Itâ€™s not an inherent law of the universe that if you have to cite a 30-minute video, it means you donâ€™t actually have any cogent arguments. But it does seem to be a law of the Internet. Perhaps thatâ€™s for the best, though; it means when the deepfakes arrive en masse, we â€” or, at least, the critical thinkers among us â€” will be suspicious already. Letâ€™s hope automatic skepticism of videos spreads before then.
My guess is that the citer is passing on the video because they found it persuasive (itâ€™s usually accompanied with, â€œYou have to watch the whole thing!â€), not because it would persuade anyone else or because it illustrates some significant point to consider. Itâ€™s a litmus test for community: â€œI was persuaded by this! You should be too.â€ I would also suggest that the citer would not claim the video was â€œpersuasiveâ€ (they wouldnâ€™t use that term) but â€œthe truth.â€ At that point, bring in McLuhan. Thereâ€™s a dissertation lurking here.