Tuesday Toss-Up

Does Everything Belong on YouTube?

Smile! You are on Camera

I’m a big fan of YouTube. I love the way just about anyone can upload a video and share their talent (okay…in some cases, the word “talent” might be a little generous). I love how folks can capture something amazing, funny, silly, weird, or cringe-worthy and share it with the world.

On the other hand, it’s more than a little horrifying that just about anybody can video anything at any time.

That time you drank a few too many Jagerbombs at the office party. The time you went to the grocery store in your crappiest sweats because it was just a quick trip and you were sure you weren’t going to run into anyone you knew. Or the time you picked your nose while stuck in traffic. Or maybe the time you had a ginormous fight with your significant other in public…and then made up passionately afterwards.

kitty cat
Wait a minute! Were you just filming me? If you put that on YouTube, I swear I’ll poop in your shoes.

Personally, I’m grateful no one filmed the time I had a spectacular nursing mishap when my eldest was a newborn (although I’m reasonably sure that guy across the restaurant who got an eyeful will never forget). I’m even more glad there was no YouTube or Facebook when I was growing up. I’d hate to be famous for any of the idiotic growing up mistakes I made, on the off-chance they went viral. While I may want to be on YouTube someday, I hope it’s only ever by choice.

Speaking of choosing to be on YouTube…

Recently, I’ve come across more than a few videos of kids having meltdowns in public places. Most of these videos don’t seem to be uploaded by parents, friends or relatives. On the contrary, they’re usually uploaded by a (probably childless) stranger. Then a bunch of folk add witty comments about how the tantrum “should” be handled, what a bad parent (usually the mother) the attending parent is, and how this is an example of why he or she will never have kids or how his or her kids will never do that kind of thing in public.

Those of you who are parents can stop laughing now.


Been there. Done that. My kiddos were very low on the tantrum-having scale (at least in public). And I usually tried hard to avoid tantrums by not dragging hungry, tired kids from errand to errand. But…I have survived a tantrumapocalypse or two. I’m eternally grateful none of those made it on YouTube (standing among all the stares and helpful advice was torture enough).

temper tantrumParenting technique aside, I have to wonder at a person who uploads a video of somebody without their consent, especially a child.

I surely don’t want my kiddos on YouTube without my consent. Heck, I don’t even like friends and family posting pictures of my children without asking.

But it seems like our world is moving in an always-on-stage kind of direction.

And I’ll admit to enjoying a video of someone doing something wacky now and then. I generally only watch if the video seems to be uploaded by the folks in it or with their knowledge or if you can’t really see said folks clearly enough to identify them later.

And I may or may not have visited that People of Wal-Mart site. I’m not admitting to anything.

What do you think? What are the ethics of posting videos of other people on YouTube?


Photo Credit
Smile! You are on Camera by Anirudh Koul (Apapted), on Flickr |  CC BY-NC 2.0
Miss_Lemon013 by kishrieves, on Flickr | CC BY-NC 2.0
ellp7020657 by Tidewater Muse, on Flickr |CC BY-ND-ND 2.0


10 thoughts on “Does Everything Belong on YouTube?

  1. Personally, I would be livid if anyone uploaded videos of my daughter without my consent.

    I’m not comfortable taking videos or pictures of other people if they aren’t known to me, it feels sleazy. I’d never upload anything without permission anyway, I’d be horrified if a video of me being a fool showed up without me knowing about it so I’d never do it to someone else.

    I have to wonder what the repercussions of living your life online with minimal filters and privacy is going to be in a few years time though. I’ve heard of some horrific sounding viral YouTube videos (I refused to watch) that have teenager’s actual names attached to them and I can’t help but think “You’re never going to get a job. Ever. Not when your name is synonymous with X. That is NEVER going away”.

    1. Agreed. As parents we have every right to protect our children until they’re old enough to make these decisions on their own. I feel for a lot of young people who don’t realize the impact living their lives online, as you say, will make on their future.

  2. As video cameras become more and more popular, I think more personal/embarrassing stuff will be uploaded without our knowledge. Hopefully Youtube can find a way to arbitrate disputes and take down videos if the people in them complain. They might now, for all I know.

  3. get over it parents of young people, security personnel includes serial killers and perverts, and they have been watching and swapping vids from store security cameras for decades, NSA is everyone’s friend on facebook, this blogger describes a milk fountain trauma witnessed by someone who may have uploaded it to zero views. Don’t worry PSY’s billion views is a long way away.

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