Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mexican elections heat up on YouTube

[Posted by Ricardo Blanco of the YouTube Mexico team]

As Mexico prepares to hold its Congressional elections in a little less than a month, we are seeing different organizations engage with our Mexican users about the main issues relevant to their world. On July 5, 2009, 695 public office positions are being elected in Mexico; 345 municipalities, 16 delegations in Mexico City, 328 deputy positions and six governor positions.

Here are two examples of channels on YouTube, created by independent organizations, that share with the YouTube community the thoughts and concerns of the citizens in the weeks before they go to the polls:

First, the magazine "Expansion" and CNN -- which reports financial and business information for Mexico and Latin America -- have dedicated their channel during the elections as "Central Electoral" (Electoral Central) at YouTube.com/CNNExpansion. They've created a place where candidates for office can take questions submitted by citizens at YouTube.com/votaciones2009. Much like the CNN/YouTube Debates in the United States, questions are submitted by video and asked of candidates at CNN Expansion's TV Studio; the questions from the public are made using YouTube cabins placed in 9 states in specific public places. Here's an example:

Second, an independent publication of the Mexican Magazine "Letras Libres" is also using YouTube to gather community opinions and promote dialogue between citizens during the elections. The YouTube Channel Lupa México monitors and analyzes the proposals of congressional candidates. Dedicated to transparency and objectivity. Lupa Ciudadana was established in 2006 as an area for monitoring electoral campaigns, the acts of the Federal government and the Federal District, and the initiatives and agreements made in the Legislature, to encourage public participation and promote civic responsibility and accountability. Here's an example:

These are only a few of the ways YouTube is helping the citizens of Mexico to have their voices heard in a highly visible forum and with the potential to speak directly with their future elected leaders. You can learn more about the upcoming Mexican elections at our Google Elections Mexico Hub.

How long would it take to read a 1200 page bill out loud?

Mary Katherine Ham sets out to discover the answer, in this unique YouTube effort to call attention to the fact that Congress is considering hefty Energy legislation without, Ham points out, the benefit of public hearings.

Riot Police in Tehran

New footage of riot police damaging property in an alleyway in Tehran: 

Use Call-to-Action overlays to drive traffic to off-YouTube web pages

In March, we launched a new feature for YouTube nonprofit partners: a "call-to-action" functionality that operates like an in-video overlay, allowing organizations to drive traffic to off-site pages, like donation or take action sites. Over the past few months, nonprofit partners have seen great success with this feature, like charity:water, who raised over $10,000 for clean water in a single day through the overlay.

While nonprofits will still have access to this feature for free, we're broadly launching this feature as an option for all advertisers who use Promoted Videos, allowing anyone who runs a campaign to specify a "Call-to-Action" for users.

Adding a Call-to-Action overlay to your video is easy. First, run a campaign to promote your video on YouTube. Then, go to the Video Details page under My Videos and fill out the fields in the section marked "Call-to-Action overlay." All you have to do is include a short headline, ad text, a destination url, and upload an optional image, and the overlay will appear whenever someone watches your video. Clicks on the overlay will be tracked in YouTube Insight.

Now Promoted Videos makes it even easier for potential supporters to engage with your campaign or organization -- especially for those campaigns looking for user responses beyond an increase in views for your video. If you're looking for an easy way to help your video reach a larger audience on YouTube, promote your video today.

Track Government Spending: USASpending.gov launches on the web, and YouTube

Today at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York, the Federal CTO Vivek Kundra announced USASpending.org, a new site designed to allow citizens to track government spending via an IT Dashboard. See below a video explaining how it works on the agency's new YouTube channel. And learn more in a post at TechPresident.com.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Our Partners on the YouTube Reporters' Center Launch

Great blog posts today from our partners about their involvement the YouTube Reporters' Center:

A Video that Captures the Unrest

A new video, likely taken early last week, documents the the chaos and unrest of the atmosphere in Tehran. The wild and shaky camerawork vividly represents the nature of the scene as protesters riot and clash with the Basij.

Young Girl Shot, Carried Away by Ambulance

We're not sure if this video is new (if you've seen a copy from earlier, please let us know in the comments), but this version, at least, was just uploaded to the site. It shows a girl who has been shot being hoisted into an ambulance, which is completely surrounded by protesters who are shouting and capturing the scene on cell phone cameras.

A Bus in Flames

This is pretty amazing footage of a bus in Tehran completely engulfed in flames during the protests - with police and protesters standing by and watching at a distance.

