Rewind 2018 becomes YouTube’s most disliked video

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Rewind 2018 becomes YouTube’s most disliked video

Lauren Farrell, Staff Writer

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Justin Bieber’s music video “Baby” has finally been dethroned as the most disliked video on YouTube. Its whopping ten million dislikes are now second place to YouTube’s own video: “YouTube Rewind 2018: Everyone Controls Rewind.” The annual year-end recap disaster was uploaded on December 6 and, as of this publication, has raked in a whopping fifteen million dislikes.


The video can be summed up as politics and Fortnite. As a whole, it was filled with unrecognizable YouTubers, along with celebrities who had no association with YouTube on their way to stardom. As an example, Will Smith starts off Rewind– which would by any other means guarantee something epic, because yeah, it’s Will Smith— but he straight-away talks about Fortnite in his most painfully-scripted voice. Thus began the cringe.

Jokes from around the Internet were completely scrapped, despite the abundant supply of viral memes and comical Tik-Toks. Web-wide phenomena such as Ugandan Knuckles, Hit or Miss, and the Tracer meme were not referenced, though they took the Internet by storm.  Maybe this was an effort to avoid cringy outdated jokes, which is understandable. Yet, these common themes were part of the history of 2018, and it is strange to pretend they just were not there. This is so sad, Alexa play Johnny Johnny. This ain’t it, chief.

“Rewinds” as a genre started heading downhill when the music infused in them was replaced by spoken word. This video overdoes its use of dialogue. The great Rewinds of the past used diverse mash-ups to make one big, fun music video that made each viewer wish they could be one of the celebrities dancing on their laptop screen. The music in this year’s video was lacking to make place for script. The music that was used proved to be repetitive and uninteresting.

In 2018, YouTube decided to subject us to a cheesy script and political discussion. YouTube attempted to compile all of this year’s politics in the middle of the video, not a simple task. The ideas were all grouped one after the other, making each point seem almost insignificant. The ideas vocalized were perfectly fine– such as appreciating the increased amount of Asian-American representation in the media, and recognizing the bravery of sexual-assault victims who have raised their voices. These are valid topics. What isn’t valid is discussing topics as heavy as these in such a sparse manner. There needs to be more than one line when speaking of such crucial topics, not just: “We’re proud of mental health advocates, next. We applaud drag queens, next. We support refugees, next.” The way each topic was presented was very weak and hastily done, so it feels more like a way to say “Hey! We want to seem cool by mentioning these ‘Hot Topics,’” and less like the company actually cares. It feels fake. In the past, Rewind did a satisfactory job making its political points without having to pay YouTubers to read poorly-scripted, generalized lines in order to appear “woke.”

By the end, Will Smith is back, and you remember that you forgot he was there in the first place. He served no purpose in the video at all, and his inclusion was only a way to reel an audience in and hype-up a disappointing video.

I will cut YouTube some slack. The video exhibited great diversity, using an assortment of races, countries, and languages. I love the incorporation of animators, a huge community that has been neglected in the past. The platform certainly has less stars as it did back in the 2013-2016 glory days of Dan and Phil, Tyler Oakley, Grav3yardgirl, Zoella, Alphie, Joey Graceffa, and iiSuperWomanii. It makes me wonder: can Rewind get better at this point? In 2018, we have Liza Koshy, David Dobrik, Jake and Logan Paul, James Charles, the Dolan twins, Emma Chamberlain, Shane Dawson, and PewDiePie. Some were absent from the video for various reasons, others uninvited because of controversy, and the ones who remained made the video painful to watch.

However, these positives and excuses are outweighed by how poorly-done the video really was. Although stating that Rewind’s purpose was that “Everyone Controls Rewind,” it is blatantly obvious that this is not the case. YouTube put too much emphasis on its own image this year. It left out anyone who could remotely spark controversy, maybe understandably so, but it doomed the video to have unfamiliar and boring personalities. There was hardly anyone to look forward to seeing. Leaving out so many aspects of the 2018 culture made the video unrelatable and unfunny.

YouTube focused too much on what Rewind supposedly stood for and less on what its community wanted. Previous Rewinds have been fun to watch, appealing to the eyes and ears. There was nothing “funny,” “different,” or “sensory-capturing” about this video. Rewind lacked creativity, and one can only wonder if the failure harbingers a slow weakening of the company itself. 2018 deserved better.

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