Results for category "Political"

3 Articles

Video as Judge, Jury, and Executioner

With the entire world watching, scenes of triumph, devastation, violence, and heartbreak have recently unfolded online. So much so, that social media apps have adapted their technology to stay in line with the rapid influx of civilian shot video being uploaded to the web, documenting the world’s latest headlines. In today’s internet-driven society, video has now become proprietor for the world’s social commentary. Audiences will tune into YouTube channels for current events before turning on the television or picking up a paper. Online video allows the public to give immediate opinion on world events and have dialogue with others, internationally, all at the touch of a button. These opinions have begun to shape the way that society as a whole functions. The court of public opinion now has major influence in politics, social change, psychology, and marketing, and video has given audiences the tools to become judge, jury, and at times, executioner.

Take for instance Donald Trump’s recent calamities involving video of him making sexually inappropriate comments regarding women. One particular video went viral immediately and has fueled an already controversial campaign’s implosion. The public took to the internet to respond to his comments, leading droves of Trump’s GOP colleagues to revoke their support for him. As social media posts were shared and commented on regarding his remarks, political opinion was swayed primarily against the Republican candidate. With this case, the public was shown evidence of Trump’s wrongdoing, deliberated as a group, and passed forth a sentence of potential death to his political career. The immediacy with which information traveled and that audiences voiced their criticisms prompted a swift form of “internet justice” by which Donald Trump was held accountable in the public eye, and both he and his supporters were forced to answer for his actions.

Several similar cases arose over the past couple of years, but more dynamically over the past several months involving police shootings caught on civilian video. Most notably is the Philando Castile shooting live streamed on Facebook. An unarmed, compliant African-American man was fatally shot while in the car with his girlfriend and four-year-old daughter in the back seat. Facebook’s adaptation of the live streaming feature due to the surge of video posts had just recently been released when the shooting occurred. After a series of controversial shootings of African-American men, Mr. Castile’s girlfriend began live streaming the police stop to her Facebook account. As the video recorded, the audience was able to react in real-time to the event as it unfolded. In the aftermath of the tragic event, comments continued to fly across the internet, with protests erupting and further shootings occurring in the months following. Using the video as a “smoking gun,” the public lambasted the officer for poor training and an itchy trigger finger and demanded charges be filed. However, in this case, the “jury” was unable to sway the “court” enough and the officer was placed on administrative leave then returned to work on desk duty.


With so many socio-political controversies stirring around the world, youthful angst is at an all-time high. Millennials have taken to the streets to protest in mass numbers, but the soapbox has now extended far beyond public demonstration and street marches. In the current political and technological climate, there is a new way to get the message out and gather the masses…social media networks and video. With everything from #Ferguson to #ALSIceBucketChallenge, awareness is being raised through video production (both large and small scale) and “clickavism,” a term relating to the increase in political activism through internet/social media networking. Hashtags, vlogs, and viral videos have all contributed to young individuals getting involved with issues that concern not only their generation, but society as a whole. Video has become the foremost effective way to quickly get a message out to others, while incorporating a creative edge to keep the audience engaged. Videos that are crafted with the intent to demonstrate the emotional power of the subject tend to find more of a following than standard artificial media. Millennials have become more responsive to real people visually documenting their real struggles. Rather than simply imagining what some else’s day to day toil is like through articles, viewers can see, firsthand, the turmoil associated with a particular cause. YouTube channels such as VICE News make it easy for people to hit record and spread the word across the globe in a matter of minutes.

According to Tubular Data, Vice News, with its thousands of videos and millions of views, has a standard audience demographic of people ages 18-34. The Pew Research Center also measured the amount of political news that Millennials received via social media/internet video at 60% versus receiving their information from local TV. The opposite was found to be true for the Baby Boomer population, who received most of their information from local or cable TV news. With the older generation fading out, rapid and unfettered information sources have become the go-to for this younger population. This demographic not only wants to KNOW what is happening around the world, but also wants to SEE the action for themselves. For this generation, seeing is believing. And in an age where technology reigns supreme and just about every man, woman, and child is carrying a recording device, there is plenty to behold. Young adults want more individual accountability, and with video uploading and streaming at the touch of a button, they have the power to incite that kind of change on a far grander scale than in the times of sit-ins and letter writing campaigns.

Viral Video Production

Viral Votes: How Video Production Has Changed the Face of the 2016 Election

With the primaries right around the corner, election season is definitely in full swing. As the spotlight is turned up on each candidate, more and more viral videos are being created and released that both promote and disparage the others’ campaigns. While content may be what viewers click for, the quality of the clip is what keeps them coming back, sharing, and “liking” these videos. With candidates such as Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Ted Cruz making daily meme-worthy comments and working the crowds for the cameras, production of short, viral videos has become the latest medium for public opinion to be heard. As of January, campaign ads were some of the most watched videos on YouTube and even resulted in the streaming media site selling out of its reserved ad time, something never before seen by the company. According to Google data, Americans have watched over 110 hours of campaign videos, and candidates are now searching out video production teams to create streaming content to help boost their social media presence and campaign following. Based upon data from Borrell Associates, campaigns have spent upwards of $300 million for online advertising, much more than they’ve spent on newspaper and radio ads, combined. YouTube has even developed two separate teams, Republican and Democrat, to handle the influx of 2016 campaign marketing. Information is now transferred to the public in unprecedented waves, thanks primarily to viral video marketing and the instant gratification of online data sharing. Whereas in previous election years a candidate would have to rely on ratings during prime television viewing hours to gauge voter interest, they’re campaign teams can now create a video (similar to the now viral Donald Trump “Eagle Thwap” video) and have a candidate’s following skyrocket or plummet by the end of the day.