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Chris Brown, a popular music artist who is widely known for beating his long time girlfriend Rihanna, recently addressed his fans with a public apology. In the fit of rage Brown beat Rihanna leaving her severely battered and bruised. Brown was charged with a felony assault and sentenced to six months of community service in his home town. Community service is all he gets as punishment? Give me a break. His public plea is an attempt to improve how society values women. Good Luck with that one Chris.

Here is a picture of what Rihannna looked like before Chris Brown beat her:

rhianna

And here is a picture of Rihanna after Chris Brown beat her:

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rihanna-beaten-face

Reporter Ken Lee from Peoples magazine discusses the brutal incident more clearly. Lee goes into detail and exclaims, “According to the notes taken by Detective De Shon Andrews, blood filled Rihanna’s mouth. Brown, 19, allegedly told her, “I’m going to beat the s— out of you when we get home. You wait and see!” Rihanna called her assistant and left a message saying, “I am on my way home. Make sure the cops are there when I get there.” The police notes say that prompted Brown to reply: “You just did the stupidest thing ever. Now I’m really going to kill you.”

Domestic violence is something that should be taken more seriously. There is no excuse for beating a woman. No matter what the situation, no female should feel threatened by those she believes love her.

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YouTube has recently begun changing their policies on the kind of  sex and violence that their users may or may not upload onto the site.  Currently, YouTube’s ‘new upload’ page has a message that reads like this:

Important: Do not upload any TV shows, music videos, music concerts, or commercials without permission unless they consist entirely of content you created yourself.

Within the Community Guidelines, YouTube says to users:

Graphic or gratuitous violence is not allowed. If your video shows someone getting hurt, attacked or humiliated, don’t post it.

This is an extremely interesting turn of events. As blogger Jackson West recorded in his blog NewTeeVee.com, in 2007 Google had recently purchased YouTube and suddenly the policies of the site changed from letting the user do what they want to what West calls “Violence up, boobs down.”   The site was garnering a lot of attention from the media for videos depicting gangs, and violence. This was seemingly a world that many individuals had not been privy to before the invention of YouTube.

Now, it’s not like violence on YouTube is no longer newsworthy. In fact, many school yard fights are still uploaded to YouTube. Then the media follows, beginning with character interviews straight through to sentencing and the forced apology videos posted to YouTube.

If the media is still interested and the public is using it for educational purposes, why the ban on violence when the gratuitous sex issue was resolved by using an age verification system. Why should violence be different?

I ask these questions not because I am pro violence, and not because I’m glad sex is still allowed on YouTube – on the contrary, actually. However, YouTube has become a mass media outlet for the consumer. YouTube has created a medium for the average individual to speak to the world in any way they see fit – the creation of the prosumer (producer-consumer). The more limits that are put on what can and cannot be posted lessen the volume of the prosumer’s voice in the mass media market. We all know that sex sells. We all know that the shock value from violence grabs the attention of the viewer. Without these core aspects of advertising, prosumer videographers will have to find new ways to grab the viewers’ attention. But how will the new ‘shock values’ fare against the mass media’s sex and violence? Things are not looking good for the prosumer.

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Advertisement and sex go hand in hand. Sex sells. It captures our attention and leaves us almost always wanting more. Even subtle hints about sex will make us curious.

Companies deliberately link their products with sexual information: because of our biology we can’t help but be drawn to it. – Tom Reichert

Advertising also creates impressions to make consumers believe that they need to purchase a certain product to be fully satisfied with life. We often think, “I need to buy this because it will make me happier.” Companies often associate their products with sexual needs and desires. Tom Reichert states “Many people consider sex in advertising, the use of sexy words and images in selling messages.” Once again, sex sells. It is also important to note that there is a great amount of competition to sell a brand name as there are several established high-end competitors and in today’s society. Sex, most often, is the main theme to sell a brand. Examples of sexy brand names include Victoria’s Secret, Gucci and American Apparel.

Sex is used to sell several products that can range from beer to cigarettes to cars to video games. How about house appliances? Ikea recently created a commercial that uses sex and violence to sell their product. A girl dies right before she is about to get some.

Here is another banned “Tidy up” advertisement from Ikea:

The above “Banned Ikea Commercials” posted on YouTube, reinforce the idea that women are often a target of sexual attraction. These video are from Ikea’s popular “Tidy Up” campaign. Commercial producers often use humour and sex to sell their products to potential customers. Laughing ehnances the experience of watching the ad and also creates a specific impression.

Industries have played a role in contributing especially to the normalisation of violence. – Dr. C. Kay Weaver

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