Is ‘World Star Hip-Hop’ Damaging The Black Community?

News & Views | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 01/23/2014 | 09:45 AM EST

The video aggregating site is profiting quite the profit, but at what cost?

If you’ve never heard of “Sharkeisha” consider yourself lucky. The teen became an instant online phenomenon when a video of her viciously punching another girl in the face for allegedly trying to flirt with her “man” went viral on the Internet. But rather than the online community harrowing in disgust and calling for justice, the video actually, for the most part, became an online spectacle and, in many ways, validated the savage occurrence.

Sadly, videos like this are shared on a daily basis on the popular site “World Star Hip-Hop.” Unlike YouTube, WSHH aggregates or filters videos that typically showcase extreme violence and outrageous stereotypes within the Black community-- women-on-women and Black-on-Black violence in particular. The majority of the videos are shot guerilla style and garner hundreds of thousands of views, while millions visit the site daily.

The popular site, which was founded in 2005, has become so synonymous with violence that whenever a fight or something outrageous breaks out on the streets, you can be certain to hear someone in the background yelling, “World Star!” - making it known that they intend on uploading the video on the infamous site for the world to see.

But what is viewed as entertainment is done at the expense of an already tainted perception of the Black community. While lower-middle class and poor class Black people are becoming Internet famous with nothing to show for it, WSHH is profiting millions of dollars - and I’m sure it’s not going to charities or towards building up the very community it’s actually helping to cripple. One browse through the online site and you will more than likely find yourself in complete disgust with the images that are purposely and strategically filtered for its audience, which sadly are young teenagers.

It many ways, World Star Hip-Hop is simply a mirror of what’s happening in the real world. It would be foolish to somehow suggest that WSHH is forcing the hand of violence in the Black community, however, what can be argued is that the site only keeps alive a culture of violence. In nearly a decade, WSHH has become a household name among Black youth and "the 'hood," and arguably has incited more of a desire to not only showcase violence, but to do it in such a public and viral way.

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