Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

What Is Real On YouTube? 277

Posted by kdawson
from the i'll-believe-it-when-i-see-it dept.
An anonymous reader writes, "The popularity of user-generated video sites like YouTube has given rise to deceptive videos created for self-promotion, advertising, or even smearing rival brands. This latter format, dubbed the 'smear video,' depicts a rival brand's product exhibiting fictitious faults. One example is the 21-second YouTube video entitled 'Samsung handset, easy to break at one try!', which shows a smiling woman easily snapping the new Samsung Ultra Edition mobile phone in half. Samsung says the phone was rigged to snap and the video has now been removed from the site. The article also accuses those who created the now infamous Lonelygirl15 YouTube videos of 'deception for profit. Misrepresenting commercials as independent user-generated content, actors as members of the public, and fiction as fact.' Will user-generated video sites increasingly confront visitors with the disturbing possibility that the video they're watching is not a home video at all, but a sophisticated ad campaign?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

What Is Real On YouTube?

Comments Filter:
  • by larry bagina (561269) on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:39PM (#16133382) Journal
    Slashdot users are pretty adept at spotting slashvertisements [slashdot.org] and astrotrufing (better than the slashdot editors, it would seem. Did anyone think "lonelygirl15" was real?
    • by TopShelf (92521)
      Slashvertisements are a little different, however, as they are articles posted by the editors. There have always been informative newspaper articles that in another light, could be looked at as advertisements. For instance, a piece about the dangers of personal computing in the internet age could refer to leading antivirus packages.

      On sites like YouTube, however, the premise is that you're seeing personal content being posted. Really, it's just an extension to the maxim of taking in content with a critic
    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:45PM (#16133449) Journal
      Headline: Not everything on the internet is real

      More news at 11


      How are fake videos any different from fake websites?

      I wish someone had taken the old "fake website" con, changed it to "fake video" and patented the idea.

      For the day that faux computer generated humans are perfected, I call dibs on "fake webcam sluts"
      • I call dibs on "fake webcam sluts"


        I'm pretty sure a google search will show enough examples of "prior art" =)
      • by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:56PM (#16134400) Homepage
        How are fake videos any different from fake websites?

        I would say that the difference is that videos have a higher trust level then random websites. Websites themself are a new thing that didn't existed before, so we handle them with some extra care. But for the past 100 or so years we already had cinemas and later TVs to show us video, so we are already familar with them and don't handle them with extra care. Sure, what you have seen on TV or on movies might not have been real, but it was relativly easy to judge the 'reality level'. If the military is showing you how nice war is, its easy to tell that it might be propaganda, if Fox News is showing it, it might not be much difficult either. If advertising is shown on TV it is normally cleary marked. In short, if you see something in the theatre or in TV you know its source and its purpose and can judge it on that basis.

        Youtube however is different, you don't have a source, its anonymous, even more anonymous then a webpage, where IP and 'whois' will often uncover the truth. It however doesn't even stop with that, Youtube videos are also shown out of context, when something is shown on TV you have some information on when it was filmed and such, on Youtube you havn't, you just have the video itself. Often the videos are even cut, incomplete or posted with incorrect description to blur any clear hint to the true origin of the material.

        I don't think this is just a problem with advertisment, since with that you sooner or later still have to get the product name so that you can actually buy the thing and by that you can figure out the source. I think this could turn into a much bigger problem, kind it alters our perception of reality. There are already tons of advertisment videos on Youtube with the ending cut out, so you no longer can easily tell if it is advertisment, some piece of a movie or real video footage of a real event. For example look at this video: Lost Wheel [google.com] What does is show? A real event or what? Could you tell it from the video alone?

        Now that Lost Wheel video of course doesn't show an event of any real importance, so in that case its a non issue. But what about military propagande that sneaks in, while being masked as real footage from the battlefield shoot by a normal soldier? What about cool home-made stunt video that in reality was just a special effect? Kids are already repeating a lot of stuff they see in those videos, that might not exactly get better when the stuff they try to repeat is impossible to begin with. I am not really sure where it is going, but spending some time on Youtube or GoogleVideo can certainly be quite a bit confusing when it comes to judging what of that what you have seen is real and what isn't.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Schemat1c (464768)
          What about cool home-made stunt video that in reality was just a special effect? Kids are already repeating a lot of stuff they see in those videos, that might not exactly get better when the stuff they try to repeat is impossible to begin with.

