Violence goes viral

What started out as an ambitious hip-hop website with the purpose of distributing music and reporting on hip-hop news is now just another purveyor of Internet nonsense and viral violence that simultaneously fuels racism and encourages hatred. WorldStarHipHop is currently ranked the 248th most trafficked website in America and the 880th most visited in the world, according to Alexa, a web information company that analyzes commercial web traffic.

WSHH was founded in 2005, and by 2012, it had been voted the "top hip-hop and urban culture website" for three years running by Black Entertainment Television.

Some people out there hail the site as the "CNN of hip-hop." A better name would be a black man's YouTube — not out of prejudice, but due to the fact that the site's demographic is disproportionately African American.

The site can be used as a direct link to the degradation of African American culture. Civil rights leaders would turn over in their graves at the content that is now being associated with African Americans.

In 2013, the site still distributes and premieres music and music videos, but it is better known for hosting videos of vicious street fights and fight compilations. Many students ease their consciences while watching by telling themselves that WSHH doesn't make people do bad things, it only makes them film bad things.

The site is predominantly accessed at schools by students, who would rather watch viral smut instead of learning or studying.

A simple Google search of WSHH will reveal that there is a fight compilation on the first page. Fight compilations, simply put, are five-to-10-minute videos showcasing fights that only end when the participants are either knocked out, bleeding, or jumped into submission.

The compilations, released every two or three weeks, are strangely captivating, similar to a cockfight or fighting dogs. But just as our society does not condone those activities, we should also not condone this mindless digital violence.

Visitors of the site, and anyone who regularly watches the fight compilations, have lost their humanity.

A recent phenomenon added to street fights is the chant of "WorldStar!" As soon as some poor soul is knocked out, their unconsciousness will be met with screams and cheers of "WorldStar!"

A typical fight compilation description is "McDonald's Employees Go At Each Other, 2 Vs 1 Slap Boxing, Girl Gets Busted Open At Restaurant, Jamaican Girl Gets Hit With Brick, Boy Rocked For Hitting His Girl + more."

These slices of modern-metropolitan life spell out a bleak future, not just for the United States, but the globe. These clips devoid of depth and intended to shock are somehow among the most popular on the Internet.

The truly saddening thing about WSHH is that there are able-bodied bystanders in every fight clip who could have stopped or prevented a surely negative outcome. Instead, everyone is too busy filming senseless acts of graphic violence, chanting "WorldStar," as if the whole situation were some inevitable and unavoidable outcome.

It is no wonder that the world teeters on chaos if this is what modern man watches in his spare time. If CNN and WSHH can be used in the same sentence, then both hip-hop and journalism should be ashamed of themselves.

If street fights are not your fancy, you can always check out the other random acts of violence streamed on the "top urban culture" website. The depravity ranges from high-speed vehicular homicide, to truckers mowing down a herd of sheep, to partygoers accidentally being shot by a firearm-wielding man dancing to "Gangnam Style."

If you do eventually satiate your bloodlust, then you may feel compelled to peruse the other questionable content on WSHH, which primarily consists of pornographic videos of reality stars or music video vixens.

As for the actual hip-hop found on WorldStar, most of it is not worthy of an exploratory click.

The only shred of content that is even capable of being called newsworthy was a video titled "Damn Shame: Girl Tweets '2 Drunk 2 Care' Before Crash, Taking 2 Lives." This aptly-named video features a news report about Kayla Mendoza who tweeted "2 Drunk 2 Care," before drunkenly driving her Hyundai Sonata the wrong way on the expressway, killing two innocent people.

WSHH may be successful in generating traffic, but it is also successful in continuing negative stereotypes and trains of thought. It is saddening that as a medium, WSHH squanders its potential. The website rests well within the top 1,000 most trafficked websites on the planet, but unfortunately there is no positivity to be found.

WorldStar teaches people that it is OK to follow mob mentality and treat other human beings callously, and worst of all, it conditions modern humans to believe that negativity and violence in the streets is normal. The message is simple. Why help someone during their time of suffering when you can receive half a million views making jokes about it online?

Until the nation learns that violence and tragedies are not inevitable, and that we as a society have the right to demand more of each other, this entertainment will remain commonplace.

WSHH's logo is a crown that sits atop the letter S, apparently considering itself a king of sorts. If WSHH is a king, then its subjects and kingdom consist of misguided souls lost in the void of cyberspace.

If you are looking for softcore porn, street fights, and graphic violence, then WSHH is the place to find it all. But if you are looking for hip-hop news, then look elsewhere.

Regardless of whether or not WSHH encourages bad things, or simply encourages filming bad things, it does not matter. The website does not promote positive things. So if you are at a concert or out on the street, and you hear someone shout "WorldStar," then be careful and protect your neck. You never know who might be knocked out next.