How YouTube Just Screwed "Gangnam Style" [Update]

Illustration for article titled How YouTube Just Screwed Gangnam Style [Update]

"Gangnam Style" has been nothing short of an internet phenomenon. But a new YouTube tweak might help bring that phenomenon to a swift end, regulating PSY's "Horse Dance" to something that's so September 2012.

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As Korean pop culture site Omona They Didn't points out, YouTube has changed how it ranks videos. Starting this week, YouTube no longer ranks videos by views. Instead, it ranks them by engagement. Meaning? Meaning more importance is placed on how long people watch a video, with greater weight given to videos that are watched all the way through and make people stay on YouTube and watch other videos.

How does that impact "Gangnam Style"? As of writing, the video has been completely knocked the YouTube video out of the Most Viewed Videos section.

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The video first entered the top 15 on July 31. By August 1, it was number one, where it remained until October 9. On October 16, it completely vanished from the most viewed section. As a commenter on My Game News Flash points out, here's how the other Most Viewed songs were seemingly impacted by this ranking change:

PSY "Gangnam Style" - 1 → M.I.A.

One Direction "Live While We're Young" - 2 → 1

Carly Rae Jepsen "Call Me Maybe" 3 → 2

David Guetta "She Wolf (Falling To Pieces) ft. Sia" - 4 → 6

Taylor Swift "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" - 5 → 3

One Direction "What Makes You Beautiful" - 6 → 7

Maroon 5 "One More Night" - 7 → 6

Christina Aguilera "Your Body" - 8 → 20

Jennifer Lopez "Goin' In ft. Flo Rida" - 9 → 9

Justin Bieber "As Long As You Love Me ft. Big Sean" - 10 → 8

Omona They Didn't thinks this means that people have only been watching the video for a few seconds, before closing it—that, or there are folks (or bots) refreshing over and over again.

Japanese site RBB Today is reporting how this sudden disappearance is being viewed online as "strange", noting that net users are saying things like the song's popularity was "manufactured" or "phony" and this just shows how "fake" the phenomenon was. On many Japanese blogs, there are accusations that the song only got views because of bots, calling it "F5 Style".

The song was never really popular in Japan, so there might have been some jealously online when the tune seemed to go supernova in the West, perhaps due to tensions between the two countries.

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The tune did catch on in the West, and it definitely became a thing—just look at how well it's sold outside of South Korea. Or ask anyone who's been in a club the last few months. PSY created a hit tune and an iconic dance, and nobody can take that away from him.

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The YouTube ranking change makes it seem like PSY (or his management) gamed the system—whereas, maybe there were just a lot of people watching the video over and over again or simply only watching part of it? That shouldn't necessarily dilute the tune's cultural impact, which has been significant.

The question now, however, isn't whether or not "Gangnam Style" was big, but how big it actually was.

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Update: Good news PSY fans! "Gangnam Style" is now back at number one on the YouTube Most Viewed charts—and number three.

Gangnam Style out of the most viewed music chart due to YouTube changes [Omona They Didnt]

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ブームがいきなり終焉!? K-POP「江南スタイル」がランク外に消える"珍事"が勃発 [RBB Today]

(Top photo: Chung Sung-Jun | Getty)


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DISCUSSION

No. You know what screwed "Gangnam Style"? Itself.

Because it's fucking stupid. It's the latest example of the overrated, useless and idiotic mindnumbing sheep-attracting braindead "trend" stupidity of the "internet meme". It's a bunch of bad, stupid fucking dancing. Whoop-de-shit. It's not any more culturally relevant, entertaining, or funny than the lowest common denominator crap of a lolcat photo or a youtube video of a moron lighting his crotch on fire. The most pathetic and stupid shit tends to become an "internet sensation" and I've often rolled my eyes at the baffling popularity of out-and-out drivel like Rebecca Black's "Friday", or that inspid Nyan Cat, but this. This is where I draw the line.

A bunch of fuckheads badly dancing. As I've said, whoop-de-shit. I swear to fucking god, jiggling car keys could be an internet meme. Especially if you jiggle them to bad techno music. It fills the requisites, if this is any indication. If it could entertain an infant that doesn't know what it's looking at for longer than 5 seconds, it qualifies that special requiremewnt to be a popular internet meme.

This is the lowest of the bottom of the stupid barrel. Everywhere I see is "Gangnam Style" this and "Gangnam Style" that. Fuck this stupid Gangnam Style bullshit. And if I see one more stupid fucking imitation of this stupid fucking dance, or another stupid fucking nitwit talking about it, or giving it another fucking "news" article that this unfunny, stupid, mindless, overrated, drivel doesn't deserve, I'm going to dropkick a fucking kitten or a 5-month old baby.