YouTube Poop: Participatory Culture without Rooted Fandoms

The more I read material on fandoms, the more I find myself trying to unpack some of the many culture creations that don’t particularly celebrate a fandom at all, but have created some kind of following of its own. In fact, there is a wide array of YouTube videos as participatory culture that derives off children’s cartoons and movies and is continuing to be created without having the same dedication and passion one would connect with being a part of a fandom. One of these marvels of the modern world is YouTube Poop or YTP. YTP is one of those phenomena on the internet that is made just for shock value and humor, but remains relatively tame (in comparison to the rest of the internet…) YTP can be hard to describe just because of that reason alone – it has no meaning (mostly), it doesn’t follow a storyline (mostly), and its often made using editing tools that are meant to distort and confuse the original creation to an absurd degree. YouTube Poop, as described by the internet archiving and dictionary website, Know Your Meme, is as follows:

“The current working definition is a video that has been made with appropriated footage and collage editing techniques to for the purpose of either annoying or entertaining viewers in the increasingly indifferent world of YouTube. There is no hard and fast definition of YouTube Poop, and the argument over what is or isn’t poop has been a source of drama in the community.”

What makes YTP so intriguing is the overuse of certain shows and movies by varying individuals. These shows and movies specifically are SpongeBob SquarePants, My Little Pony, Shrek, King of the Hill, Mario Bros., Jimmy Neutron, and so much more. These video creators (or poopers) do not necessarily share a fondness and connection with the culture product they are exploring and manipulating – what they do share is the want to create something bizarre and scary and shocking from these products alone. But what is it about these shows and movies in particular that is making them the ideal candidate for YouTube Poop? Is there something about these canons and universes of these shows/movies in particular that is leading to them becoming YTP? Below are a couple of prominent YouTube Poop, which vary in style and distinction, making it even more harder to define whether or not some of these videos follow under that name:

The very “first” YouTube Poop, uploaded November 27, 2006. An antique!

A SpongeBob SquarePants YTP, using original footage and featuring characteristic editing qualities, such as: loud and abrasive audio quality, color distortion, looping clips, reverse clips, rearranged audio sequences and clips, distorted footage, etc.

Possibly a more popular and advanced style of YTP simply because it features no original footage from the Jimmy Neutron canon but features the characters and symbols of the show through user-created animation (without following any original storyline or content.) WARNING: IT’S WEIRD.

What makes YTP even more interesting is the system of discovery or way in which one finds themselves in that area of YouTube in which you can discover all the YTP you want. In the comment section of William A’s article, “YouTube Poop: Meme as Art, Community,” chemistryguy describes this well. He says:

“… Do not, repeat do NOT search for ytp by typing youtube poop into the search bar on YouTube. You will be inundated with horrible videos. Not all poop is equal. To find the good stuff you will either have to know where to start or wade through a veritable flood of videos that will turn you off forever.”

If you plan on delving deeper into this strange realm of YouTube Poop, take a look at this unofficial official website on YTP called YouChew. Hopefully it will equip you with the knowledge and expertise needed to navigate such an odd world. Safe interneting everyone.

Sources:

A, William. “YouTube Poop: Meme as Art, Community.” Yale Law & Technology. 3 Nov 2012. Web. 12 April 2015. <http://www.yalelawtech.org/fair-use-remix-culture/youtube-poop-meme-as-art-community&gt;

Know Your Meme. Web. 11 April 2015. <http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/subcultures/youtube-poop-ytp&gt;

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