IS kevjumba a heterosexual bear wrestler?!

I find that the interactivity of the Internet constantly astounds me. Surfing the Web is such an individual, personal experience, we often forget the sheer power the Internet collective can have. Sure, only a small percentage of Youtube users actively create material, but when asked to participate and produce cultural outcomes, the collective can do awesome things.

Recently, YouTube celebrity Kevjumba made a videoabout how the first thing that comes on when you hit “Is Kevjumba” into Google was the query “Is Kevjumba gay?”. In orderto fortify a manlier image of himself, he asked his viewers to search “Is Kevjumba a heterosexual bear wrestler?” in hopes of messing with the popularity and rankings on Google to change the top query. And Alas! Now you don’t even have to type “Is Kevjumba”, you only have to search “Is” for the entire phrase to come up. That’s pretty impressive.

homosexual bunny...cuddler? i don't know.

Screen Capture of Kevjumba Google search

This sort of display calls into question what it actually means when YouTube is described as an online ‘community’. Jose Van Dijck argues that the term usually only applies to groups that have things of ‘taste’ in common, instead of a real translation of the type of interactions and contributions that occur in ‘real life’. These sorts of loose metaphors of common vocabulary often become problematic when we try to transcribe it from offline to online worlds. The oft quoted example would be the manner in which we use the word “Friend” on social networking sites versus real life.

Problematic!!!

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