Police Beat Woman Protester

There's no indication of when this video was taken, but it shows riot police attacking a protester on the sidewalk, probably in Tehran. A woman standing nearby starts to kick the policeman, and then he turns on her and, along with several other police, starts beating her with a stick.

Protesting Inside a Mosque

We haven't seen very much footage uploaded of people gathering and demonstrating indoors, but this video was just posted of Iranians protesting yesterday inside of a mosque:

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Helping You Report the News

[Cross-posted to the YouTube Blog]

Ever captured a natural disaster or a crime on your cell-phone camera? Filmed a political rally or protest, and then interviewed the participants afterward? Produced a story about a local issue in your community? If you've done any of these things or aspire to, then you're part of the enormous community of citizen reporters on YouTube -- and today, we're launching a new resource to help you learn more about how to report the news.

It's called The YouTube Reporters' Center, and it features some of the nation's top journalists sharing instructional videos with tips and advice for better reporting. Learn how to prepare for an interview from CBS News' Katie Couric; how to be an investigative reporter from the legendary Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, or why it's important for citizens to participate in the news-gathering process from Arianna Huffington. And definitely don't miss out on New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof's video on how to report from a crisis area without getting shot.

In addition, you can also learn practical and ethical tips, like how to fact check your stories, avoid breaking the law while reporting, and adhere to journalistic principles. Check out the Reporters' Center to see all the videos or sample a few in this playlist:

This isn't meant to be a one-way conversation. For the first time on YouTube, these reporters are making themselves available to engage with you directly. If you have experiences on reporting the news yourself and would like to share your tips, you can submit them for inclusion in the center. Upload your "how-to" videos to youtube.com/reporterscenter and share your knowledge with citizen journalists around the world.

If you're a news organization that would to become a YouTube news partner, please read more information on how to apply here.

Olivia Ma
YouTube News & Politics

A Call to News Publishers: How to Share Your Video

[Cross-posted to the Google News Blog and the YouTube Biz Blog]

We're always looking for ways to enhance the way people consume the news, and we have some improvements planned over the next few months. To get things started, Google News and YouTube are teaming up to help news publishers build a bigger audience for their video content.

Today we are inviting any professional news outlet that is already included as one of the 25,000+ sources in Google News to become an official partner on YouTube and more easily share your news videos on both YouTube and Google News. Not already included in Google News? Just submit your site here for review.

Here are some of the benefits for News publishers who join the YouTube Partner Program:

  • Featured Premium Placement. YouTube news partners receive featured placement on the YouTube news page, youtube.com/news, where we feature news videos from partners related to the top news stories on Google News. In addition, if you allow your videos to be embedded, they'll be eligible to appear on Google News, which means additional exposure to all Google News users.
  • Cut Costs, Generate Revenue. YouTube offers free hosting for all of your video content and allows you to embed your videos anywhere on the web for free. And as an official YouTube partner, you're eligible to participate in an advertising revenue share program.
  • Viewership Analysis. Learn more about the people viewing and interacting with your videos. Use YouTube's Insight tool to easily discover troves of useful demographic information and understand what parts of your videos people liked or didn't like. Geographic information provided can help you focus your marketing efforts.
  • Wider Audience. YouTube and Google News have millions of visitors every day searching for the latest news and information. Raise awareness around your brand and reach new audiences by making your video content available on YouTube and Google News. As a YouTube partner, you can maintain your brand's look-and-feel with your own customized YouTube channel, and you can also drive traffic back to your own website.
  • Community. At its core, YouTube is a rich social environment that includes thousands of micro-communities. Build one around your content by encouraging people to interact through comments and video responses. Take advantage of YouTube as a social platform.
To get started, apply to the YouTube Partner Program. Don't forget to include the website of your news organization in the "Company Web Site" field on your application form -- this is critical to having your application approved. If you don't already have a YouTube account, make sure to use an email address with the same domain as your website (e.g. johndoe@newswebsite.com) when registering.

Once your application has been reviewed, you will receive an email confirming whether you are included in the YouTube Partner Program. If you are included, you will have the option to participate in revenue sharing and customize your branded channel.

The Google News team will do a separate review and follow-up about including your videos in Google News.

For more details on becoming a YouTube partner, please visit our Partner Benefits page. For a more in-depth explanation of submitting your video content for inclusion on Google News, take a look at our Help Center article: Submitting video and other multimedia content. Please submit any questions through our Help Center.

