Tag Archives: YouTube

PopeTube? The Vatican teams up with YouTube

The Pope is feeling a little left out as YouTube chugs on growing more and more popular, so the Vatican have decided to join in on all the fun.  The Vatican is expected to announce today that they have indeed made a deal with Google to create a channel on YouTube devoted to the Pope.

The move comes as the Vatican aims to appeal to the huge one billion Roman Catholic community around the world.  The channel will also be aimed at non-Catholics in an attempt to drum up some additional interest in the religion.

The Pope has even said to have specifically approved the move.  Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli has stated that Pope Benedict XVI is a “man of dialogue” and that he relished the chance to reach people and engage with them.  Celli also added that the Pope is “fond of new technologies” and the Vatican clearly see the potential of YouTube and the community that the site reaches on a daily basis.

The plans are to update the channel daily and will provide the service in Italian, German, English and Spanish.  The material for the channel will be made up from existing services such as radio and television that the Vatican already have in place.

A source at the Vatican said, “The faithful will be able to see the Pope and church events but we hope that those who are curious will also look.”

The director of the press room, television centre and Vatican Radio, Father Federico Lombardi, announced that the move was a  “real and tangible example of the Church’s commitment in the field of new technologies, to reach out to a global audience without regard for nationality or culture.” 

Other well known figures such as the Queen and President Obama use YouTube in a similar way and Google must be over the moon at the amount of attention that they will receive from such important backing.

The managing director of European sales and media solutions at YouTube, Henrique de Castro, highlighted how the website was a perfect way for the Vatican to reach the people that they wanted to.  “YouTube is a communications platform open to all, where users, institutions and content producers come together in a global meeting place.  We are honoured that the Vatican has chosen to use the site to communicate with people across the world, and delighted that our community will have access to the words of the Pope on some of the most important issues facing the world today,” said Castro.

This new development is truly an interesting move and should soon be adopted by many other important figures around the world.  It will be interesting to see what the next move will be after YouTube.  Perhaps PopeSpace or FacePope?  The Catholic News Service already has a presence on Facebook and runs regular news items and blogs and even has a message from the Pope dedicated to President Obama.

YouTube Crackdown on Ninja’s and Terrorists

YouTube, the user generated video site, has caved in to pressure from Senator Joe Lieberman, so has laid down the law on videos that depict violence and terrorism. A statement on YouTube’s Community Guidelines page announced the changes:

“While it might not seem fair to say you can’t show something because of what viewers theoretically might do in response, we draw the line at content that’s intended to incite violence or encourage dangerous, illegal activities that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death. This means not posting videos on things like instructional bomb making, ninja assassin training, sniper attacks, videos that train terrorists, or tips on illegal street racing.”

Serious stuff. YouTube spokesperson Chris Dale commented on the change, “We at YouTube regularly review our policies and update them if we feel we can do an even better job of communicating with our users or if we find that there is content we feel may not be adequately addressed. As our blog post on the updated Community Guidelines made clear, we’re always trying to keep pace by creating policies that reflect innovative new uses of YouTube and the diverse content posted by users every day.”

Earlier this year, the senator claimed that al-Quaida terrorists and other extremist cells were using YouTube to disseminate training videos and propaganda, encouraging violence against America. At that time, YouTube claimed that due to the sheer volume of content added to the site each day, it was impossible to monitor everything, but it stressed that violent videos were not allowed. Lieberman, however, claimed YouTube kept these violent video on the site, citing the First Amendment and freedom of speech.

“YouTube certainly has a right to set its own terms of service,” John Morris, general counsel for the Center for Democracy and Technology said “If it wants to prohibit these videos, most of which are not illegal in any sense, it can do so. But this action and Sen. Lieberman’s protests about this kind of video are not going to do anything to keep these videos off the Internet. They are widely available elsewhere.

“As an effort by Sen. Lieberman to suppress these videos, it will be wildly unsuccessful.”

Morris said that not all inflammatory or dangerous speech is constitutionally protected, and most states have laws prohibiting the incitement of violence.

“If I go out on a street corner and yell to passersby that they should go and kill the mayor of my city that would not be illegal speech. Nobody would look at that speech and think I expected people to go do that,” he said. “If I said those exact same words in a meeting of my gang in my city, and I’m a gang leader and I am saying the exact same words in a meeting that’s being called to discuss what our next action is, then that might actually be illegal.”