          We've been dealing with that since The Three Stooges. Just natural selection at work, nothing to worry about.
    • Quite a lot of people it seems. Quite a few got the underlying story where its believed she is to be sacrificed on the 22nd October by her Satanists parents (alledgelly).

      However after her interview on MTV, it turns out she may nothing more then a clever marketing viral advert for revver.com which is a rival of YouTube.

      I recommend watching the lonelyOctober videos on youTube. The purple puppet explains the plot.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by RLiegh (247921) *
      >Did anyone think "lonelygirl15" was real?
      Yes. I saw threads about her on several message boards I frequent where people who were decently intelligent (judging by the quality of their posts on other subjects) were discussing her without appearing to have a clue that it was a set-up.
    • by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Monday September 18, 2006 @05:43PM (#16133913) Homepage Journal
      lashdot users are pretty adept at spotting slashvertisements and astrotrufing (better than the slashdot editors, it would seem. Did anyone think "lonelygirl15" was real


      What? There are astroturfers on /.? No way!

      BTW-- I hear that everything on Google Video [google.com] is real, because they don't do evil.

    • by pjt33 (739471)
      The Times newspaper did [timesonline.co.uk].
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by andrewdski (797069)
      Wait, lonelygirl15 isn't real?
  • hmm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by aleksiel (678251) on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:40PM (#16133390)
    i'm kinda unclear on how the whole lonelygirl project generated much/any profit.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      It didnt generate any profit. However, it did give this unknown actress her 15 minutes of fame. I dont think its really about lonelygirl. I think its really about what the next ones going to do. Soon, the internet videos that all the lil kiddies love to watch are going to be filled with product placement just like the full length movies.
    • by RLiegh (247921) *
      The creators now have several articles in various news outlets to add to their resumes and will be able to use those the next time they try to sell some half-assed idea of theirs. IE the profit was in publicity and 'buzz', not in dollars.
      • by grazzy (56382)
        Yeah, just too bad they burnt their best ace up their sleeves on promoting youtube.com.. imagine ep #666 of lonleygirlsucidediaries15 where she brings up a pair of nikes and "ive finally found what sneakers im gonna use when jumping of the cliff!!" .. priceless.
    • Re:hmm (Score:4, Informative)

      by Peter Mork (951443) <Peter.Mork@gmail.com> on Monday September 18, 2006 @05:27PM (#16133805) Homepage

      From a Washington Post article: "[Lonelygirl15] was a 19-year-old acress named Jessica Rose." Skip to the next paragraph: "Rose landed on 'The Tonight Show.'"

      The profit is in self-promotion. The other filmmakers "have since signed with Creative Artists Agency."

    • Re:hmm (Score:4, Insightful)

      by PhiRatE (39645) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:54PM (#16134394)
      You fool! Don't you reaise that nobody does *anything* unless they're making money from it? artists wouldn't paint, musicians wouldn't record, nobody would do anything. Without the all-powerful profit motive we would all be vacant-eyed lumps of nothing being eaten alive by our own shoelaces!! all hail the RIAA, bless their little cotton socks, lest we be faced with a world bereft of art!
  • by soft_guy (534437) on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:41PM (#16133400)
    I am shocked, shocked I tell you! LonleyGirl isn't real?! People would actually post videos that are not what they appear to be?!

    This comes as a great revelation to us all!
    • by tverbeek (457094)

      As long as people continue to be gullible idiots*, there will be people who will exploit that.

      *The fact that anybody believed lonelygirl15 was real, more than a couple minutes into her first episode, indicates they still are

      • Re:I am SHOCKED (Score:5, Interesting)

        by KnightMB (823876) on Monday September 18, 2006 @11:55PM (#16135701)
        It's true there are a lot of fake videos on youtube, but don't let it smear the real ones. I have a video of my daughter on youtube, not because it's fake, but for a real experience of the troubles her mother is causing our family. Because the mother has drained my resources in court, I've setup a donation page hoping that anyone out in the world would be nice enough to donate to the legal fund. YouTube was a good way for a lot of people to see my video and visit my webpage to further my cause or shrug their shoulders and say too bad for her. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ne63cXIUWAA [youtube.com]
    • by spun (1352) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {yranoituloverevol}> on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:58PM (#16133555) Journal
      It's the tubes. You see, things have to chopped into little pieces, appropriately called "bits" to be sent through the tubes without clogging them. Real girls can not survive being chopped into bits! So no, nothing you see on the internet is real. Why just yesterday I was hungry and told one of my aides to send me a ham sandwich through the internets. They asked me how to go about that and I told them to scan it in and send it by email. When it got here, I printed it out, and let me tell you, it tasted nothing like a ham sandwich!
    • by bussdriver (620565)
      I saw thru the LonleyGirl CG effects the whole time and nobody would believe me! ;-)
    • I am shocked, shocked I tell you! LonleyGirl isn't real?! People would actually post videos that are not what they appear to be?!

