Congress invades YouTube

January 15, 2009

News: The Senate has an official YouTube channel. So does the House.

Analysis: Incredibly interesting, especially following President Obama’s YouTube channel. Kind of makes Viacom’s theory that YouTube’s business model is based on copyright infringement pretty laughable. Except for the judiciary, the entire federal government is now on YouTube.

Australia uses YouTube to campaign against whaling in Japan

October 10, 2007

News: In a video title “Kids connected to a world of whales,” the Australian Minister for the Environment Malcolm Turnbull has targeted Japan for his anti-whaling message. “Can you imagine what life on Earth would be like without these magnificent creatures? Hundreds of years of whaling nearly wiped them out,” Turnbull says. “We urge all countries, especially our friends in Japan, to bring their whaling programs to an end.”

The video even comes with Japanese subtitles. Japan allows hunting of the humpback whale and reportedly over 500 whales were killed last year. (more)

Analysis: The video already has over 16,000 views. The Australian government is the first government to use YouTube in such an overt way for propaganda targeted at another country.  Using children in the debate, wow, now that’s bringing out all the stops.

Pres. Bush mistakenly declares “Mandela is dead”

September 21, 2007

Nelson Mandela reports that he is, in fact, alive.

Australian PM Howard makes YouTube video to ask for good behavior before APEC meeting w/ Bush

September 4, 2007

News:  Downtown Sydney near the meeting place of the APEC conference already has been fenced off.  Now, Prime Minister John Howard has posted this video on YouTube to explain all the security and discourage any violent protests. 

As the narrator on the video remarks, “Violent protesters will most probably target APEC. There will be other protesters who will do so peacefully but for those who don’t and seek to disrupt APEC, there will be significant policing and security responses taken.”  (More)

YouTube Spotlight: Rudy Giuliani

July 19, 2007

So who’s on YouTube?: Aussie PM John Howard

July 19, 2007

Prime Minister John Howard’s video is here. 

So who’s on YouTube?: The European Union (EU)

July 2, 2007

News: It’s called EUTube. The EU Commission is one of the governing bodies of the European Union, which basically oversees much of the economic and political terms for 27 countries. The basic idea is to create one common market among the EU countries, ruled by the same laws and principles.

Tony Blair leaves office on YouTube

June 28, 2007

Whether you agreed or disagreed with his policies, Tony Blair has left his mark at least in one respect:  he’s the most powerful elected official of a country to regularly post videos on YouTube.   He’s the YouTube King Prime Minister.  Here’s why:

The YouTube Democratic Party presidential debate, July 23rd

June 12, 2007

News: July 23rd will mark the first of the Democratic Party’s presidential debates this summer. It’s co-sponsored by YouTube and CNN. It already is shaping up to be an historic event. YouTube users will be asked to send in video questions on YouTube before the debate, some of which apparently will be played during the debate. As CNN’s Anderson Cooper said, “I’m going to host it, but, basically, it is going to be your questions and your YouTube videos the candidates are going to have to sit through and watch. So make them creative.” (More)

Meanwhile, The New York Times blog discusses how the presidential candidates can “flood the zone” on YouTube and neutralize negative videos with a bunch of other videos. (More)

Analysis: The Democratic Party presidential debate should be interesting to watch, particularly with its use of YouTube videos. Sounds like an episode of Jeopardy. Getting a video may be Double Jeopardy.

Banned Venezuelan TV network airs on YouTube

June 2, 2007

News:  Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez shut down Radio Caracas Television (RCTV), a Venezuelan opposition TV network.  So now, RCTV is posting on YouTube.  (More)  It’s the most subscribed channel this week.

YouTube back up in Morocco

May 31, 2007

No official word on why it was blocked.  More.

