What Chris Brown’s YouTube Apology Tells Us About New Media

“Hi, I’m Chris Brown. Since February my attorney has advised me not to speak out…”

So begins a two-minute YouTube video from the singer apologising for the vicious beating of ex-girlfriend Rihanna earlier this year.

Why has he chosen a video-sharing site, rather than a newspaper column or TV interview, to make his first public utterance on those events?

To control the message and to avoid awkward questions? If so, the plan seems to have back-fired.

One of the biggest promises of web 1.0 was disintermediation (ie) cutting out the middle man. It’s an attractive proposition for everyone, from those seeking cheaper car insurance to celebrities keen to protect or repair their reputation.

As with much else on the web the promise doesn’t necessarily match the reality. And in a web 2.0 world, a one-sided, unmediated opinion gets challenged by the crowd.

Witness the 7,793 comments (and counting) left below the video, most of them hostile, many abusive.

(Kind of) related:
The Independent Adds Video. Why?
G20, YouTube And The Three Phases of Amateur Video
Why ITV’s micropayment plan is unlikely to make the Grade

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