      I'm shocked, too!

      I say go ahead and fork the project! Let's put an end to all these anonymous ...

      Sorry, wrong story.
  • Just YouTube? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mrn121 (673604) on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:41PM (#16133405) Homepage
    This has been a main criticism of the internet since the first newsgroups began appearing years ago. You could always write a blog or review of something posing as anyone pretending to know anything. YouTube is no different, save the fact that manipulation and misrepresentation of facts can be created and shared easily in a video format. I fail to see how this is a new (read: interesting) question.
    • Re:Just YouTube? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by timeOday (582209) on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:46PM (#16133464)
      Especially since YouTube (and the videos on it) never presented themselves as "home movies." Some are, some aren't. It's just a big grabbag, which personally I think is fine. What I actually learned from this story is that YouTube will take down videos at request of companies (Samsung in this case) who feel they have the right to control any depiction of products they make. This in itself is a bias of the system by businesses that don't want you to see certain things.
      • Samsung had a right to have the video removed because it libeled/slandered/whatever their product. If it were an honest critique and they had it removed then there would be a problem.
        • Re:Libel/Slander (Score:5, Insightful)

          by timeOday (582209) on Monday September 18, 2006 @05:41PM (#16133898)
          Says who? If I want to take my phone and snap it in half and post a video of it, there's no reason I shouldn't be free to do so. The article states: "According to some reports, Samsung says the phone must have been artificially rigged to snap." Wow, that's an air-tight case if ever I've seen one. The article continues: "The video has now been removed from YouTube. Whose agenda does this video serve?" Now I will ask an easier question, who's agenda does pulling the video serve? The take-home here is that YouTube pulled the video because Samsung didn't like it.

          If youtube gives in to every narrow interest that wants something pulled, it will definitely lose its edge and some of its market share.

      • Re:Just YouTube? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Saeger (456549) <farrellj@gmailLAPLACE.com minus math_god> on Monday September 18, 2006 @05:21PM (#16133757) Homepage
        That was my takeaway message as well -- not the expected frauds, but that Samsung managed to get the video pulled so easily.

        It's not suprising in the least that lame stealth marketing will eventually worm its influence wherever it can. The only real fix for the "unauthentic slimeball problem" is a reputation system that works.
        • Its been around for a long time. I worked for a big media company when I was in college making "fan sites" and I also made a "fan film" on iFilm for $500. I wonder if that piece of crap is still out there somewhere. The fact is that stealth marketing works and can't be escaped. I suspect there is already a lot of it going on at Burning Man. Eventually that event will be totally taken over by marketers. "40,000 people in a choice demographic with disposable income? Where do I sign up?"
    • This has been a main criticism of the internet since the first newsgroups began appearing years ago.

      It's not a new issue, it only looks new because there used to be only three broadcasters who could misbehave. Remember the exploding gas tank fiasco [wikipedia.org]?

      Dateline's film showed a sample of a staged low speed accident with the fuel tank exploding. Dateline NBC did not disclose the fact that this accident was staged, or the fact that the only reason there was an explosion was that the vehicle contained planted

    • It's not just YouTube that is having issues with advertisers disguising as regular people. Facebook [facebook.com] had a group a week or two ago along the lines of "if 100,000 people join my girlfriend will have a threesome with me." The group quickly had many hundreds of thousands of members, until it was realized that this was in fact a fraud and an advertisement for something. As soon as Facebook got wind that it was a fake they took down the group. I'm not sure about YouTube's Terms of Use Agreement, but I know th
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's obvious from the skillful editing (watch how the timing of the cuts seem like a documentary or a "reality" show and not like some kid on a webcam) that at the very least lonelygirl "knew what she was doing" and was creating a narrative rather than just randomly talking about her life. That this narrative was created by professionals should come as no surprise.
  • by mrn121 (673604) on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:44PM (#16133435) Homepage
    Maybe THIS story was posted by YouTube's competitors! NOW WHO DO YOU BELIEVE?
  • Phew... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by scarlac (768893) on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:45PM (#16133446) Homepage
    Well It's A Good Thing(tm) that we have TV to tell us what's right and wrong instead of misguiding internet sites...

