“PURRfection”

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Abstract

This article explores the participatory extension of humor in social media in connection with Burn’s idea of produsage. Specifically, this work offers a discursive analysis of viewers’ comments on the viral YouTube video Kitten Zoom Filter Mishap to unveil the ways in which the audience appropriated elements from the original content and broadened its humorous effect. The results of the analysis show a prevalence of textual comments conveyed through a variety of linguistic structures. Both the structures used and the meaning expressed through them transformed the video into a more humorous and culturally and linguistically complex artifact. This transformation, in turn, resulted in a new distinct social community among the video’s viewers, expanding and at the same time limiting humor co-participation, which reflects YouTube’s capacity for enabling produsage, but also constraining participation.