Tag Archives: YouTube

Racism and the Internet

Winston Churchill once stated that the biggest argument against democracy was a 5 minute talk with the average voter.

You could argue that he had a point when you look at some of the comments on the web, in particular for me YouTube.

It is unacceptable in everyday life, in the UK and many other countries, to be blatantly racist.  A few offensive words can lose you your job, livelihood, and bring social exclusion on the individual.

You only have to think about the ill chosen words in a moment of frustration, off air from Ron Atkinson about a black player to realise that it won’t be tolerated in the media.

In Ron’s case he could mitigate, as some did on his behalf, that he had done more to help black players overcome prejudice than perhaps any other English manager – it counted for very little.

The web is different to controlled media.  (It is worth having a look at the implications of the Royal Charter). Even so I don’t fully understand is this:

The number of ignorant people on the Internet – look at a video about anything Jewish or Israel to find some unreasoned and frankly disgusting sentiments that are often nothing to do with the video.

Try it for other minorities – blacks, Hispanics, Gypsies etc – and you can find the same.

I will not write down any comments, but you can find them just the same quite easily.  I do not need to give examples because they are so ubiquitous.

I think people online can hide behind anonymity and say racist things that could not be possibly aired in their public roles.  It is certainly a factor I believe.

The question is what are YouTube, Google and other online platforms and forums going to do to about it?  What can they do in terms of the vast amount of traffic that would need to be controlled?

Well in the case of white supremacist website Jew Watch, it had a high listing on the SERPs for the term “Jew.”  Even though Google said it abhorred the site it still was very much top 5 on page one for years and despite petitions Google would not budge: “freedom of speech.”

We also have issues across borders, laws and cultures – in South America it is notoriously politically incorrect.  Luis Suarez is viewed as someone who said something blatantly racist in the UK, not so in much of South America.  Turcos (Moslem), Rusos (Jews), Chinos (Chinese), Negro (Black) etc is common currency for many and is not meant to be offensive in the way it is in the US or UK.

I think we have to accept that the Internet is a reflection of its users.  But we don’t have to fully accept that certain behaviours should be tolerated.

The unstoppable rise of video in the digital space

video in the digital spaceQuite recently I interviewed Lewis Webster of Little Orchard about video in the digital space.

I was in no doubt after talking to Lewis about what video can deliver and what its potential is – the SEO power & potential of video is something in itself, let alone just the content.

So the first SAScon speaker, Bruce Daisley from YouTube should have pulled few surprises.  But he still impressed….

Video is one third of all web traffic – Cisco

Bruce again quoting Cisco, saying it would be 90% by 2013

Every minute 24 hours worth of video is uploaded onto YouTube

And a few more points of interest….

More people are referred to YouTube than come straight to it

Twitter & 3G is pushing video

YouTube is concentrating on delivering live content such as recent U2 & Alicia Keys gigs, and is aiming to facilitate ordinary users doing the same, albeit perhaps on a smaller scale.

Bruce ended by a little name checking of great viral video: Ok Go’s fantastic videoparodied by The Simpsons, so it must be good and the Evian baby commercial.

The viral potential of both far outstripped expectations: it made Ok Go, leading to sponsorship and big increases in record sales when I believe they were pretty insignificant at their record label; the Evian brass only expected 2 million views, they got 58 million.  Wow quite a return on both.

This brings me neatly on to my selling opportunity: if you are a digital agency that is looking at video, then continue reading….

Vision + Media is heavily sponsoring experienced TV professionals to undertake placements in digital agencies.

The cost is a paltry £30 a day to the agency, everything else sponsored by Vision + Media.

So you can learn about video in the digital space – could be editing and production techniques as much as camera elements – and use highly skilled professionals to work on live projects from the word go.

If you are interested click here for more, but hurry you only have until this Friday to register (you can use your placement at anytime afterwards).

Abuse of YouTube by advertising agencies

abuse of youtube

Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to get into advertising?  Are you the cream?  Well you might feel a little sour by the following lame attempts by advertising agencies to be creative and funny, about as funny as comediennes Mel (looks a little like Alien Life Form aka ALF, I have pictured the original so you can make a comparison) and Sue.

Scamp the popular advertising industry blog names and shames three:

Ukranian creative agency Provid see their bottom clenching version of Go West by The Pet Shop Boys at www.provid.com.ua/

An old one by a European office of Mind Share which reminds me of footballers singing an FA Cup song, but not a good song, or a Eurotrash feature.

But the worst has to be a tribute to that icon of advertising David Ogilvy by the agency he created.  It did have me in two minds: was it shameful or just awful?

The question is what are they saying about themselves and what they offer?  Very little, except I really wouldn’t want to do business with such annoying people.  Moreover, creative people that are being silly, not original or creative.

I think PushON’s Number One on The Google shows a bit of humour and gets the message across that they are serious about what they do.

So here be the lesson: It is not using YouTube or any channel that counts, it is how you use that channel.  Enough of my superior lecturing.

Anyway enjoy!

YouTube should be vetted say MPs but for children misses the point


The Culture, Media and Sport select committee has stated that a new industry body should be set up to protect children from harmful content on YouTube.

This misses the point for me.

Firstly, you can find quite horrible content all over the Internet.  So if an under age individual wants to find pornographic, drugs related or Manchester United content, it is there unless blocked.  And even if blocked it can surely be found one way or another.

For me on YouTube it is not the video as much as the comments that need to be looked at.  The countless racist, bigoted, hate filled diatribes are not well policed by YouTube.  And there are links back to the YouTube pages of the authors of the quotes.  Well, if you want to hook up with a neo-Nazi it is not too hard.

Some of the YouTube pages for users are truly shocking and frightening and if in print form in the UK would surely be flagged up and dealt with, or you would hope so.

While “saving the children”, why not just save everyone from individuals exploiting YouTube’s blind spot?