Quick, two words associated with occupy. How about Facebook and YouTube.
  You tube has become the media of choice for those who feel that the established news media is biased against their ideals, philosophies and actions. That the media doesn't give an accurate reflection of the reality of the events.
   But what of YouTube. Let me be clear, I’m not debating if the police use too much force, if there is a more peaceful way to handle confrontation or the protests or who attends. I’m talking about YouTube.  
   The clips are widely shared on the internet, particularly after protests or environmental disasters, most of which, depict corporations as anti-environment – don’t do enough to clean up oil spills or chemical dumps – and the police are inherently violent and paramilitary. They march into a crowd of protesters with batons and pepper spray and use them at the slightest provocation, a chant or comments or rocks being thrown at them. Those elements of stories are common on YouTube, yet we rare;y see before and after.
   It’s time to start to considering the biases of those who post these clips, sending them to large chains of followers, some of which get more than 2 or 3 million views. That rivals audiences of all news networks. On April 4, Fox News averaged just over 1.3 million, while CNN and MNBC together didn't reach a million.
  Look at these at these clips from the protest at the University of California Davis - same time and place.

posted by asucd
views 1,655,661
posted by wax pancake
views 156,114
posted by timasu
views 23,314
   I won't comment on the content of the videos, intelligent people can draw their own conclusions. I will say a couple of things. 
   First, these images are taken primarily from smart phones (not just these three), which are ubiquitous and have good video capabilities. These videos can be quite easily edited - hey if I can do it... Anything you can edit can reflect your beliefs. 
   Second, I would guess, with a strong certainty, that in every large protest there are incidents where protesters are approached by police in full riot gear. We hear and read protesters hurl insults at the police like ‘fuckin' Nazis.” That is about the most offensive epithet you can call somebody.
   Certainly, the potential for violence is around every corner for a police officer. They are doing a job. I imagine if a protester had their home broken into, a call to the ‘fuckin’ Nazis’ would be immediate. They provide a level of safety in our society that is unfortunately needed.
   Third, the videos are rarely sourced. Wax pancake is credited for a video. At least, state your name so that if a reporter or anyone else wants to know more you can be found. But it's safer under a psuedonym and calls into question reliability. In fact, YouTube itself has become an ersatz source. I wonder how execs at YouTube feel about that. 

   We are expected to believe without context, without a named source, with conflicting depictions of the same event. Which is most frustrating. I don't care about your bias, but at least come forward to a small degree. 
   I believe these videos and the thousands more demonstrate my original proposition. We now need to regard YouTube as a quasi-news network. It does not ask for proof from contributors who can bend a story or images to prove their biases. As far as I know, it has no intention of changing this policy. It does have a guideline that states - "
Graphic or gratuitous violence is not allowed. If your video shows someone getting hurt, attacked, or humiliated, don't post it." 
    Are these images graphic, yes, or gratutious, debatable. But I don't hear any debate.
 


05/09/2013 6:20am

wonderful post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector don't notice this. You should continue your writing. I'm sure, you've a great readers' base already!

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