    Joke aside, the internet is a media like TV and newspapers and should be treated equally: With sceptism.

    The only thing that keeps us away from being puppets of the media is our ability to judge and do a reality check. If you see something "stunning" or amazing - be sure that the first thing you do is disregard it for a moment and don't start telling it to others, since that's when speculation and lies become "the uofficial truth".

    But then again.. if we were all able to tell when the media was lying... I guess there wouldn't be tabloids ;-)
    • Yep.

      >'deception for profit. Misrepresenting commercials as independent user-generated content, actors as members of the public, and fiction as fact.'

      Three out of four of which apply to the mainstream advertising industry.
    • by LoudMusic (199347)
      The only thing that keeps us away from being puppets of the media is our ability to judge and do a reality check.

      This can only be true for people who have a clue, which is a shockingly small quantity of human beings, especially in our great United States. I would imagine that most people can't comprehend that someone would lie to them, for any reason at all, or no reason at all. Or they're just really damn gullible. So simply asking them to flex their brain and not take everything for face value flat-out wi
  • All of the these "social networking" sites suffer the same affliction. They are all just another source of ad revenue for marketers and the people running the sites.
  • by bunions (970377) on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:46PM (#16133462)
    I think it was Bruce Sterling, if anyone recognizes it, let me know.

    They were talking about the concept of Temporary Autonomous Zones, like the ones in the carribean that pirates frequented - lawless places which somehow managed to govern themselves, and because the interview was in Wired around 1999 or so, the interviewer likened it to afterhours raves and waxed poetic about how awesome it'd be and how we'd be free of corporate etc etc. So the interviewee said "You want to see a TAZ in action, you go look at a toxic-waste dumping 'rave' - where a corporation hires some dubious character to take barrels of waste out into the TAZ that is the open ocean and just throw it over the side. That's the destiny of a TAZ, not some hippy vision of freedom and egalitarianism." Of course, I'm butchering the quote, but gimme a break, I read it like 7 years ago.

    Anyhow, the point of this exasperatingly long-winded anecdote is that things like youtube, which promise freedom and creativity for all will always end up used for evil for the same reason as the TAZ - because freedom is nice and everything, but money trumps all. And the money will drive a wedge of mistrust between us all.
    • The people with money and power (either directly, or government apointed 'civil servants' who have defacto ownership - essentially state capitalists) are already living in a total autonomy zone. The people with money and power do what they like, when they like, and don't have to worry about any law because it doesn't apply to them.

      Total Autonomous Zones are about giving the common people the same freedom that the rich and powerful already enjoy. Dumping in the oceans you say? Already happens nowadays, witho
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bunions (970377)
        > Total Autonomous Zones are about giving the common people the same freedom that the rich and powerful already enjoy

        Right, but the guy's point was that these zones would always be co-opted, and that while living in a society of law is kind of a pain in the ass at times, it's the citizens only protection against larger, more powerful entities such as corporations, and that the desire for autonomous zones is a nice idea but in practice amounts to suicide.
        • Right, but the other guy's point is that if these zones don't exist, the rich, powerful and EVIL will still do the bad stuff.

          And living in a society of law is great until the rich and powerful (and current Presidential Administrations, for example) do not follow the laws that they force and enforce on the poor and less powerful. For example we citizens of the US follow the laws in the Constitution, while our President disregards more than half of them, and has me scared out of my gourd that I might get pic
          • by bunions (970377)
            > I honestly believe that a "Total Lawless Zone" is better than what we currently have (though 6 years ago, I probably would have agreed with you).

            You will not find me entirely unsympathetic to this view, but it's still hyperbole to me. I'd certainly agree that our government is pretty broken right now, but I can't even start to imagine what would happen if all the gloves came off. Child labor, debtors prison, indentured servitude ... ugh.
            • Yeah, but we already have all that. Its just not right here, where our laws matter.

              Those shoes you're wearing (ok... maybe not yours, but surely these Nike's...) were probably sewn together with the soft touch only a child can give. Granted those children are being exploited elsewhere in the world, outside of our laws, but companies within our borders are still using that labor to keep their costs low.

              I admit that some of what I say is exaggerated, perhaps even unfounded ;), but playing to the center does
        • by RexRhino (769423)
          So you are saying that an Autonomous Zone, such as YouTube, is more dominated by powerful entities such as corporations, than say network television? Are you trying to tell me that Autonomous zones such as Burning Man are more dominated by corporations than highly regulated zones such as New York's Times Square? Sorry, I think you are mistaken.

