08/10/07 — Cleaning up: You Tube strikes again — proving need for scrutiny

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Cleaning up: You Tube strikes again — proving need for scrutiny

There is a new trend on the Internet video collection called “You Tube.”

Now, videos are appearing of pranksters who are filming themselves driving up to fast-food restaurant drive-thrus and throwing drinks in the faces of the workers. Some of the videos, which are submitted and posted by users of the site, also include verbal abuse of the workers.

It is in the first place sad that anyone would think that something so cruel was so worth a laugh. It is even more worrisome how sometimes unregulated the user-generated site seems to be.

To its credit, You Tube has pulled off the videos, citing its rule that it will allow no productions that harm another human being.

But that is, of course, after the videos did quite a bit of circulating.

The concept behind You Tube is great. This allows people to share their moments or to get a giggle out of someone’s video production. But there is a downside, too, which has manifested itself in a variety of videos that are distasteful at best.

So, the question is, should there be more regulation of the site and others like it?

For now, the answer seems to be self-regulation with public outcry as the motivator. But the offensive and sometimes dangerous videos are still getting out and still getting play before they are yanked off the Web. And that means that they are getting to a wide variety of users of all ages — and that’s not good.

There might come a time when there is a need to take a closer look at the content and management of the Internet. Increased usage and participation have raised questions about what regulation might be required to keep standards high.

In the meantime, perhaps there should be some repercussions for those who disseminate the less-than-honorable videos. A good place to start might be to make the fast-food culprits work behind a counter for a day.

Published in Editorials on August 10, 2007 11:07 AM