Invoking the Name of YouTube

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Has the word "YouTube" become synonymous with phrases like "voice of the people" and "civil right"? The reason I ask is that though it’s not abundantly clear what, exactly, YouTube has to do with New York City film permits, the name was invoked as if it were an argument stopper.

I’m not a New Yorker, so the news that the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting is making regulations tougher is of no concern to me. I cover YouTube, and sites like it, so the keyword popped up.

At first glance, it looks like Ray Rivera, the author of said article, seems to be invoking the name of YouTube for its own buzzworthiness, or perhaps for the keyword traffic YouTube news can generate. After all, invoking the Name automatically makes it more relevant to a broader set of readers than reporting on new local ordinances.

But then, just when you’re sure it might be a ringer, one of the interviewees, a representative of the NY Civil Liberties Union invokes the Name:

“These rules will apply to a huge range of casual photography and filming, including tourists taking snapshots and people making short videos for YouTube,” said Christopher Dunn, the group’s associate legal director.

As if there were no other video-sharing site. Well, YouTube does account for 10 percent of all Web traffic. But still. The tone of that – "will apply to…people making short videos for YouTube" – is akin to a sentence that ends "will prevent the free exercise of speech" or "is in direct violation of inalienable rights endowed by our Creator."

Isn’t it interesting that a two-year-old website has become such the people’s medium, to the point that objectors drag it into conversation, whether completely relevant to the topic or not, to thwart any agency that would interfere with right to broadcast on YouTube?   

Invoking the Name of YouTube
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