Why Video Responses Are Cheapening YouTube & Hurting Creators

There are few things that suck harder than people trying to turn a profit from riding the coattails of more successful people. We’re talking the brother who sells his movie star sister’s hair brush online, the children of basically every hotel magnate – the dregs of society.

YouTube has its own version of this phenomenon called video responses, and they are terrible. If you’ve ever watched a video and found yourself tumbling down the digital rabbit hole into the grips of a video response then you know what I’m talking about.

For those of you lucky enough to have never experienced this blight on YouTube, I present you with exhibit A: “Milking the new Planking – Viral Internet Craze Remix.” What we have here is the completed work of a total dick bag. Let me remind you, “Milking the new Planking –Viral Internet Craze Remix” was posted in response to a video featuring hordes of nightmare people on Black Friday. Milking and Black Friday – you don’t see the connection?

You see, this asshole has taken footage of people performing the Internet’s worst new fad, put a god-awful techno song over it and in a few quick clicks cheapened the Web in a new and horrible way.

YouTube, despite its best efforts, is still a long way away from being viewed as a legitimate source for entertainment. It is too young to have this type of garbage gumming up its works. If this is what people see when they turn on their computers, what does it say about the YouTube industry? Is it really this cheap?

Time Warner, Yahoo and Viacom could pump millions into networks, yet without the paid dues that television and film have worked so long and hard for, YouTube will never be taken seriously. We are kidding ourselves if we think holding award shows and film festivals are the only steps we must take to raise this platform above niche.

The problem isn’t with outside parties not taking YouTube seriously. The problem exists because of a group of people attempting to exploit the hard work and good timing of creators with viral videos.

Sure, this type of backbiting exists within the movie and TV industry, but not so publicly, not for the world to see and roll their eyes at these digital claim jumpers.

We can’t just sit back and wait for YouTube to take steps to eradicate this issue. They’ve done their best, and yet video responses still persist. At a certain point it’s on us to stop clicking, stop supporting and stop encouraging video responses that piggyback on viral videos.

Each day is a struggle to be taken seriously in the eyes of entertainment tastemakers. Pointless video responses have risen beyond a minor annoyance to something that is detrimental to the industry we all have helped build. Stopping them is and has always been in our hands.