          Corporations have no guns, no armies, no police. In and of themselves, corporations are not very intimidating. Corporations exercise their control by getting regulati
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bunions (970377)
        Dang, forgot to respond to this:

        > All laws and regulations are laws and regulations designed to restrict the poor, or those who are less politically powerful

        Well now, that's patently false. I'll just point you at car safety and tobacco/liquor advertising laws and make my exit.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by RexRhino (769423)
          Car safety laws are designed to maintain the oligarchy of large automotive companies... They were pushed for by the big auto companies in order to make automobile development as capital intensive as possible, thereby locking out smaller competition. Prior to car safety regulation, people were not any more likely to die in an auto accident than they are now, and there were something close to 100 American auto companies. After the consolidation of the big 3, the only "new" auto companies to compete on the U.S
          • by bunions (970377) on Monday September 18, 2006 @06:13PM (#16134123)
            Oh come on.

            > Prior to car safety regulation, people were not any more likely to die in an auto accident than they are now

            Seat belts don't save lives, eh? Ralph Nader was just a tool of the auto industry? Big Tobacco engineered the ban on cigarette advertising on TV as a clever ruse to lock out the smaller producers, who through some nebulous market forces are unable to sponsor racing teams? Standard Oil was broken up because it ... well, I don't know, but I'm sure you have a tinfoil hat answer for that one too.

            I'll agree that in general, laws are written by the rich for the rich, but there are also some that are written for the little guy by good legislators. If that wasn't the case, there'd be no such thing as a class action suit, no such thing as OSHA, no anti-trust laws (ok, well there practically aren't any more, but you know what I mean), etc.

            Taking a position that ALL laws favor the rich with NO EXCEPTIONS is simply ridiculous.
        • Oh shit! Don't engage the Libertarians, it will just enrage them. I think you are supposed to wave your arms around and look big...or maybe its play dead. I forget which.
    • This is just an example of the Tragedy of the Commons [wikipedia.org].
    • by jd (1658)
      There are exceptions. Linux is an exception, because it doesn't matter what agenda any individual has, everyone else has the right to pervert that agenda to suit themselves, within the limits of the license. Lordi is an exception, because the money-grubbing pundits at the Eurovision Song Contest found it hard to argue with a hoard of demonic creatures - even if they were from Finland.

      However, most attempts to create exceptions on any kind of large scale have (so far) been corrupted to the point where they c

  • by subl33t (739983)
    "...actors as members of the public, and fiction as fact."

    It sounds like big media don't want amateurs moving in on their territory.

  • The video I just uploaded titled "how to break a kryptonite lock [youtube.com]" is for informational purposes only and is not intended to affect the reputation of the Kryptonite lock company.

    Seth
  • by wfberg (24378) on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:47PM (#16133471)
    Real or not, lonelygirl15's whiny voice made me want to vomit so hard after 15 seconds I "like totally" didn't visit youtube for an entire week.
  • by filtur (724994) on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:48PM (#16133475) Homepage
    The internet would never lie to me. Did you know that the population of elephants in Africa has tripled in the last six months?
  • This Thread is Worthless without links to said videos.

    There now it has been said!

    Without the dancing little characters holding the signs.

  • by revery (456516) <{charles} {at} {cac2.net}> on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:53PM (#16133514) Homepage
    An article submitted by an "anonymous" user purporting to be about the authenticity of web content and art vs advertisement, but instead linking back to a site that makes most of its money from advertisements, product reviews, and page views....

    I don't know about you, but I'm a little ironied out...
  • Who cares? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by WiggyWack (88258) on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:54PM (#16133522) Homepage
    Who cares if the video of snapping a Samsung phone in half is real or not? Even if a rival company paid to have that spot made and distributed, it HAD to come from somewhere. Samsung says it was rigged, but they didn't just invent the fact the phone is cheap. It was probably based on complaints and testing. If it was completely made up, it wouldn't rise in popularity. It's like stereotypes - you might not like them, but there's SOME basis in fact. Or else it would never catch on.

    What if someone whose Samsung phone broke made that video versus a rival company making it. Would it matter? I don't think so. Because again, SOMEONE had to have problems with that phone breaking. Whether a rival company made and paid for it or the pissed off consumer did it for free, I don't think it matters...

