The YouTube Epidemic

-- Any "educational value," so-called by a certain middle school student in Ransom Grade School (Wedwick 66), to be extracted from YouTube and similar file streaming sites is indubitably offset by their own and other corporations' advertising agendas.

-- Consider: any YouTube video may be subject to (and many are) any of the following forms of invasive advertisement
*Standard InStream Ads
Standard InStream ads are video ads that are inserted before, during, or after the main video and must be watched before the video selected can be viewed.
*InVideo Ads
InVideo ads are transparent overlay ads that appear on the lower portion of your video. Allowing InVideo advertising means that YouTube may occasionally run transparent overlay ads on the lower portion of your video. These ads typically appear at the 15 second mark, they can be closed by the viewer if desired, and they will minimize automatically if the viewer does nothing.
*Banner Ads
YouTube banner ads run across all areas of the site except the Homepage. They are available as a 300x250 ad that appears to the right of the feature video and above the video suggestions list.
*TrueView InStream Ads
TrueView video ads are a family of formats that give viewers choice and control over which advertisers' messages they want to see and when.
TrueView InStream ads run only on partner watch pages and play as a pre- or mid-roll video against short or long form content. After 5 seconds of ad viewing, the viewer will have the option to skip or watch the rest of the ad. An advertiser is only charged when the viewer has watched 30 seconds of the ad or to its completion, whichever is shorter. There is no maximum length for TrueView InStream ads.
*Embedded Video Ads
You can opt to have overlay ads that will run on videos that you've embedded on other websites. In particular, these ad units will be AdSense overlay ads, which are similar to InVideo ads and can be composed of graphical overlays or contextually targeted ads. Any website that embeds videos, including your own website, will generate revenue for you. Please note that any video regardless of length is eligible for revenue sharing.

--YouTube "regularly monitor[s] and update[s] [their] content-targeting algorithms in order to deliver the most relevant ads to your video pages"
(http://www.google.com/support/youtube/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=94523).

--If YouTube detects a video containing copyrighted material, they reserve the right to display ads at any point during its runtime.


--Even purportedly "safer" sites such as TeacherTube employ cunning advertising methods:
TeacherTube and Google:
  • Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on TeacherTube.com.
  • Google's use of the DART cookie enables it and TeacherTube to serve ads to you based on your visit to your sites and/or other sites on the Internet.
  • TeacherTube allows other companies, called third-party ad servers or ad networks, to serve advertisements within the TeacherTube Sites. These third-party ad servers or ad networks use technology to send, directly to your browser, the advertisements and links that appear on the TeacherTube Sites. They automatically receive your IP address when this happens. They may also use other technologies (such as cookies, JavaScript, or Web Beacons) to measure the effectiveness of their advertisements and to personalize the advertising content you see.
  • if an advertiser asks TeacherTube to show an advertisement to a certain audience (for example, men ages 18-34) or audience segment (for example, men ages 18-24 who have viewed certain channels of content) and you respond to that advertisement, the advertiser or ad-server may conclude that you fit the description of the audience they are trying to reach. The advertiser may also use information regarding your use of the TeacherTube Sites, such as the number of times you viewed an ad (but not any personally identifiable information), to determine which ads to deliver to you.

--"If YouTube can be said to facilitate communication, it is in ways that emphasize video over epistolary exchange." - Lucas Hilderbrand

--In other words, in lieu of composing written narratives, people may communicate with each other, keep in touch and even establish connections simply by embedding a link to a video in an email or, in the case of the latter, on any of the innumerable public forums available on the internet.

--Nor does the "comment" section of YouTube promote any creative use of the written language, as most comments consist of such insipid platitudes as "lol so funny!" or, as Hilderbrand points out, "racist or homophobic insults."