The other day I was sitting on our living room couch with my 10 year old daughter. She had her pink headphones plugged into her pink and purple iPod, watching YouTube videos. She sits with half her body in my lap in an attempt to snuggle, inching closer as she wiggles and stretches, making my embroidering somewhat difficult.
I asked her what she was watching and she said she was watching “how to” videos on chickens. I look over and see she is watching a video titled, “How to Fight a Chicken”.
The video featured a man who takes off his pants and chases after live chickens with a sausage. He then comes upon a thawed whole chicken carcass lying in the chicken coop. He brings the chicken and sausage inside and, for whatever reason, puts a condom on the sausage, stabs the chicken carcass with it and then attempts to flush the sausage down a toilet. Finally, he proceeds to molest the chicken carcass with his body, punching the chicken and sticking his bare feet in the body cavity while throwing eggs at the chicken, urinating and vomiting on the chicken, and finally tearing it apart.
I was appalled.
I wasn’t appalled at the man, who clearly had no respect for life or food. Those lowlifes will always exist. I was appalled that the video had over 7 million views and his channel had 7.5 million subscribers encouraging him to continue to produce this disgusting content.
As someone who has been in Internet Marketing for over 10 years, I am more than familiar with the poor content that exists on the internet. Over 90% of the content on the web is attention-getting garbage. It isn’t just individuals posting their own videos or blog content either. Companies pay to have articles written to increase traffic to their site. There is a whole multi-billion dollar industry around content creation. The real catch is this content isn’t written by industry experts. No, these companies hire ghost writers for around $20 per article, most of which are located in India or other 3rd world countries where $20 goes a lot further than in the United States. Except most of these writers have never heard of or seen half of the content they write about. Some of the more “reputable” companies will hire a U.S. based firm to write content for them, but again, 99% of the time the author knows nothing about the content. It is all about using the correct words and phrases on a page to get you to click to their site.
I told my daughter that if she wanted to learn about chickens, then we should go to the source. I put down my embroidery and she put down her iPod and we went into the basement where our 2-week old chickens were in their brooder.
I had brought down a piece of cantaloupe, a new food to our baby birds. As I laid the fruit in the brooder, the chickens all looked at it curiously. One curious chicken went over and pecked at it. Realizing it tasted good, she chirped to the others to come over and sample it. Chickens are eager to share information with the rest of the flock. A few of the others went over to sample the new food.
While most of the chickens were busy tasting the cantaloupe, we noticed Gary, our Silkie chicken happily scratching and pecking at something else. Was it a bug or leftover grains? No, Gary was eating chicken poop. Like the other chicken, he eagerly called out to the other chickens to come and sample his new discovery. Two of the chickens who still haven’t sampled the cantaloupe, went over to see what Gary was eating. Those two chickens had a decision to make.
I told my daughter that there is always someone willing to share what they are doing or have learned. Just be careful whose information you choose to follow. If you follow a Gary, you may just be eating a pile of poop.