Sometimes, YouTube is a dubious friend.
In this instance, Lieutenant Governor candidate Pete Snyder posted a video on YouTube, and it helpfully suggested some other “related” videos that I might be interested in watching after I finished with Pete. In this case, there are some news clips, something about a swine flu panic, a cow, a couple of other videos I can’t immediately classify, and a picture of some guy licking a girl’s nearly naked butt — all of which are somehow “related” to Snyder and his campaign.
Either YouTube likes Pete XIII a lot, or not. It’s hard to tell.
Which brings us to the problems inherent in using YouTube as a delivery medium for political messaging. What you see after a video plays is a mix of what YouTube thinks is relevant to the content you just watched, and what it thinks, based on your previous viewings, are of interest to you generally. A campaign can’t control what is shown after a video plays, and ends up leaving their visual messaging to the mercy of a YouTube algorithm that may, or in this case certainly does not make connections the campaign would appreciate.
In my case I have an eleven year-old daughter who has discovered dance music and is determined to show me everything she likes. YouTube apparently makes a connection with Pete XIII’s “pig rig” so you get all the references to animal husbandry, and thinks I’m a pre-teen interested in the dance music that is using that unfortunate butt licking image as a thumbnail for a dance music video (as if a pre-teen would appreciate that - c’mon YouTube!) next to a picture of a bovine.
So a voter in my situation ends up with imagery of animal infectious diseases and soft-core pornography after watching Pete XIII’s video. Not quite optimal connections for a campaign, at all.
So here’s a hint to all the political campaigns out there - be aware that when you post a campaign video on a site where you cannot control all the variables, they could become a problem, unless your campaign doesn’t particularly mind cementing images of soft-core porn and animals alongside your campaign.
I imagine most campaigns wouldn’t want that, so they might want to pay attention here.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.
Leave a Reply