Wednesday, September 29, 2010

College Republicans urge youth to "break up" with Obama

One of the fastest-rising political videos on YouTube this week is this spoof from the College Republicans, which urges the youth of America to "break up" with President Obama:

The video, which recently surpassed 60,000 views, includes gobs of social media references and one-line zingers ("he had me at hope and change"). It's clear that the Republicans are actively courting the youth vote, which President Obama won handily in 2008.

In addition to putting it on YouTube, the College Republicans have spent close to $10,000 running the ad on television in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida college towns.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dan Savage launches YouTube channel to help gay teens

Dan Savage, author of the popular sex advice column "Savage Love," just announced his new YouTube channel to provide support to LGBT teens who are being bullied or discriminated against. The channel, titled "It Gets Better" is Savage's response to the large number of gay youth who have written to him asking for guidance and advice. Here's the video Savage created to launch the channel with his husband Terry:

Future videos will come from other role models who will help encourage gay teens that life gets better after high school. Savage has definitely chosen the right place to launch his project - from Tyler Oakley who made a viral video combating hate speech to Michael Buckley who is one of YouTube's most popular partners to David Jacques who has made several videos championing various causes, YouTube is full of LGBT role models. Here's hoping that Savage will consider using some of YouTube's most famous faces to bolster this inspirational project.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Personal stories of struggle and success in fight for Millennium Development Goals

There's been a lot of talk about the Millennium Development Goals this week, with both the UN in session and the Clinton Global Initiative running in New York. And in the midst of the policy discussion about the goals and their future, an innovative production company called Purple States is working to put a personal face on the goals. By getting cameras in the hands of people around the world, they've produced a series of "MDG Vignettes" that chronicle the struggles and success of those fighting for better lives.

Germany and India:

Rwanda and Kenya:

Spain and the Philippines:

Your ideas on human rights and free expression on YouTube

[cross-posted from the YouTube blog]

About a month ago, as part of our series of blogs about human rights and video with, we asked for your thoughts and ideas on some of the key topics on the future of video activism. Now we're responding to some of your top-voted questions and comments within the Moderator series we set up to facilitate the discussion. Click here to see our discussion on privacy, impact, and classification of human rights videos online.

But the conversation only grows from here. This week, we've gathered with around 300 activists, nonprofits, and thought leaders in Budapest for Internet at Liberty 2010, a conference that Google is sponsoring in conjunction with the Central Europeon University to examine key issues in online free expression. We've been collecting your thoughts on how to keep the Internet safe for online free expression in another Moderator series; many of your ideas will be discussed in the panels and discussions that take place in Hungary. The conference will be live streamed, and we'll post videos of the session to a special YouTube channel dedicated to the discussions that take place.

People everywhere use platforms like YouTube to share their stories with the world every day. Sometimes those stories are as simple as an idea, a thought or a diary of life through your eyes; other times, those stories expose abuses of power or human rights violations in ways that are changing how justice is served around the world. Whatever you decide to use the web for, we believe it's vital to a free society to keep the Internet open, and it's through discussions like these that we can continue to teach each other how to do so.

Steve Grove, Head of News & Politics, YouTube, and Sameer Padania for WITNESS

Behind the scenes of "Dude, you have no Quran"

Great interview by CBS correspondent Shira Lazar with Jacob Isom, the man whose shirtless interview on local news following his rescue of a Quran before it could be burned then spurred a viral auto-tune hit.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

First-hand look at a Taliban attack in Afghanistan

Some incredible footage from Global Post's James Foley, on assignment for PBS News Hour in Afghanistan. At 1:32, a gunner takes a bullet in the head; his helmet saves his life.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Nonprofit challenges Stephen Colbert to an "Ice-Cream-off"

Volunteer Match, a nonprofit that matches volunteers with charity organizations, has challenged Stephen Colbert to an Ice Cream taste test between their Ben and Jerry's flavor, "Berry Voluntary", and Colbert's "Americone Dream":

Fighting the hunger crisis in Chad

Heart-wrenching video from Jonathan Dumont at the World Food Program, who's been in Chad documenting the hunger crisis:

Monday, September 13, 2010

Behind the scenes at the Democracy Video Challenge

Some behind the scenes footage with Secretary of State Clinton from the awards ceremony for the Democracy Video Challenge last week:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

President Clinton takes your questions on YouTube

William Jefferson Clinton has worn many hats over the years. He served two terms as the 42nd President of the United States. He founded the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative to tackle problems like global health, poverty, education and climate change. He’s spent much of this year leading the recovery effort in Haiti through the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

And starting now, he’s taking your questions in an exclusive YouTube interview. Hear more about the interview and the President’s work straight from the man himself:

To participate, visit and use the Moderator platform to upload your video question for President Clinton—and vote for the ones you like the best. You can also submit a text question if you can’t record a video.

Later this month, at his annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting, President Clinton will sit down with us and answer a selection of your top-voted questions in our interview.

Submit your question and start voting early! The submission period closes on September 13.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Open for Questions with Ben Rhodes, final video

Here's our Open for Questions session with the White House after the President's Oval Office address the other night: