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.
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.
Nelson Mandela reports that he is, in fact, alive.
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)
Prime Minister John Howard’s video is here.
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:
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.
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)
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)
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.
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.)
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.