirroring a copy of the sound sample. The resulting sound (so-os or su-us) sounds like "sauce", hence the name.
Some recent YouTube Poops employ what is called "ear rape" in which an audio clip is heavily amplified and distorted so as to shock the viewer, and possibly cause damage to their audio equipment or hearing.
Copyright and fair use
Due to the use of copyrighted materials and the manner in which these sources are depicted, YTPs may be removed from YouTube following a DMCA complaint. However, political scientist and author Trajce Cvetkovski noted in 2013 that, despite Viacom filing a copyright infringement lawsuit with YouTube in 2007, YouTube Poops such as "The Sky Had a Weegee" by Hurricoaster, which features scenes from the animated series SpongeBob SquarePants (in particular, the episode "Shanghaied") and Weegee (a satiric caricature based on Nintendo's Luigi as he appears in Mario Is Missing), remained on YouTube.
The law in the United Kingdom does allow people to use copyrighted material for the purposes of parody, pastiche, and caricature without infringing on the copyright of the material. Copyright owners are only able to sue the parodist if the work contains hateful or discriminative messages. If the case is then taken to court, it will be down to a judge to decide whether the video meets these criteria.
Individuals involved in YouTube Poops sometimes make efforts to take YouTube Poopers' videos down due to the mature and defamatory content prevalent in them, especially if they have a large audience of children watching their work. Children's poet Michael Rosen (who claims to have "become a cult" among YouTube Poopers) initially attempted to take his videos down, but after a few frank discussions with YouTube Poopers, he decided to allow the videos to stay online, comparing the remixes to the use of photo editing software in a later interview. Rosen issued a warning on his website, saying that:
|“||Quite a few people have fun taking my videos and making new versions of them, known as 'YouTube Poops'. Many of these are not suitable for young children. I am not responsible for either the words or pictures of these.||”|
He put a similar warning on his YouTube channel's about page.
- Anime music video
- Downfall (2004 film) § Parodies
- Link: The Faces of Evil and Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon
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