by James Liu
Image Source: Reddit
On December 6th, YouTube Rewind 2018 was released, and was an absolute failure. It quickly became the most disliked video on YouTube, surpassing Justin Bieber’s Baby, the former holder of the not-so-glorious title, in about a week. Remember when Baby was released somewhere in February 2010? YouTube Rewind garnered as much hate as Bieber’s long forgotten abomination of a song over 400 times faster, if the math is somewhat correct. Now for the big question, why?
The amount of dislikes for the song Baby were because it was repetitive and generally uninteresting, along with the fact it’s been around for about 8 to 9 years. On the other hand, YouTube Rewind seems to do everything right. Diverse creators featured? Check. A section dedicated to the animators of the community, who were given the end segment of last year’s Rewind to do whatever, and everyone wanted to see more support and appreciation for due to the long process of making frame after frame of animation? Check again. Memes? Yes. With so many more things, such as Fortnite and K-Pop with large followings and many fans, plus such a shorter time span, why did the video turn out to be so hated?
While personal opinions will sway what people think were the biggest causes, the most obvious cause was similar to how Baby got its bad reputation: with how boring it was. If you break it down, nothing felt exciting. Instead of bringing all of 2018 into one huge video and having fun with it, Rewind 2018 just felt like a whole lot of big moments randomly slapped together, instead of being able to play around with the events and think, “What would happen if we took this thing from May, and paired it together with this other thing from later in the year?” Another thing people noticed was that YouTube didn’t seem to include any creators who have had any controversy surrounding them with the most notable being PewDiePie, with accusations of being anti-semitic and racist most likely preventing him from being included, as it hasn’t been confirmed by anyone. With over 75 million subscribers and multiple large YouTubers in favor of him, they were able to rally thousands of people into disliking the video. With a boring video and many people at the ready to tell other people to hate it too and spread the word, those were probably the two biggest reasons for the failure of YouTube Rewind 2018. YouTube seemed to want to just present what their platform stood for and not the whole picture. Based on the Rewind, what you’d see is that YouTube was a site of diversity, support, and was some all good utopian video site, but have no idea about a majority of the even larger, albeit more controversial figures, like the Paul brothers and the aforementioned PewDiePie.
With the year behind us and an awful Rewind 2018 now forgotten by the 5 day attention span of the modern era, all that we can do is hope for the best… except for the data showing that with the exception of 2011, Rewind has been getting exponentially worse over the years. Next year will probably be just as worse, if not worse, if we follow the graph. Well, we can hope, at least.