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Controlling the MessageNew Media in American Political Campaigns$
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Victoria A. "Farrar-Myers and Justin S. Vaughn

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479886357

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479886357.001.0001

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Is Laughter the Best Medicine for Politics?

Is Laughter the Best Medicine for Politics?

Commercial versus Noncommercial YouTube Videos

Chapter:
(p.200) 10 Is Laughter the Best Medicine for Politics?
Source:
Controlling the Message
Author(s):

Todd L. Belt

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479886357.003.0010

This chapter compares commercial and noncommercial humor-driven viral videos disseminated on YouTube in terms of user impact and their implications for democratic discourse. It first considers the characteristics of the types of content that are more or less likely to generate interest and accolades from Internet users before turning to online videos produced by entertainment media (commercial videos) and individual citizens and interest groups (noncommercial videos), with particular emphasis on videos that have been distributed through YouTube. It also discusses the effectiveness of humor as a vehicle for messages that advocate political involvement. It shows that noncommercial videos reach a significantly larger audience than do commercial videos during election campaigns and are far more likely to contain identifiable political messages that reject value neutrality. Commercial videos are also much more likely to encourage political action and comment on the potential consequences of the election.

Keywords:   viral videos, YouTube, Internet, online videos, humor, noncommercial videos, commercial videos, election campaigns, political messages, value neutrality

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