Women Joining the Protests

Video just uploaded of protests held in Tehran earlier today. This grainy footage, likely shot with a cell phone, shows a crowd of women joining the crowd.

Snipers on the Roof - June 20

This video provides a new point of view on what Tehran was like on June 20th, at the height of the protests and bloody clashes between citizens and the police. Shot from a very tall building, this footage captures snipers shooting off of a roof at protesters down below.

Sunday Round-Up

Many more videos posted of protests that happened in Tehran today. Here's a playlist:

This one appears to have been shot by someone standing at a window inside a building who is looking down at the street below, watching riot police harassing and beating man in the street:

This video captures a confrontation between a bunch of young Iranian protesters and a group of riot police standing-off against one another in an alleyway. Hard to detect what's going on here:

This one offers an interesting perspective on what the streets of Tehran are like right now with riot police seen on every block:

Submit your question for President Obama

[cross-posted from the YouTube Blog]

President Obama is taking your questions this Wednesday in a special online health care townhall event. With healthcare at the top of the President's agenda, he is opening up the White House to questions via YouTube. Create a 20- or 30-second video question and submit it as a reply video to the video below (go here to get started). He'll answer some of the most popular questions during the event, which we'll stream live from the White House YouTube channel.

This is your chance to speak directly to the President, so don't miss this opportunity to upload your video now. Make sure the sound and video quality are as clear as they can be, and if you'd like, leave your name and your hometown in the video description.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Iran's National Poet: Simin Behbahani

NPR's Davar Ardalan spoke with Simin Behbahani, Iran's national poet, on Friday. Behbahani has written two new poems, inspired by the protests, which she reads here:

From Mousavi's Spokesman

Nico Pitney, who has been live-blogging the situation in Iran with great dedication on the Huffington Post since Day One, wrote a post about this video today. He notes that it's "from film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf, who has on occasion acted as Moussavi's 'external spokesman.'" For the full translation of the video, read Pitney's post here.

Replacing the Flag in Stockholm

This shaky video shows Iranians outside of the Iranian embassy in Stockholm protesting the election and replacing Islamic Republic flag with the sun and lion flag used pre-revolution:

Friday, June 26, 2009

U.S. Government Races Up the Charts

There comes a time in life when you need government information...and a time in life when you need a to hear a multi-ethnic chorus reminding you that you need said information.

Please enjoy this magical little ditty about finding government information online, compliments of the U.S. Government:

Clashes on Thursday, June 24

This looks to be new footage of clashes between protesters and the Basih, allegedly from Thursday in Tehran:

Mourning the Victims

Footage from a candlelight vigil held at Tehran University yesterday:

New Footage of Protester-Basij Clash

A new video that shows a clash between protesters and the Basij - reportedly from Wednesday June 24th - which is particularly dramatic because the footage has been posted in slow motion:

Cell Phone Footage of Another Man, Shot in the Head

Yet another gruesome video, likely caught on a cell phone camera, of a man shot in the head by a member of the Basij:

Basij Truck Drives Through Crowd

This short video shows a large crowd of Iranians gathered in a public area. The scene seems quite calm until the last few seconds when a truck - supposedly driven by members of the Basij - revs its engine and starts to drive right through the crowd. You can hear screaming as the camera loses focus and the video ends.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Man Shot in the Head, Dies on the Street

Yet another very disturbing video that depicts a chaotic scene that ends with a man - who has just been shot in the head - bleeding to death on the street. People crowd around him snapping photos and taking videos. Please use discretion before viewing as some of the images may be upsetting.

New View on the Protests

This video presents a new view of some of the large-scale protests that took place in Tehran earlier in the week:

Mask-Wearing Basij Drag Young Iranian Through the Streets

In this disturbing video, members of the Basij wearing full-body black uniforms and masks over their faces can be seen brutally beating a young man and dragging him through the streets.

Baharestan Square - June 24

This video is one of the only videos we've seen so far from yesterday's protests in Baharestan Square:

Footage from the Day After the Election

According to the title, this video was taken on June 13th - the day after the election in Iran. It shows young Iranian protestors lighting a police car on fire and throwing stones at it.

