The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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ITube, YouTube, WeAllTube

Some Internet videos doing more harm than good

It costs $1 million a day to keep up and running. It has been banned in countries like Thailand, Pakistan and Turkey. It can be accessed from iPhones and it’s owned by Google. It’s the video hosting and sharing site YouTube – and it’s turned the world into a place full of voyeurs.

Viral videos are videos that become extremely popular after they circulate through friends, coworkers and everyone else in between. They’re used for marketing, campaigning and just plain entertainment. But when does a video go too far?

We’re not against the technology and we don’t have any problems with the “Star Wars Kid” or “Obama Girl.” The videos are funny, even if it might be at the expense of the person starring in the video. We don’t mind the viral marketing behind the new Batman movie – it’s pretty cool. However, when YouTube features videos such as one in which a man is trapped in an elevator for 41 hours, we start to get a little queasy. Yes, the video of the trapped man is definitely interesting, but it can also be disturbing. Even though the surveillance footage is sped up to encompass the 41 hours in a mere matter of minutes, the viewer can tell the man is struggling to keep his sanity. Should we really be watching stuff like this?

YouTube and its viewers are fueling a desire to exploit the people in the videos. The trapped man was not being filmed by choice. It’s unknown whether he even wanted the footage shown to the entire world on YouTube. The problem doesn’t stop with a single video.

There are a ton of videos on the Internet that shouldn’t be available to the public. There’s even a video in which a doctor surgically removes a spray bottle from a patient (how it got there is beside the point), and terribly distasteful events ensue. Nurses take pictures of the bottle with camera phones, and the doctor sprays the bottle around the room. The worst part, it’s all on tape and available on the Internet. Why would someone want to insult his or her own intelligence by watching such trash? Not to mention, it’s pretty safe to say the patient would have rather the video stayed off of cyberspace.

We agree that sometimes it’s hard to figure out where to draw the line. We love the “UFO Guy” spouting off about Aurora, Texas, and aliens made of water, but let’s face it – we’re laughing at him.

Just make sure that next time you’re watching a video on the Internet, think about what you’re watching.

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