YouTube down in Morocco

May 30, 2007

News:  Since May 25, YouTube has been unavailable in Morocco.  Some people in Morocco suggest that the government has blocked the site due to videos critical of Morocco’s actions in Western Sahara.  But the state owned Internet service provider says it’s just a technical glitch, while the government has no comment.  (More)

US military stops soldiers from using MySpace + YouTube on gov’t computers

May 15, 2007

News:  The ban applies in Iraq and apparently on all defense computer networks.  The soldiers can still MySpace and YouTube and other banned social networking websites on private computers.  “These actions were taken to enhance and increase network security and protect the use of the bandwidth,” said Col. Gary Keck, a Pentagon spokesman.  Personal emails are still OK. (More)

YouTube caves in to Thai gov’t, removes all but 2 clips

May 12, 2007

News: After receiving word that it would be criminally prosecuted in Thailand, YouTube finally caved in. It removed most of the video clips that allegedly made fun of the Thai king, which is a violation of Thai law. (Some of the videos may have already been removed by the poster.) In a letter sent by Google attorneys, YouTube said that 2 clips would remain on the site because “[t]hey appear to be political comments that are critical of both the government and the conduct of foreigners. Because they are political in nature, and not intended insults of His Majesty, we do not see a basis for blocking these videos.” (more)

Analysis: I was surprised YouTube hadn’t complied with the Thai government’s request from the start, since YouTube did so for an earlier request by the Turkish government (see here). Other countries may have more restrictive speech laws than we, so YouTube (like other websites) is put in the position of “censoring” speech in order to operate within those other countries’ laws. That’s the challenge of running a site on the Internet.

YouTube goes to Congress, Congress videotapes it

May 11, 2007

So who’s on YouTube: Congress is. This is historic, and hilarious. Rep. Ed Markey shot the video above and then did the interview of Chad Hurley below. If you are a YouTube junkie like me, these are the two best videos I have seen in 2007. (Chad Hurley testified, as did Mark Cuban. I hope to have more analysis later.  Rep. Mike Ferguson, a Republican New Jersey, did apparently attack Chad about copyright infringement.)

PM Blair uses YouTube to congratulate new French President Sarkozy

May 7, 2007

You can see more videos from Prime Minister Blair on his YouTube channel, DowningSt.  I’m still waiting for Pres. Bush’s channel on YouTube.

Prime Minister Tony Blair joins YouTube

April 25, 2007

Just another sign of the influence YouTube has had on politics. UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Labour Party have set up their own channel on YouTube. I think they need to buy a better video camera, though, because the first video from Blair is a little grainy.

What next? George W. Bush on YouTube.

German Chancellor vlogs on YouTube

November 27, 2006

News:  Wired critiques the videos of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which are available on the German government site and, of course, on YouTube.  Wired reports:

“I don’t know who can take these seriously,” says Ivo Smolak, aka Ivo Lotion, a video artist and underground comedian whose spoofs of Merkel’s speeches have become a hit on YouTube. “I like her, but her body language is unintentionally so funny it’s just asking for satire. Maybe she just needs more time in front of the camera.” * * *

“Thursdays or Fridays, Merkel meets with a production crew and shoots for about 15 minutes somewhere in the German executive office building, sometimes using handheld cameras. Topics in the last few weeks have ranged from a heartfelt reaction to the kidnapping and murder of a 2-year-old child last month to snoozers on the “German-Polish relationship” and economic growth.”

Analysis:  Unbelievable, the head of a country youtubing!  I wish I understood German.

The political power of YouTube

September 26, 2006

Just a year and a half old, and YouTube is already impacting the political campaigns of several politicians.  Video of candidates “caught on tape” saying something insensitive or stupid find their way onto YouTube for public consumption.  It makes you wonder what politicians say behind closed doors.

The most famous involves this video taken by a supporter of candidate James Webb.  Senator George Allen infamously called the Webb supporter (who is of Indian descent) a “macaca,” a word referring to a type of monkey that can be considered a racial slur when used to describe a person.  After two public apologies, Senator Allen has seen his double digit lead evaporate to a statistical tie with his opponent. 

CBS reports of another incident involving Senator Joe Biden, who is caught on tape saying, “You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking!”

The sad part is that Senator Biden wasn’t joking, and that he was speaking to someone who appeared to be of Indian descent.

U.S. government joins YouTube bandwagon

September 19, 2006

News: The U.S. government just announced that it will be using YouTube to distribute anti-drug videos in its campaign against drug use, especially by teenagers.  John Walters, Bush’s top drug official, said. “Public institutions must adapt to meet the realities of these promising technologies.” (More from Wash Post)

Analysis: This is another sign of the growing popularity of YouTube among legitimate providers of content.  Having the U.S. government use YouTube is absolutely huge, in terms of the legitimacy of the company.  It also makes sense to try to reach teenagers through YouTube, since many spend their time surfing through videos.  One thing that has set YouTube apart from the typical website is that the average user spends a significant amount of Internet time on YouTube.