A View from Above

There's a new video up supposedly from yesterday, June 24th. It was shot by someone standing inside a tall building looking down at the street below, which is jammed with protesters, cars and motorcycles. The angle is from too high up to have a good handle on exactly what's going on, but it's clear that there's a great deal of panic. At around 01:44 you see a lots of people start running down the middle of the street as sirens blare loudly. It's not entirely clear who is chasing who, and it gets even more confusing starting at around 03:00 when people start climbing on top of cars and aggregating in the middle of what appears to be a six-lane roadway. At 03:30 a large mass of people - a mix of protesters and Basij - seem to be brawling with one another. People are trapped up against cars and other people as they aggressively fight with one another.

At 4:05 you see one fearless protester wearing green - the color of Mousavi's supporters - throw something at a group of Basij on motorcycles. Then another protester holding a long green sheet of cloth tries to run through a group of Basij and is beaten right there in the middle of the crosswalk.

The video continues for another five minutes. You can see police motorbikes being lit on fire, massive traffic jams piling up, and people re-gathering in the middle of a large intersection as they chant loudly.

While this video was just uploaded within the hour, we cannot verify when or where it was taken.

New Footage of Neda While Alive

This video, uploaded today, appears to show Neda, the young Iranian woman whose death on Saturday has received much media attention, walking with her teacher before she was shot (:18). The clip of Neda is followed by footage of police on motorcycles. Approximately 43 seconds into the video, you can hear what sounds like a gunshot.

Citizentube on Al Jazeera English

Here's a clip of an interview we did on June 24th with Al Jazeera English, via Skype here in the San Bruno, CA office. Skip ahead to 4:05.

Another Man Shot By the Basij

This time the bullet is in the arm. It appears as though this video is taped off of another screen -- you can hear the people watching commenting on the video, but cannot hear the audio of the footage itself. No indication of when it was taken.

After A Police Attack

We've seen very few new video reports coming in from Tehran in the last 12 hours, but this was just uploaded to YouTube and shows the aftermath of a police attack on a community in Tehran. We are working on getting a good translation.

Update (12:18 PM EST) From an Iranian colleague:

"The guy is saying that riot policemen who were wearing uniform have come and done all these damage to people's cars and houses on the previous night. They broke into the building and they even tried to enter the apartments which they were faced the occupants. This man apparently lives in one of the apartments (the one which it's door is open) himself. The policemen then find their way to the roof and break the air condition units and satellite dishes and through off some of them off the building. They then exited the building to break other cars and houses. The man says he saw another car parked by the street which was occupied by women and children who flee their car because the riot police was breaking it.

The man says they have done this randomly to some houses probably as a response to those who were protesting through shouting on the roofs, since last night a lot of people were shouting on the roofs. He also says that the policemen had an Arabic accent. It's widely believed in Iran that some of the riot police forces are from Lebanese Hezbollah group.

The man says he hasn't called the police, since he thinks when all this damage has been done by the police forces it doesn't make sense to call the police. He says if this situation continues, they'll have to be armed themselves."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Protest at Revolutionary Court - Wednesday June 24

We've seen very little footage uploaded from Wednesday June 24, but this video looks as though it might be from today. It shows people gathering outside of the Revolutionary Court in Tehran to protest the detainment of loved ones by the Iranian government and demand their release.

A Child Victim of the Basij?

It's hard to know what's going on in this six second video, but the title (IRAN RIGGED ELECTIONS: Basij beat a 7-year old child 6/22/2009) suggests that a young child may have been privy to some of the violence of the past week. You can see the back of the child for the first second of the video, and then again at the very end. Someone, perhaps the mother, is shrieking and according to the video description is screaming "dirty bastards!"

From Earlier in the Week

Just uploaded, but shot on June 15, this high-quality video footage shows a large crowd of Iranians marching peacefully through the streets, protesting the election of Ahmadinejad. Given the current conditions in Iran, this type of large-scale protest cannot be held in Tehran today without being violently crushed.

Police Shooting Citizens In the Streets

Shot from above, this video shows people running frantically on the streets below, screaming as shots can be heard clearly in the background.

Blurry Video with Alarming Audio

This video, probably taken on a cell phone, is basically a sea of colors and moving shapes - but the audio makes clear that there's chaos in the streets. You can hear men yelling with a sense of fear and urgency, as gun shots ring out in the background. Towards the end, it's possible to make out the body of someone who has been wounded.

It was just uploaded within the hour with no indication of when or where it was shot.

UPDATE (1:07 AM ET): An Iranian colleague has informed me that starting at around 00:20, you can tell from the audio that a few Iranian demonstrators are beating someone whom they believe is a member of Basij, but he keeps saying that he's pro-Mousavi (and they do not trust him).