    People get mad about not knowing when they're being advertised to. They shouldn't. Everyone has agendas. Do your research and listen to more than one source.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Chris Burke (6130)
      It was probably based on complaints and testing. If it was completely made up, it wouldn't rise in popularity. It's like stereotypes - you might not like them, but there's SOME basis in fact. Or else it would never catch on.

      No, stereotypes are usually based in total ignorance, and catch on because others are also completely ignorant and don't know any better.

      Similarly, the conclusion that "if it was completely made up, it wouldn't rise in popularity" is also falacious. I think the vast majority of entries
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Software (179033)

      If it was completely made up, it wouldn't rise in popularity. It's like stereotypes - you might not like them, but there's SOME basis in fact. Or else it would never catch on.

      Actually, sometimes they are completely made up. Look up "Audi sudden acceleration CBS 60 Minutes" or "GM pickup rocket engine NBC Dateline" to see how respected news organizations do publicize non-existent product defects. In the Audi / CBS case, CBS used unverified anecdotes as the basis for hysterical reporting. Never mind that su

  • by mpapet (761907) on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:55PM (#16133536) Homepage
    and most countries do it to their citizens in order to achieve some end.

    Now, companies and people can do it to each other!

    Seriously though, take a step back for a moment and ask yourself a couple of questions:

    1. Why should I trust anything on the site in question? They don't say they are purveyors of trustworthy data. I think the problem is that "trustworthy videos" may not be an expectation they want to meet.

    2. What does anyone gain by visiting the site in question?
  • So uh, when did actors stop being members of the public?

    Can I stop being a member of the public?
  • by Ynsats (922697) on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:56PM (#16133541)
    Most of the people in the Slashdot community have been "online" for decades now. We have watched the Internet become something so big that a signal entity can't wield enough power to control it any longer. Yet, like all modern entertainment and communication formats, there is a certain amount of deception that takes place. For years people have made the on-going joke that the "girl" with the screen name of "supersexysweet16" is actually some fat guy in his underwear either screwing around or preying on juveniles. Now, we have news organizations like Dateline activly trapping people with deceptive tactics that the police have been using to nab predators for a while.

    Asking the question "Will user-generated video sites increasingly confront visitors with the disturbing possibility that the video they're watching is not a home video at all, but a sophisticated ad campaign?" at this point in the history of the Internet is just silly and evidence that the "Anonymous Reader" is woefully out of touch with reality and needs to quit being so naive. Deception is everywhere. Even the bum on the street begging for your change may not even be a REAL bum. There are so many deceptive acts taking place out there and if YouTube letting some unscrupulous ad agency post an ad to generate revenue is the biggest worry I have then I'd say I'm doing pretty good.

    In other words, big deal. I'm not going to YouTube to determine what's real and what's not or who's lying to me about what. It's so inconsequential that I don't even care who's going to get sent up the river for such a travesty. I'm going to YouTube to be entertained and even commercials are entertaining at times. Just watch the commercials on the SuperBowl for evidence of that. If someone on YouTube wants to lie to me about it then fine, it's not going to impact my life adversely because I don't believe everything I read, see or hear. Especially if there is only one instance of bad press like the Samsung phone when there are droves of people out there with opinions that are the polar opposite. It's on me if I am so gullible to not see through something as silly as that Samsung video that was posted. It's even worse if I base a consumer decision on such a video and limit my research to just that video. Shame on me for being such a stooge if that were true.
    • by Kjella (173770)
      Especially if there is only one instance of bad press like the Samsung phone when there are droves of people out there with opinions that are the polar opposite. It's on me if I am so gullible to not see through something as silly as that Samsung video that was posted. It's even worse if I base a consumer decision on such a video and limit my research to just that video. Shame on me for being such a stooge if that were true.

      Unfortunately many people go by "where there's smoke, there's fire". Particularly be
  • by DECS (891519) on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:57PM (#16133545) Homepage Journal
    A Slashdot story not posted by Roland Piquepaille just lacks a certain level of credibility that I've come to expect from Slashdot.

