When you’re a fast-food chain attempting a makeover on social media, you’re hoping you have the best writers with the best ideas making the best product possible. However, Burger King’s massive promotion of its new menu forced it to pull out one of its commercials because of criticism that Mary J. Blige singing about fried chicken encourages negative stereotypes of African Americans. Although the company said it was a licensing issue that forced it to pull the plug on YouTube, people are still viewing it and still making a fuss about it.
Unless you’re one of the big studios fighting on copyright principles, taking down a video off sites like YouTube is never permanent—it will haunt the creators to all eternity. In fact, it only makes the problem worse—find any video you know that’s been removed by the user and many others will have the copy of that said video. The moral of the story: Once you post on YouTube, it will be there in some form forever and ever and ever and ever. Here’s a sampling of YouTube videos that simply won’t go away:
Herman Cain’s Rabbit Video
You would think that Herman Cain would have faded to oblivion once he left the presidential race a few months ago. Wrong. The pizza man’s latest foray into politics comes in the form of a YouTube video criticizing the current small business climate. It starts off with a young girl holding a rabbit symbolizing small business. Looks cute, but it doesn’t stop there. The girl puts the rabbit where it’s catapulted for target practice. SPLAT! The girl asks later, “Any questions?” I have a question. If YouTube thought it was so bad that they had to remove it to spare us Internet users the gore, how come I can watch the scene over and over and over again on various different sites (You can’t even stop other YouTube users)?
When you have one of the most ridiculed and most disliked videos of all time on YouTube, your first instinct is to remove it as soon as possible. For Rebecca Black, her “Friday” video (don’t think for a minute I’ll be humming it)—paid by her mother to Ark Music for $4,000—became a viral sensation for all the wrong reasons. With so many videos proliferating YouTube, how did such a low-budget, god-awfully written music video attract any attention? We may never know, but for the beginning of 2011, it became one of the most talked about videos on the myriad of social media networks. Even though it garnered more than 3 million dislikes and 166 million viewers, the very-maligned video disappeared from YouTube in June 2011 with lots of attention and speculation that it was the embarrassment of making the video. If this was a ploy to get rid of “Friday” from our minds (both Rebecca Black and Ark Music deny it was the case), they are dead wrong. Since “Friday”
The problem doesn’t end with making one of the worst music videos of all time. When you make stupid rants like former UCLA student Alexandra Wallace did last year about Asian American students in the library, it won’t be ignored. Despite her apologies to the Asian American community and to UCLA students for saying things that I’d rather not publish in this article, her infamous, low-quality video rant will live on. She may have tried to attempted to delete the video, but if you look for Alexandra Wallace on YouTube, the others that were hurt by her “attempt to produce a humorous” video haven’t forgotten at all.