Another Shot by the Basij

This video is almost certainly from earlier in the week. It shows a protester who has just been badly wounded by a gunshot. The poster says he was shot by the Basij, and notes in the description that he has procured the video from "anonymous sources" in Iran.

Building Fires to Soothe Tear Gas Effects

This is from last Saturday, but it was just uploaded to YouTube today. It shows Iranians making fires on the sidewalks to create clouds of smoke, which help alleviate the painful effects of the tear gas used by the Basij against demonstrators.

More Casualities

Disturbing footage just posted of a group of Iranians who have been gravely injured in clashes with the Basij. This video was just uploaded, though we cannot verify when it was taken.

Protesters Fighting Back

More footage of protesters fighting back against the police, likely from earlier this week:

Boy Killed by Sniper

This video was taken by someone running through the streets towards a crowd of people gathered around a young man who has been shot, allegedly by a sniper. The video is labeled June 24.

Fires Burn in Tehran

It's now night time in Tehran, and it looks like fires are burning in the streets. We cannot verify this video was shot today, but it's labeled 24 June.

Protesters Attacking the Basij

This is incredible footage of Iranians attacking and beating members of the Basij. Police motorcycles have been lit on fire, and the streets are filled with people running around and yelling loudly. At a few points in the video, it looks as though a number of citizens are trying to protect the fallen Basij officers from being further injured by their fellow protesters.

There's no indication of when this video was shot, but it looks to have been taken from an Iranian news organization called the Fars News Agency.

Another Wounded Protester

This video was just posted 10 minutes ago, though we don't know when it was taken. It shows a protester who has just been shot, lying on the sidewalk, reportedly killed by the Basij. Gunshots can be heard in the background.

Protest Footage from Today - June 24?

Some sources indicate that the large scale protests have largely died down in Tehran, though others are reporting more clashes today. Mousavi has not been seen for days, and Ahmadinejad's government police forces have cracked down hard on any voices of dissent. We've seen fewer videos coming in to YouTube that appear to be from today.

However, this video is labeled Tehran, June 24. There is no way to verify that it is, indeed, from today - but it's the first video we've seen that seems plausible. There have been four copies of it uploaded in the last hour.

Mousavi Rally - June 15

This footage was taken more than a week ago, on June 15, but it was just uploaded to the site today. It was taken at the massive rally held by Mousavi's supporters on the Monday after the election, and you get a sense of just how many were there -- it's a sea of people chanting for Mousavi. Mousavi has not appeared in public for almost a week, though he has been sending periodic updates to his supporters via social networking sites.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A note from Citizentube about videos coming in from Iran

Military Presence on the Streets

It's not clear when this video was shot, but it gives a good sense of what the police and military presence is like on the streets in Tehran. There are no clashes with protesters captured in this footage; in fact, things look quite calm and controlled.

Protesters Wielding Police Batons

Half way through this video you can see a few young Iranian men proudly wielding the shields and batons that now symbolize the riot police patrolling the streets of Tehran. Presumably, the protestors, donning green to signify their support for Mousavi, managed to confiscate these instruments from the police, and here you can see them chanting in triumph.

Throwing Stones, Creating Barriers

Just posted an hour ago, this video, in contrast to much of the cell phone footage we're seeing uploaded from Tehran on YouTube, is shot in exceptionally high quality. It shows a large group of protesters pushing large objects into the street and lighting them on fire, allegedly to create barriers. Again, you see people throwing stones and yelling loudly at what is presumably a line of riot police that is beyond the purview of the camera.

Police Harassing Citizens

This is a short video uploaded today, though it seems to have been taped on Sunday. It shows riot police on the sidewalk in Tehran kicking and hitting citizens walking by.

President Obama's Remarks on Iran

President Obama held a press conference earlier today, and addressed what is happening in Iran. Watch his remarks:

Basij Home Invasion

This video - which was probably shot with a cell phone -- is very blurry, so it's hard to tell exactly what's going on in this scene. But it's labeled "Basij home invasion in Tehran," and the woman shooting the video is weeping as she documents what's happening below from the top of a building.

More Footage of Citizen Casualities

More footage was just uploaded to the site of citizen casualties after clashes with the Basij. Unclear when this video was taken:

A Reinactment of Violence

Protests are being held around the world in support of the Iranian citizens opposing Ahmadinejad's government. Many Iranian-Americans live in the Los Angeles area, and lively demonstrations have been held there over the past week and a half. This video shows two brothers who were part of a protest outside the Federal building in Westwood, California. They decided to stage a mock death scene in which one brother pretends to be a casuality of the Iranian police forces, lying bloody on the sidewalk, and the other mourns his death.

