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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Future of YouTube: Critical Reflections on YouTube Users’ Discussion over Its Future

  • Author(s): Kim, Gooyong
  • et al.

This paper examines how the sociopolitical and educational potentials of YouTube have been exercised by analyzing users’ discussion practices by posting videos. Compared to literature that deals with the Internet’s sociopolitical impact, I argue that YouTube has played a key role in implementing the democratization of media spectacles. Different forms of Internet use are discussed with regard to YouTube’s contributions. First of all, the discursive practices of YouTube validate Habermas’s notion of the public sphere by suggesting video communication as a new perspective of participatory democracy. Creating community is another key notion that users consider to be the future of YouTube; users believe it facilitates interactive and creative communication among different cultures, races, and societies. However, there is little consideration of how individuals make critical use of YouTube as a means for sociopolitical engagement. Analyzing the users’ arguments in their video responses, this paper examines the strengths, as well as the limitations, of discourses on the future of YouTube, and reconsiders its sociopolitical potential. It ultimately indicates the necessity of critical pedagogic interventions to make full use of YouTube.

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