The science behind what makes a video a hit remains vague. It’s easier to bathe cats than to predict whether the public will like or dislike something. It’s an illuminating choice of elements: cats are, of course, a pretty good bet. Also babies, though it’s still surprising that a merely moderately amusing family moment is the most watched YouTube video of all time: “Charlie bit my finger”, a clip in which Charlie, aged one, bites the finger of his big brother Harry. With its ability to grant an audience of millions to any clip the site has extraordinary democratic potential.
Last year, a clip of Neda Agha-Soltan being shot in the chest in Iran was put on YouTube instantly and became a powerful tool in the protest movement against the Iranian government.
The site’s democratic character had already taken on new, practical uses with the so-called “YouTube
election” of 2008, when what many had dismissed as simply a site for teenagers became a battleground for one of the most interesting presidential fights in history.
S. Hoby and T. Lamont (The Guardian, 11-4-2010)
I. Answer the following questions using your own words but taking into account the information in the text
- a) Why can YouTube users get money from video sharing? PAR. 1
- b) How can YouTube be used for democratic purposes? PAR. 3
II. Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)? Identify the part of the text that supports your answer by copying the exact passage on the answer sheet:
a) YouTube videos reach an audience of one hundred and twenty million users.
- FALSE: Never before had anyone with a video camera been able to reach a potential audience of millions and for many they did so by accident.
b) Videos featuring cats are likely to draw the users’ attention.
c) YouTube only interests teenagers.
- FALSE: what many had dismissed as simply a site for teenagers became a battleground for one of the most interesting presidential fights in history.
III. Find a synonym for each of the four words below from these six options:
generated accident hit choice amusing dismissed
IV. Choose a, b, or c, in each question below. Only one choice is correct
1. We can...
- a) predict whether a video on YouTube will be a hit or not.
- b) never be sure whether a video on YouTube will be a hit or not.
- c) predict that a video featuring cats with babies will be a hit.
2. Videos on YouTube can...
- a) defeat a government.
- b) turn a country into a democracy.
- c) be used as a mass form of political protest.