'Dear Diary' can't compete with a teary, intemperate rant on YouTube

Some say it's cathartic. Gillian Orr says maybe they should calm down

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The Independent Online

When it was revealed last week that Kristen Stewart had cheated on her boyfriend Robert Pattinson, there was possibly only one person more devastated than RPatz himself. Emma Clarke, 25, from Carlisle, a huge fan of the Twilight films in which the couple star, posted a self-filmed rant on YouTube that sees her break down in tears over Stewart's actions. "I don't understand why she would do this!" she cries.

The video instantly went viral, notching up a million hits in just one day. Someone who offered their support for Clarke was 24-year-old Chris Crocker, who tweeted: "Just saw the video of the Twilight (Kristen/Robert) fan. Keep your head up." Crocker is better known as the young man who hysterically begged viewers to "Leave Britney Alone!" in a similar tearful YouTube rant back in 2007, which has since been watched by 44 million people.

There are thousands of YouTube vloggers who record and post their thoughts on various affairs, anything from celebrity gossip to politics. A 19-year-old Londoner, Olajide Olatunji, received a million hits for his self-recorded, foul-mouthed diatribe against the Arsenal footballer Robin van Persie after he announced his desire to leave the club earlier this month.

Gone are the days when people would take out their frustrations in a journal. Now more and more are choosing to pick up a camera and share their views online.

"It's cathartic: the internet as passive therapist," says Benji Lanyado, a journalist and web developer. "In the old days, anyone in need of a rant could only call on those in their immediate vicinity, often the person sitting next to them in the pub. Today, you have the option of broadcasting it to the world."

Vloggers' rants are often ill-thought out and exceptionally emotional, showing many to be obsessive, even aggressive. Their popularity lies in the audience ridiculing the star. "They often become figures of fun," says Claire Wardle at Storyful, a social media news agency. "It feels a little like Big Brother and the diary room. They are unaware that everyone is laughing at them."

So what was the reasoning behind Emma Clarke's emotional video? "I had to say something about it; I had to have my two cents' worth," she says. "I don't think it would feel like a relief if I wrote something in a diary. It wouldn't feel the same. The videos are 100 per cent honest. If I think it, I say it. You can't do that in real life. I only do it on YouTube."

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