They write in the video description: "Here me and my brother pose to let people identify with the pain people are sustaining in Iran at the hands of the government, police, and the basij."

More from Today

More footage uploaded today of large groups of riot police manning the streets in Tehran. This appears to be the same camera man (or at least someone sharing the same vantage point) who shot this video.

If this footage of gun shots being fired out in the open in Tehran was indeed shot today, then it indicates the violence continues. The Iranians walking by on the sidewalk seem surprisingly undeterred.


It's unclear exactly what's happening in this video, which was purportedly shot yesterday and uploaded to YouTube today, but the progression of the footage well illustrates the chaotic conditions in Tehran. There is a large crowd of protesters standing near what looks to be a car that has been set on fire. You can see people throwing rocks towards the flames, then there are a few shots in the background, and everyone (including the cameraman) starts running. After a few minutes of fleeing that location, they run into a group of riot police on their motorcycles and start throwing rocks again. A helicopter can be heard overhead. The last scene looks like it might be the same one documented in this video, which we blogged about earlier, but shot from the perspective of someone actually in the crowd.

Kicking Down the Doors

There's something very unnerving about this video. It's another one shot by someone on the roof of a building, looking down into an alley way below. Here, they've captured footage of a large group of riot police who appear to be trying forcefully to kick down a door, albeit unsuccessfully. They give up and join forces with another dozen of their fellow police and re-enter the main roadway. You can hear people shrieking in the background.

Video from Tuesday June 23

This video does appear to be from today, so it seems as though protesters are still out there, still trying to get organized. This video is shot from a bridge in Tehran, looking down at throngs of protestors walking through the streets below. One thing that's notable in this video is just how many women are there in the mix.

Police Harass and Beat a Man in the Street

User nov11110, who has been aggregating many of the most compelling clips from Iran, just posted another video. This one is shot by someone who seems to be on the second story of a building, and he captures a group of riot police on camera harassing and beating a young man on the street down below.

Blood on the Streets

This video shows a bloody scene on a sidewalk in Tehran. The injured person is no longer there, but the pavement is stained with bright red blood, and a young man - whose hands are also covered in blood - is on his hands and knees weeping.

Please use discretion before viewing this video as the images contained within may be disturbing.

Tear Gassed by the Police

This is pretty dramatic footage of a crowd of protestors getting tear gassed by the police last Saturday June 20 (though it appears to have just been uploaded within the last hour). The video begins with shots of a street busy with people, and then you see clouds of gas appear in the air and people starting to cover their faces. The camera man begins to cough and the camera gets increasingly shaky and disoriented. People are stumbling around, coughing and blocking their eyes, noses, and mouths, and the videographer never manages to recover his steady hand.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Riot Police Line the Streets

Uploaded today, this video shows just how many riot police have been deployed onto the streets to prevent protests from breaking out:

Three New Videos

Three videos uploaded tonight.

Protestors standing in front of what is allegedly a Basij headquarters building, completely in flames:

More graphic footage of a badly wounded demonstrator in Tehran:

Iranians holding a rally at a memorial that has been created for the young girl named Neda who was shot and killed by a sniper over the weekend in Tehran.

A Street War

Another incredible video of a street war in Tehran between a massive group of Iranian citizens who are facing off against a much smaller group of riot police. Both sides appear to be in a stand-off, throwing rocks at one another until the very end when the protestors charge forward and the police appear to run away. You can tell that the video was shot by someone peering down from a building above. Take a look:

A Different Kind of Protest

Many of the protests we've seen recently have ended in violence, but here's an example of a more peaceful protest that took place yesterday. Dozens of cars blocked the street, flashed their lights, and blared their horns to make a strong statement:

Video of Student Killed by Gunfire

Nico Pitney, who's live blogging all of the latest developments in Iran over at the Huffington Post, found this video earlier today. It shows a young Iranian student who has been shot (allegedly by the Basij forces) during a protest. Loud shouts can be heard in the background as other protestors pick up his body and drag him to inside to a covered area.

It's not clear when this video was shot, though it was uploaded to YouTube today. Please use discretion before viewing this video as it contains graphic images.

Police and Protestors Clash in Tehran

Much of the footage that is being uploaded today deals with the interaction between the Basij and the protesters. This video depicts a young female protester being beaten in a Tehran street. Viewer discretion is advised.

