From Zoella to James Charles, many of the world’s most famous YouTubers have posted videos apologizing for their past or present behavior.
These apology videos get huge attention and can get millions of views.
For example, Logan Paul’A video apologizing for his insensitivity towards a dead body has been viewed 61 million times since 2018, while, El DarbyA video apologizing for racist tweets she made as a teenager was viewed 1.2 million times in just six months.
Now scientists from Columbia College in Chicago identified the most effective strategies to use in creating these videos, which became known as “YouTube apology videos”.
Their results show that YouTubers seeking forgiveness should look natural and apologize four times, while it helps if they have a lot of followers.
Apology videos are getting massive attention: Logan Paul’s apology video about his insensitivity to a dead body has over 61 million views.
Video of apology
– Depict yourself naturally, without makeup and in natural clothes.
– Promise to improve yourself
– Focus on killing
– Don’t use negation
– Apologize four times, and at least once at the three-minute mark.
The popularity of YouTube apology videos has increased in recent years. These included “My Response” by PewDiePie, in which he apologized for using the N-word on live TV, and “Sorry” by Logan Paul, in which he apologized for filming the hanging dead body. in Japan’s “suicide forest”.
Despite this, the impact of YouTube apology videos has so far been little studied.
“Many professional and amateur YouTubers apologize for their past and present behavior, which has led to the creation of a new media genre called “YouTube apology videos,” the team, led by Grace Choi, writes in a study published in Public Relations Review. .
“Despite the overabundance of these videos, their impact is still questionable to understand the scope of this online apology.”
In their study, the researchers examined the message construction, strategies, sincerity, and forgiveness of YouTube users’ apology videos.
The team analyzed the content of 117 videos, including video length, views, comments, production level, appearance, and message.
A video of El Darby’s apology following the emergence of racist tweets she wrote as a teenager was viewed 1.2 million times in just six months.
In their study, the researchers examined the message construction, strategies, sincerity, and forgiveness of YouTube users’ apology videos. Pictured: PewDiePie’s apology video after he said the N-word on live television.
Their analysis showed that the majority of YouTubers posting apology videos were white males, while most of them were in “home clothes” and without makeup.
“While these videos appeared to appear natural, most of the videos used a natural light source and did not include music, and included digital editing and self-promotion, indicating that YouTube users were in control of their apology message,” the researchers wrote.
The most popular video topic was “content problem” and 40% promised to improve themselves.
In terms of recovery strategies, mortification was the most common method (70%), while denial was seen in only 24% of the videos.
“Given that these are YouTubers whose lives are in the spotlight and can be easily followed on social media, it makes sense that denial is not a favorable strategy when used against social media,” the researchers explained.
When it came to all-important apologies, YouTube users specifically said “sorry” at the three-minute mark on average and four times per video.
Unfortunately for smaller creators, viewers seem to be more forgiving if they’re already subscribed.
“Our results show that prior association with a YouTuber increased viewers’ chances of being forgiven, and perceived sincerity was a predictor of forgiveness,” the researchers write.
The team hopes that the results will be useful for both YouTube users and their viewers.
“Analyzing these videos through content and media effects will help professionals, academics, viewers and content creators to think critically about these videos and evaluate YouTube’s impact on crisis communication,” they concluded.
YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim condemns the platform’s decision to remove dislikes
Jawed Karim, one of YouTube’s three founders, has criticized the platform’s decision to remove the amount of hate on video, which he says will turn YouTube into a place “where everything is mediocre” and lead to its demise.
YouTube’s decision earlier this month hides how many times other users hit the thumbs down icon below a video to express their displeasure.
YouTube said the change would prevent groups of malicious YouTube users from deliberately harassing other users by increasing hate on their videos — what it called “coordinated hate attacks.”
But Karim says the ability to easily and quickly identify bad content is YouTube’s “essential feature” and turning it off could lead to the site’s demise.
Karim voiced his displeasure by editing the description of the first YouTube video uploaded, titled “Me at the Zoo,” in which he plays a 25-year-old.