Thursday, May 14, 2009

Politics Heat Up On YouTube UK

The past couple of weeks have been interesting ones in UK politics as the whole issue of MP expenses has hit the headlines -- not least because YouTube has played an interesting role in the commentary.

The starting point for his was Gordon Brown's exclusive announcement/suggestion via the 10 Downing Street channel that MPs might be given a daily allowance rather than annualised expenses. While the content of his address has resulted in some commentary, its nature has generated more.

This conversation, from an interesting channel which looks to engage young people with politics, is telling in that it not only compares Gordon Brown's YouTube performances with those of Barack Obama, it asks the question of whether or not politicians should 'use' YouTube full stop. And if so, how best they might go about it.

Given that Brown recently recruited two of Obama's campaign strategists to his team, it seems that this question is very much one his people are looking to address.

But the reverberations of Brown's video reached still further, prompting a leader in The Times -- bolstered by a secondary article -- attacking the fact that 10 Downing Street has disabled comments on all videos, suggesting that he wished to suppress any real debate and was simply using YouTube for show.

It's interesting that discussions are beginning to extend beyond what is actually said on by politicians on YouTube, to how the site is actually being utilized.

-- Jamie, YouTube's UK Community Manager


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