    --- Greenpeace Apologizes for Apple Stink [roughlydrafted.com]

  • Mainstream TV [usatoday.com] and newspapers [paulgraham.com] are hardly immune to this effect.
  • by koreth (409849)
    You mean now I have to be skeptical of things I see online? What next? You gonna tell me the Tooth Fairy isn't real?
  • Entertainment (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Apocalypse111 (597674) on Monday September 18, 2006 @04:59PM (#16133567) Journal
    I don't think that anyone will really care (much) if the content they're viewing on youtube or Google video or whatever else is out there is an advertisement or not - as long as it is entertaining. That's the whole point behind advertising, trying to keep your target audience entertained long enough to maybe get an ad in edgewise. Youtube is chock full of amusing little adverts that I watch to entertain myself. Heck, even if its not blatant advertising or bashing, as long as I get a chuckle or a "That was awesome!" from it, then the point is made. If the advertising people are doing their homework and learning to take advantage of a new medium, then kudos to them, as long as it stays entertaining.

    So please, ad people, continue bringing us your Wazzaaaaaa's and your Geico Gekkos and your dancing transforming cars, and whatever else you can think of, blatant or not. Make me laugh. Make me yell. Make me think about buying your products, or of discontinuing service with your competitors. I will continue to temper my decisions with research and past experiences as my guides, but if you have a truely superior product or service to offer, then I will appreciate a truely superior ad campaign to tell me of it.
    • It's the "deception" that is the problem though. It's too easy to just call it all entertainment and pretend that we should all stop being naive.. that doesn't make these ads OK.

      The general mass of people are expecting home-videos on YouTube, not subtle advertising. Part of YouTube's charm was that these were real-people (IE not professionals) making home videos. Even if it results in the the exact same product, it makes a difference if it was a professional advertisement or an amateur home-video. It's the
    • Re:Entertainment (Score:4, Informative)

      by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @12:24AM (#16135796) Homepage
      "So please, ad people, continue bringing us your Wazzaaaaaa's and your Geico Gekkos and your dancing transforming cars, and whatever else you can think of, blatant or not. Make me laugh. Make me yell. Make me think about buying your products, or of discontinuing service with your competitors. I will continue to temper my decisions with research and past experiences as my guides, but if you have a truely superior product or service to offer, then I will appreciate a truely superior ad campaign to tell me of it.

      If only it were that easy. I'm in advertising, and believe me, there is not a single creative in this industry who DOESN'T want to put out great creative that people love. They want the fame, they want the glory, they want the Addy, and they want the money. Unfortunately they fight several factors that basically give you the ads we've all come to know and hate. Those factors are budget, deadline, and the client. Neither of which we have much, if any control over.

      Fortunately, as clients start to realize the mantra of "you can't MAKE a viral video, it BECOMES viral" the only real change they have of getting a shot at it is to really let the creatives go balls out and do something crazy. Often times this can be done on a very limited budget. Just thought I'd shed a little light on things from this side of the table.

  • by Animats (122034) on Monday September 18, 2006 @05:10PM (#16133664) Homepage

    Most of the content on YouTube is either pirated, marketing material, or total crap.

    Which is a real problem. YouTube is starting to have the problems Napster did, with lawsuits from content owners cropping up every few days. Legitimate ones, too. Putting someone else's music on someone else's video and redistributing it is not original work. Not even close.

    YouTube is starting to deal with this. "Removed for terms of service violation" messages are showing up more frequently. But that cuts into their free content supply.

    So what's going up now? Marketing material. All ads, all the time. Music videos this week, with the Warner deal.

    Already, more than half the YouTube screen space is third-party ads anyway. And YouTube is signed up with everybody. Watch a YouTube page load stall while "yieldmanager.com", "atmdt.com", "doubleclick.com", "insightexpressai.com", "euroclick.com" and "tacoda.net" ("an end-to-end marketing application used for analyzing customer interactions and segmenting and monetizing audience members") all are read. For one page.

    YouTube is not the next Google. YouTube is the next MP3.com.

  • The disturbing possibility that video you're watching isn't amateur after all? So what? If it's grinding some rhetorical axe, then your critical thinking skills should already be kicking in. If it's simply entertaining, who cares?

    You want disturbing? I'll tell you what's disturbing. Finding out, on the same day, that the Blair Witch and Santa Claus aren't real. At least, once you've digested that bit of shock, you're better able to deal with the fact that some people will use anonymous, free venues to bl
  • Cynicism abounds (Score:2, Insightful)

    by anachattak (650234)
    This isn't really all that new. I think things like Lonelygirl (and going back to the Blair Witch Project (marketing disguised as authentic recorded experiences)) are making people more cynical about what they see in general. Every time I see something that looks "authentic" on YouTube (or anywhere else for that matter), I'm inclined to doubt its true source. Maybe it's better that, by finding out there's so much "fake" information out there, we don't just blindly believe everything we see. But in a way
  • Will naked, all-women videos turn out to be deluded expressions of a sex-starved man's fantasy life, and not have anything to do with changing homosexual or feminist attitudes? Tell me it's not true!