This video chronicles the burning of what is rumored to be a police car. The car is wrapped in flames and giant plumes of black smoke rise up from it. The video also captures citizens documenting the scene with cameras:

Iran's state-run TV on YouTube: spinning it the other way

Iran's PressTV Channel, a state-run broadcast, has been posting to YouTube at their steady pace of about 10 clips a week - but only recently addressed the protests in their country over the June 12th elections. In this weekly summary piece, "Reality Check", PressTV takes a look at the "biased Western coverage" on such networks as CNN, and repeatedly sites a poll done by an organization called Terror-free Tomorrow that predicted a 2:1 victory for Ahmadinejad before the election took place:

Is Iran's YouTube strategy working? The above episode of Reality Check was posted a day ago, and has 13 views at the time of this posting.

Announcing Service 2.0: Video Volunteers

Cross-posted on the YouTube blog

Have you ever wanted to volunteer but weren't able to find an opportunity that felt right? Have you ever considered using your video-creating skills for a cause you care about but didn't know exactly how to get started? Well, search no more. Starting today, you can become a YouTube Video Volunteer -- and we'll help find you a great nonprofit organization to work with right here on YouTube.

Video Volunteers is YouTube's version of a new platform that Google has launched called All for Good, which helps match citizens with volunteer opportunities in their local communities. Built in partnership with the White House, All for Good is sort of like a Craigslist for community service. But you don't just have to show up at your local soup kitchen or animal shelter to give back -- volunteering in the 21st century can be done entirely online.

Powered by All for Good, the YouTube Video Volunteers platform will help you find a nonprofit organization that needs help creating videos to promote its cause. Starting today, you can sift through video opportunities on www.youtube.com/videovolunteers and connect directly with nonprofits for whom you'd like to make a video. Learn more about the platform from the Vlogbrothers, who've used their audience and talents to champion causes they care about:

The Vlogbrothers aren't the only familiar faces who are on board to become Video Volunteers. LisaNova made this video, highlighting the fact that there are many nonprofits that need your help:

Whether you're an aspiring filmmaker, an at-home vlogger, an advertising aficionado, or just someone with a video camera and some spare time on the weekend, we want you to be a Video Volunteer. And if you're a nonprofit who would like to find a video volunteer, you can visit the Video Volunteers channel for information on how to post a video assignment.

We'll highlight some of the best videos every month on the Video Volunteers channel and beyond, so that your work can help change the world, one video at a time.

Ramya Raghavan
YouTube Nonprofits & Activism

More From Bloody Saturday

Disturbing footage just uploaded to YouTube from Saturday's violent protests. A group of men run down the street, yelling loudly while carrying a badly wounded man. The camera holder appears to be running alongside, keeping the lens fixated on the bloodied body as it's lugged through the streets.

This video was taken by a woman driving down the street in a car. It's interesting to see what the city looks like as the car passes through and she pans what she sees on the sidewalk through the window, capturing two minutes of a busy street scene.

Burning the Barricades

This video shows Iranians pulling down metal barricades (presumably ones put up by riot police to keep protesters out of various public demonstration areas) and dragging them into the streets to light them on fire.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Taking It To the Streets at Night

This video - uploaded 10 minutes ago - shows a crowd of young people gathered together in the middle of the street at night in Tehran. Many of them are holding hands and chanting excitedly in unison. If anyone can translate what is being said here, please leave us a comment below.

Tributes to Neda, the Face of the Movement

The young woman who was shot by a sniper in Tehran on Saturday, and died moments later on camera, has become the "face of the movement." Her name was Neda, and already many people consider her a martyr who died for the revolution underway in Iran right now. While many copies of the video documenting her tragic death have been uploaded to YouTube, we're also starting to see tribute videos roll in. Here are a few uploaded today:

Video of Mousavi at Imam Square, Tehran

Amazing footage of Mousavi appearing in front of a large crowd of his supporters. The video says this is from yesterday (Saturday) June 20 at Imam Square in Tehran. You can just feel how energetic the crowd is, and see how many video cameras and cell phones are being held in the air.

Capturing a Home Invasion on Video

There are multiple copies of this video on YouTube right now, probably because it's pretty incredible footage. The person who shot this video is hiding above a garage where two men are in the process of being arrested by the Basij, in what is supposedly a home invasion. The cameraman is whispering as he crouches behind a beam and points his camera down through a crack to capture the scene below. In the background, you hear guns being fired and people screaming as the men are lead away by the Basij.

