YouTube has quietly enacted a sort of practical joke on their viewers — their very own vuvuzela button added to videos posted on the site.
When pressed, the soccer ball icon — located at the bottom right of the YouTube control panel — emits a loud buzzing over the audio of any video, similar to what a World Cup viewer endures for 90 minutes when trying to enjoy a televised game. While it’s difficult to determine which videos have received the “feature,” as YouTube hasn’t responded to our requests for comment, most are amusingly not related to soccer. Here’s a video of Glee‘s Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley and Chris Colfer on the BBC’s Friday Night with Jonathan Ross last week, with optional vuvuzela background.
It’s hard to tell if the video is more interesting before or after the vuvuzela action is enacted.
Vuvuzelas have become a sort of cultural symbol of the World Cup, despite the torn vocal cords and swollen lips and hearing damage that some overeager hornblowers have inflicted on themselves.
The vuvuzela action isn’t available on every video, not even every video of the World Cup. Although you wouldn’t really need a button when you have the real thing, would you?
UPDATE, 5:10 p.m.
The YouTube press office has replied to our email inquiry with a quote about the vuvuzela button. According to YouTube spokeswoman Mandy Albenese:
“[In] the spirit of the World Cup and the fervor that has gripped [the] YouTube office, the vuvuzela button was added June 23 and will remain an option for users until the final championship game on July 11.”