YouTube gets ugly: the attack on GreenTeaGirlie

March 27, 2007, 6:04 PM UTC

Hey YouTube viewers, I’m new, I hope you welcome me. I’m actually going to be making some videos and they’re going to be really neat, so I hope you check them out.

It seems innocent enough: A well-coiffed newcomer named Kallie – screen name GreenTeaGirlie – posts a 10-second introductory video on YouTube, titled “I’m new.” Sure, the shot is poorly framed – she’s in the lower righthand corner instead of the center – but on a site where a laughing baby is among the most viewed videos, you’d think the crowd would be forgiving.

You’d be very wrong.

Some combination of GreenTeaGirlie’s Lindsay-Lohan looks, her disarmingly innocent delivery and her pithy message has struck a chord with the YouTube community, both good and bad. On the good side, the simple video has been viewed more 215,000 times in less than two days – astonishing numbers usually reserved for commercials stolen from broadcast TV. On the bad side GreenTeaGirlie’s video has been ranked one-and-a-half out of five stars, mocked mercilessly in comments, and angrily spoofed in other clips.

Why are YouTubers so angry? Apparently because thousands of their peers would rather watch GreenTeaGirlie pick her fingernails than click over to their labors of love. “It’s really moronic how a 10 second video of some dumb ass pointless b—- can get so many Honors. For shamed…” laments sickdiggitydog, who has posted two unpopular videos of himself playing the bass guitar in a bedroom.

And in all this, there’s a lesson about the maturing of YouTube, the video community that Google (GOOG) bought last year for $1.65 billion. Though its purist members believe it’s a place where ordinary people can bypass Hollywood’s traditional process and release videos directly to the masses, many members really just want attention for themselves. And they lash out jealously when someone else gets it without much effort.

Don’t take it so hard, guys. It’s no big surprise that smiling, pretty girls are a hit on video before they say anything – many TV news stations have been operating on that assumption for quite a while now. If you don’t like GreenTeaGirlie’s video, ignore it.

But you can’t, can you? You just have to watch.