234 | Alex Winter (The YouTube Effect)

My Summer Lair Chapter #234: What Is The YouTube Effect?

The first time the words the “YouTube effect” were used were in an LA Times article in 2006. At the time it was focused on the “phenomenon” of individuals uploading clips. Now it’s shifted as this documentary explores the positive and negative aspects of the popular platform.

You know Alex Winter as the non-Keanu Reeves half of Bill and Ted. While Keanu is busy avenging his dog (mash those guys up!); Alex has mainly been directing documentaries that explore the impact of technology on our society.

Downloaded in 2012 (the impact of filesharing and Napster), 2015’s Deep Web (Silk Road and the politics of the Dark Web), The Panama Papers (leaked documents about tax havens) and Trust Machine (blockchain) both in 2018.

His latest The YouTube Effect is a nuanced look at the utopian and dystopian aspects of the popular platform we all use. You know the negative: misinformation has ruled creating a Bogus Journey for many Lost Boys. The positive is it’s an Excellent journey especially for Showbiz Kids typically ignored by traditional media.

All of this leaves us with a “strange things are afoot at the Circle-K.” feeling.

Just a sample of the themes explored in Alex Winter’s The YouTube Effect documentary now playing at Tribeca Film Festival. (Oddly enough you can see the trailer on YouTube.) The documentary posits we’re currently in a  “misinformation apocalypse.” Sounds like we need a John or Sarah Connor.

(Gale Anne Hurd was a producer on The YouTube Effect…she of course produced along with James Cameron the original Terminator Trilogy. Originally Skynet was a cautionary tale then it became a meme; sadly we diluted the danger. We’re not often a wise society.)

The YouTube Effect trailer:

The YouTube Effect @ WT F

Host Sammy Younan

Recorded: Monday June 13, 2022 at 10:30am

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