Videos of fights
The website is infamous for posting videos of violent fights, public sexual acts, public shaming, child shaming, and child abuse. Many of the videos of violent events have gone viral. For this reason, WorldStarHipHop has been classified as a shock site. The Gothamist blog describes the site as "an Internet cesspool that's cashed in big on senseless fight videos. The site's popularity has created a sort of voyeuristic feedback loop, in which disassociated bystanders immediately videotape violent incidents and act as if they're already watching a video on the Internet." Jeff Himmelman of The New York Times stated that the website "does many things but mostly hosts videos of fights."
David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun said that "Now in its sixth year, WorldStar is seen by many critics as yet another example of the coarsening of American cultureand life—another low on a downward continuum that extends from the Jerry Springer-style trash-talk shows of the 1980s and 1990s through to the TMZ.com and RadarOnline websites of today." Some media observers argued that, in the words of Zurawik, "because of its African-American identity, it has the potential to be used by some viewers to create or fuel stereotypes of urban America as an out-of-control, chaotic space dominated by young, violent, African-American men."Nsenga Burton, the editor at large of The Root and an associate professor at Goucher College, described the site as "basically shock video. They comb the pop cultural landscape for videos that are shocking on multiple levels and feed into peoples' voyeuristic tendencies."
As of 2012, in some videos of violent fights, people chant "World Star" in recognition that the video may be posted on the website.
One 2012 video, showing an Elyria, Ohio (Greater Cleveland) woman, Tashay D. Edwards beating another woman, went viral. Edwards became so well known that it trended on Twitter along with the name "WorldStarHipHop". The video received about one million views in a single day.