User-generated content has changed the fabric of the World Wide Web and, consequentially, the makeup

of society in general. It is useful to define user-generated content (UGC) as: online media created by Internet users. The Internet has become an interface where millions of people interact instantly using video, audio, text and images. This rapid circulation of ideas is a relatively new phenomenon, the effects of which have drawn much attention. Critics assert UGC is a catalyst for unreliable information, manufactured almost entirely by the misinformed, unaccountable public. Internet enthusiasts claim it is their constitutional right to express themselves. In this essay I plan on comparing a YouTube video titled Hitler gets banned from Xbox Live with a newspaper article from the Globe and Mail titled Night of Broken Glass. I will first discuss whether the medium is the message in both pieces of content. Then, after investigating how the two types of media deal with the topic and the affects they have on public understanding, I will examine / review the sociological significance of each piece of media with respect to the Hawthorne Effect. Starting with an overview of the previously mentioned piece of online user-generated content, this YouTube video is a subtitled parody of a scene taken from Downfall (2004), a German WWII drama based on Hitler’s last ten days and eventual suicide. In that scene, he receives word of a failed counterattack on the Russians, which means the demise of the German military and the end of the war. In the parody, Hitler becomes enraged when he receives word that his modified console has been detected by Microsoft and banned from Xbox Live. The seriousness with which both Hitler and the other characters treat this painfully minor issue, as well as the perceived availability of a video game console during WWII, make for a humorous segment.

an emotional pretext.The Globe and Mail article was focused on the night of November 9. also known as the Night of Broken Glass. The author mentions that he was married on that same November evening and reflects on how a night that brought him so much happiness also brought unspeakable agony to so many other people. that Hitler gets banned from Xbox Live and has a temper tantrum over it. an unintended but probably . The message is the resultant effect(s) of experiencing that idea or innovation. “Ever since they assumed power in 1933. Streicher and company have been preparing for this night…all they needed was a proper occasion. parts of the message. The fact that there was no such thing as Xbox Live in WWII creates humour in the message. McLuhan defined the medium as the extension of one’s self that brings about change in the form of an idea or innovation. burning homes and synagogues while assaulting and arresting thousands of Jews. It is funny. Herschel Grynszpan. On the other hand.”(Plaut) Hitler unleashed the military and paramilitary forces of the SS and SA upon Germany and Austria. something people can. 1938. The theme around which Night of Broken Glass was written offers few alternative messages or effects of experience than previously noted. distaste and sadness are effects of this experience and. However we can go one step further in saying that the subtitles are the medium. and do. Evidently the medium is the message in this article. in one sense. Goebbels. laugh at. Hitler. In response to the assassination of German diplomat Ernst von Rath by a Jewish youth. The medium is essentially the article itself. The message is comedy. xxx Empathy. therefore. It is the idea or innovation that produced the effect(s). each producing it own message. at first glance. the medium. Hitler would seek retribution from all Jews. The YouTube video is. since there are so many elements in this parody. In the Globe and Mail article the medium is in fact that message.

The Globe and Mail article delivers factual perspective. arguably insensitive YouTube video. a natural demand for empathy. compassionate way. the Globe and Mail demands the . so they have no idea where this scene comes from. might be that YouTube is making fun of Jewish genocide. on the other hand. or the historical moment it was originally meant to express. Each type of media has a unique reputation. As result. events of holocaustic magnitudes are without facets of humour. There is an invisible set of expectations for each source as well as a varying level of trust that helps regulate each presentation. where the reader is engaged in a very sympathetic. peer reviewed article and a funny YouTube video with user-generated subtitles. Where subject matter is concerned. reading this article brings about an emotional reflex. The message to a person of Jewish descent. Most people have never seen Downfall. Being a reputable newspaper. Immersed in an academic community that maintains boundaries of accountability. This video is unique in that the medium is not necessarily the message. the YouTube video parody has nothing to do with the Night of Broken Glass. for instance. a reliable. credible and politically correct. The Globe and Mail article. has an air of formal repulse for the atrocity of the Nazi Occupation. although the movie segment featured is a dramatic representation of that significant moment in history.anticipated effect of this medium is contempt towards this kind of humour. These two pieces of content deal with the same topic from different ends of the media spectrum. Realistically speaking. a serious writer is obligated or bound to be appropriate. The author expresses frustration. The major difference here is the scholarly. politically correct newspaper article versus the user-generated. as the message varies in interpretation from person to person. warranted by the delay with which the rest of the world reacted to Kristallnacht as well as the horrors those people experienced.