    While I can sympathize with people who feel tricked by seeing items posted on Youtube in a deceptive manner, it comes with no assertions that it is true. It's vast and unsupervised, and viewers need to be aware of that. Just adding a pretense that something is "authorized" or meets some kind of regulation will p
  • by L7_ (645377) on Monday September 18, 2006 @05:17PM (#16133722)
    In W. Gibson's latest novel "Pattern Recognition [amazon.com]", there are a series of videos/short films posted anonymously on the internet. Noone knows who is posting them and why; Marketing companies all hunger for a chance to get some of the hype surrounding the posted short videos. I won't ruin the ending for you, but it is a story of marketing types and anonymous artistic video postings.

    This is very applicable to what is happening on YouTube now; self-made work are being fostered by these types of user generated content sites. The problem is the viewer has non idea if those self made works are sponsored by companies, or if they are just 'solo artist in a room somewhere' type of works.
  • So What (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheDawgLives (546565)
    Who says we can't enjoy ads? I don't view You Tube as a "home video only" site as much as a "if this video is interesting I'll watch it" site. Personally, I don't care who created the content, if it's good, I'll consume it.
  • Analogue on TV? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 955301 (209856) on Monday September 18, 2006 @05:21PM (#16133761) Journal
    Isn't this more or less the same as the "news reports" on television which are actually paid for advertisements? I mean, sure they have more license to mislead since there isn't a broadcasting company vetting the commercials for legal implications, but it's still deceptive multimedia.

    Someone's post related this to piracy on the seas, or dumping toxis sludge when noone was around to spot them, but youTube is bound to be a bit different - this sludge isn't sludge until someone views it, at which point it can be demoted as disinformation. At that point, this slashdot posting would be as significant as a posting about a troll writing a misleading comment.

    So give it 6 months and this story will only have historic significance.
  • As more and more of this crap makes its way onto YourTube, fewer people will actually use it and the site will fail and everyone will point and say another Web 2.0 failure. Intrusive advertising is great at killing mediums and peopel try to develop ways of screening it ou -blocking ads one of the bigest reasons to get a DVR, and how many of you use Adblock. If YourTube can't screen out "fake" videos those users will become cynical and stop using it.

    What a shame to not have more videos of idiots lighting the
  • by spoonboy42 (146048) on Monday September 18, 2006 @05:27PM (#16133804)
    Let's be clear, here. Although the creators of lonelygirl wound up being represented by CAA, a professional talent agency, they are nevertheless a bunch of young amateurs. The videos don't promote any product (except for purple monkey hand puppets, maybe), and the only sort of cross-marketing involved is, perhaps, the use of CAA-represented indie bands for background music. All in all the music is pretty unobtrusive and tasteful, and is far from the main point of the videos.

    Lonelygirl is, at its heart, a series about an extremely compelling character, and her video diary makes people feel an intimate connection with her. I have to say, the series was even more enjoyable when one could believe that Bree was a real girl, seriptitiously posting her thoughts, colored by her signature humor and innocence, from her bedroom. Now that she's been "outed" as an actress, the "show" is a little more conventional, but when you're willing to suspend your disbelief, it's still wonderfully fun to watch.

    In short, Lonelygirl is damn good television, except that it's not on television.
  • by Dolly_Llama (267016) * on Monday September 18, 2006 @05:40PM (#16133894) Homepage
    The part that says, "Buffering..."
  • Sometimes people are too bent on idealism in society. Everyone knows with freedom comes disagreements and people crying foul and at times dregs of society. Too many rules and you have a totalitarian censorship type setting.
    Its up to the creators what they want to have. Or in this case youtubers.

    You can see the differences in say AOL's message boards and Craigslist's rant and rave section.
  • WHAT?!?!?!?! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mr. Freeman (933986) on Monday September 18, 2006 @05:55PM (#16133998)
    You can't believe everything you read/see/hear on the Internet?
    Holy shit, this really is breaking news; I mean, it's not like this has been common sense since the Internet was invented or anything.

    I seriously fail to see how this is news. Entire political campaigns are built on smear advertisements (anyone remember the last election?), and the Internet doesn't even have to comply with any type of law that keeps those smear ads from being worse than they are now; is it any wonder these videos are being put online?

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.

Working...