It goes without saying that in today’s world, online cultures are as real as the physical cultures that have dominated this Earth since humanity began.
And, like real cultures, these online cultures come and go, albeit more rapidly. With the rise of the internet in the mid 1990s, and its expansion throughout the mid 2000s, it is safe to say that by the time the 2010s rolled around, the internet was a primary facet in the twisted fandom that is our lives.
However, unlike physical cultures, which have been able to inscribe themselves upon this Earth for thousands of years, online cultures have only been around for as long as the internet, some 25 years. And so, as you could imagine, these online cultures can rise and fall within a short time’s notice.
A lesser-known online culture, which still exists but is more of a shell of itself at this point, is none other than the YouTube Poop community. This community has indeed morphed into an online culture of its own throughout its life, which began as early as YouTube did in 2005.
There is no single definition of a YouTube Poop, commonly shortened to YTP, due to the fact that there are multiple different styles of YouTube Poops. However, a YouTube Poop generally follows the consensus of a video mashup, and that is indeed what a YouTube Poop is: a video mashup containing a variety of online clips and memes, mixing them around, and adding audial and visual effects to them. The YouTube Poop News FAQ states that:
“The current working definition [of a YTP] 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.”
In the developing online world of the late 2000s and early 2010s, YouTube Poops were a defining factor of YouTube during this period. It is at this point where they hit their peak popularity, at a time when they consisted merely of simple clip mashups, sentence remixing, and light audial and visual effects. One could argue that the YouTube Poops of this time consisted of a ‘storyline’, if you will, a continuous narrative. According to many, this is what made them funny.
However, over time, as video-editing programs advanced, creators began implementing more effects into their YouTube Poops. This often turned their videos into mere voids of visual warps, distortions and loud noises. The comedic narrative which the YouTube Poops of the early days consisted of were lost.
Of course, there are still YouTube Poops being made, and while many have turned to the visual effects, leaving the comedic narrative element in the dust, some Poopers still insist on creating simpler, more “classic” YouTube Poops, which emphasize traditional comedy and simple effects over the modern effects-heavy style. Haidphone11, now known as Kevin11, is one of those creators.
Kevin uploaded his first YouTube Poop, entitled “free the anoro” in May 2018, at a time when the YouTube Poop community was already on its way down, following its peak popularity in the early 2010s. His video, consisting of an edited mashup of an Anoro medicine commercial, mixed with a series of random edited clips including a baseball game, WWE match, Fidget Cube commercial, and other memes and gaming clips, has set his standards of creating a YouTube Poop. Regarding his style, Kevin said:
“The way I see it, the YouTube Poop community has become a pit of despair, with many of them favoring these heavy glitchy effects with no comedy at all, no funny aspects to them, over the traditional style which had, y’know, actual comedy in it. That’s what I try to do with my videos. While I could go all out and include these heavy glitchy effects, I choose to keep it simple. Just sentence remixing, some loud noises here and there, and that’s it.”
Kevin also stated that the primary motivation of creating YouTube Poops is his involvement in YTP Tennis matches. This is essentially a sort-of virtual game, where a Pooper creates a YTP, then another Pooper must remix it, and then a third Pooper (or the original) must remix that remix, and so on. These can go on for multiple rounds. Of this, he said:
“I love YTP tennis matches. They’re the main reason why I continue to make YTPs. I make a video, then someone else remixes it, then someone else remixes that remix, then it gets sent back to me and I remix it. Then in the end we play all the videos back and you see how it’s evolved over time. It brings the community closer together, and in a time when the YTP community is more collapsed than ever, it’s good to see and do.”
However, according to him, YTP Tennis matches can lead to the downfall of a Pooper’s career, despite it being arguably the most fun aspect of creating YTPs. Kevin believes that if a Pooper gets themselves involved in too many tennis matches at once, it can overwhelm them and they will be unable to continue, either due to a lack of ideas or time. This, indeed, happened to Kevin in May 2019, which led to his lack of video creation until March 2020.
Regardless, it is good to see a relatively new member of the YouTube Poop community, such as Kevin, take on a more traditional style in his work. Despite this, however, it is undeniable that the YouTube Poop community has diminished, leaving a once-prominent culture in the dust. Those who remain realize this, and have witnessed the decline of their culture firsthand. Pacboy, a prominent YouTube Pooper, is one of those members.
Beginning his YTP career in 2017, Pacboy (then known as Pacboy Poops) started out creating simple-style YouTube Poops, consisting of simple clip mashups, remixes and light effects, which created a comedic narrative. Over time, however, his style evolved into merely glitchy visual effects, which arguably caused the cessation of comedic value (to some, though, it was still funny, including me). Following ups-and-downs in the YTP community, and some copyright issues on YouTube, Pacboy has resorted to making most of his videos private. Now, due to a waning interest in creating YTPs, as well as a busy schedule, Pacboy is uncertain if he will return to creating more works of video art.
Pacboy believes the primary cause of the YTP community’s downfall involves a lack of understanding by the general public, who often fail to understand the comedic value in YouTube Poops, and reject them, viewing them as a mere fad. This eventually leads to the YouTube Poopers themselves losing interest, and, when mixed with the fact that creating a YTP takes time and effort, and many Poopers simply lack the time to create one, they stop making them altogether. He states:
“I think what led to the downfall [of the YTP community] was that, to people who see a YTP once or even twice, they think of it as a “fad”. Much like with everything else, people lose interest over time, people become too busy with other things in life that literally makes [sic] them unable to find any time to edit.”
Pacboy also believes that Poopers are limited on what they can create based on the specs of their computer. As the YTP world becomes evermore filled with heavy visual effects, which have taken over the traditional comedic narrative, Poopers feel intimidated to use more and more effects, which, according to Pacboy, will lead to a decline in original content. He states:
“I also think that as technology progresses and people start using different software to edit, making more complex videos, editing basically gets redundant, especially with the fact that there are multiple plugins that can already do the same thing. People say get creative, yet it is limited by the specs of your computer and how you render the video. People say try something new, yet everything new really isn’t new. The thing is that there will be a point where nothing is original and/or funny anymore because it has been done before by someone else with the same or different software, even if the general crowd doesn’t know it. People always say to try something new, yet how can you try something new if that new thing has been done before, albeit in a different style or fashion?”
Of course, a common factor of decline involves a lack of motivation, and this is true in a wide variety of subjects and activities, including YouTube Pooping.
If the YTP community itself is becoming disinterested in the activity of creating YTPs, the community will surely decline, as it has been in recent years. As mentioned, a variety of factors have contributed to this decline, including an ever-increasing demand for visual effects, which take time to create (and many creators simply lack this time) and become redundant over time, leading to a lack of original ideas. And to many, these effects are simply not funny, eliminating the comedic aspect that the traditional YTPs contain.
These are the benefactors which have contributed to the YouTube Poop community’s downfall. A once dominant online culture now engulfed in self-demonizing issues, has become a mere shell of its former self. While the culture still remains today, the question of how long it can sustain itself arises.
Chris is a writer and publisher who travels America, and loves doing it. He also loves pizza, video games, and sports, and can tell you a thing or two about each. Follow him on Medium to be informed of new articles.