or fluvial personality modifications. This gives them a sort of peace of mind. The differences between these mediums are products of the same sociological concept. Take into consideration the Hawthorne Effect. nor are they accountable for the effects of messages sent by these videos.”(Leonard) It seems appropriate to point out that everyone is subject to the Hawthorne Effect. A study of doctors in developing countries investigated the gap between a doctor’s best possible practice and actual performance. However. As result. The creators of such parodies are not reputable. this type of media bears a reputation of loose morality that is now expected among its viewers. It is useful. including authors of newspaper articles and producers of online . are common in every social interaction. then. YouTube has an almost opposite level of credibility and trust than the Globe and Mail. whereas the function of this YouTube video is comedy. YouTube is a place where we are able to express ourselves openly and without consequence. The study found that there was indeed a gap between actual performance and performance with knowledge of being observed. and so a totally different set of expectations regulate a viewer’s experiences. “When a researcher arrives every doctor practises to the best of his ability and after time has passed every doctor returns to his normal level of ability. putting a humorous spin on realistically saddening subject matter.socially expected feelings of sympathy and/or scorn. A person’s behaviour in a classroom setting under the keen eye of a teacher may differ from his demeanour in a circle of close friends or in another more relaxed environment. to define the Hawthorne Effect as a change in behaviour stimulated by the realization of by whom a person is being observed. those behavioural changes.

absent an overseer or mode of authority. YouTube is a similar environment as it exists with few limits. . based on who the anticipated observers are. there is no loyalty or standard that needs to be met in generating content. while satisfying his own. The observers are usually ordinary people whose criticisms don’t carry real weight in the mind of the creator of the video. The result is an engaging. Therefore his colleagues. but a journal or collection of opinions and unchecked facts. Unreliable content may affect the minds of its consumers negatively or incorrectly and. morally sound article. With the exception of subscription pages and a series of videos called a channel to which other users can subscribe. UGC is unique in allowing anyone to circulate ideas freely and instantly. In conclusion. An ideal article in his mind appeases as many of these regulations as possible. users can interact in any way they choose. Knowledge of his peers reviewing his work acts as a regulator for quality. Plaut’s article is a product of not only his beliefs. In online UGC the Hawthorne Effect is at work in an entirely different way. These effects control content more than we may think. They are affected differently by their knowledge of being observed. This reality fosters the unregulated aspect of the Hawthorne Effect where. Although the user may consider the opinions of others when sharing or creating content. Sceptics argue that this phenomenon is or eventually will be more damaging to society than helpful. Users are free to express whatever they feel. A newspaper without editors and the creative limits of professionalism is not a newspaper at all.UGC. superiors and critics contributed to the writing of his article as much as he did. professional obligations and accountability are absent. but more importantly the anticipated effects his beliefs will have on others. effort and the overall message of his piece. politically correct.

Karl Marx talked about the gap between the means and the relations of production.since the consumers are also the producers. The war between corporate media giants and Silicon Valley will come to an unforeseeable end. . the general public may be at risk on an intellectual level. the means is the Internet and UGC. He feared that conflict of interest would obstruct technological advancement. In this case. The relations of production are massive corporations that are negatively affected. Newspaper sales are falling. The only thing we know for certain is it will not be the end of user-generated content on the Internet. Hollywood and the music industry lose millions every year to illegal downloads and online streaming.

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