YouTube Talks About Kenyan Violence

Videos spread on site

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We’ve often teased YouTube; at times, it seems like the site’s only purpose is to showcase musical losers and kicks to the crotch.  The crisis in Kenya has caused people to use YouTube for some much more serious reasons, though, and the site’s leaders have acknowledged its role.YouTube Talks About Kenyan Violence

A post on the YouTube Blog is titled "Amid Violence, Kenyans Connect on YouTube," and Steve G. begins by going over the real-world, election-sparked situation.  "When sitting President Mwai Kibaki won over opposition leader Raila Odinga, claims of a rigged result sent hundreds of protesters into the street, sparking tribal warfare and governmental crackdowns on protesters.  The violence has killed hundreds of Kenyans and displaced over 350,000 citizens."

Then, in a suitably non-promotional way, Steve segues into a description of how YouTube has proven useful.   A Kenyan broadcaster created its own channel as a means of getting news out.  The National Democratic Institute began another one for a similar purpose.  We even came across a channel from the Kenya Red Cross Society.

It’s hard to say what effect the channels are having; no one can stop a riot by virtue of having watched a two-minute clip.  Still, if the videos manage to influence any voters, and thereby influence politicians, that’ll be an accomplishment.  There’s also the matter of individual aid donations to consider.  And whatever the end result, at least YouTube is helping with the spread of information.

YouTube Talks About Kenyan Violence
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