From A Protester's Perspective

It's not clear exactly when this video was taken, but it was uploaded today and has the date June 21st in the title. It's shot from the unique vantage point of someone who is actually part of a crowd of protestors, running towards a group of riot police and throwing objects at them.

A Man Down, a Bus in Flames

More video footage just posted within the last few hours from Tehran, supposedly taken sometime on Sunday. This video shows a chaotic scene with loud gunshots in the background and a man who has just been shot. Protesters are shouting, just about everyone is documenting the scene with cameras and cell phones, and it doesn't seem as if the violence is letting up. Viewer discretion advised.

This is an incredible video shot today of a bus on the streets of Tehran completely engulfed in flames.

Tehran, Sunday

First Videos from Sunday in Tehran are showing up this morning, this one shot by a protester walking amongst the masses; a few encounters with police. Unclear who shot this - even the title says "location unknown".

Several clips from Forsat Shirazi St. protests within Tehran are surfacing, too - many of them variations on this:

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Atmosphere in Tehran

Video supposedly from today that gives a sense of the war-zone like atmosphere in the streets of Tehran:

Citizens Fighting Back

This video shows a clear view of a major city street in Tehran, which is filled with civilians who initially flee as riot police on motorcycles approach, but then reassemble and begin throwing objects at the police in protest.

This video also shows Iranians fearlessly fighting back against the riot police.

Violence Breaks Out in the Streets of Tehran

The situation on the ground in Tehran has turned very violent again today. Hundreds are reported to be injured, and at least several dozen have been killed.

These three videos have both been posted within the last hour. The first two are of a girl who has apparently been shot dead on the streets surrounded by throngs of protesters trying to help. We're already seeing many copies of various videos taken from this scene being uploaded and circulated on YouTube. The third looks to be footage captured by a cell phone camera of a man recently shot. Please use discretion before viewing these, as some of the images within are very disturbing and may be difficult to watch.

A look into one YouTuber's Iran news-watching strategy

The fact that people abroad are paying attention to what's taking place in Iran right now has to be important to those who are protesting in Tehran. YouTube user jaydailyblog just uploaded this quick commentary from his home in which he walks you through how he's following the news in Iran, via YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook:

Police Dispersing the Crowd

Video just uploaded of riot police dispersing the crowds of protesters in Iran. It appears to be from today.

First Videos from Today's Protests

The first videos of what appear to be scenes from today's protests in Tehran have just been uploaded to YouTube by user downwithiran.

Riot Police Preventing Protests?

Sources from inside Iran are reporting that the Iranian riot police are crowding the streets in Tehran, trying to prevent people from protesting today. A few reports indicate that clashes between citizens and the police have already begun. If you see videos documenting what's happening on the ground today, please send them to citizennews@youtube.com.

A View from Above: Friday Prayers

This is an amazing clip from yesterday's Friday prayer session in Tehran that shows the size of the crowd amassed for Ayatollah Imam Khamenai's speech.

Students Shot In Front Of A Camera

This video was just posted a few minutes ago, showing a student in a Tehran get shot and fall to the ground. Other protesters run to help him, throwing up their arms in protest in what appears to be the direction of the shooter. It's not clear when this video was taken.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Broadcasting in Iran: A Tale of Two Speeches

Today, one week after the disputed Iranian elections sparked the largest street protests in the country's history, Supreme Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed the Iranian people in a speech that urged them to accept Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's victory. Khamenei told Iranians, "If there is any bloodshed, leaders of the protests will be held directly responsible." The speech was broadcast on national television.

Yesterday, in a speech before throngs of silent protesters in the streets of Iran, challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi told supporters they must stand up against corruption. Yet due to the Iranian Governments crack-downs on foreign media, this speech received no airtime, inside or outside of Iran. The only clip we've see of it on YouTube lasts just 20 seconds.

See the two clips of the speeches below, side by side. The contrast is striking.

Yet in a sign of the complicated relationship between politics and religion in Iran, Mousavi himself has called off all Friday protests in honor of Khamenei and his speech to the nation. Demonstrators have vowed to resume protests on Saturday, according to the BBC.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Attacks on Students at Tehran University

For the past few days, we've been seeing videos documenting the inside of Tehran University after it was the target of a Basij attack. Here's one video that shows some of the damage done:

And some new footage was uploaded today the captures police brutally attacking Tehran University students who were protesting.