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[liberationtech] Ordinary citizens, extraordinary videos

Yosem Companys ycompanys at gmail.com
Mon Jan 4 10:50:04 PST 2010


Ordinary citizens, extraordinary
videos<http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/ordinary-citizens-extraordinary-videos.html>
12/29/2009 10:04:00 AM
*(Cross-posted from
Citizentube<http://www.citizentube.com/2009/12/ordinary-citizens-extraordinary-videos.html>
and
the YouTube Blog<http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/2009/12/ordinary-citizens-extraordinary-videos.html>
)*

The images are grainy, often jerky and hard to follow (like most footage
shot using hand-held cameras and cellphones), but the message is
unmistakable: in the months since the disputed Iranian presidential election
in June, the people of Iran have become fluent in the new language of
citizen video reporting. What might have seemed an isolated moment
immediately following the election, when we watched videos of Iranians
marching <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKimiRJcLcg>,
battling<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUMVwkf2tEY> and
even dying <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1aPejT0izs> on the streets of
Tehran, appears to have become an essential part of their struggle.

At YouTube, we have been watching <http://www.citizentube.com/> week after
week as new videos have appeared on the site within hours of every single
protest or similar event reported from Iran in the past six months.
Thousands of uploads have brought the fear and tension of these protests to
YouTube, inviting millions of views around the world. It is as if the
revolts that are taking place could not do so outside the eye of the camera.

Unlike traditional news footage from foreign correspondents (currently
prohibited in Iran), these videos are the voice of the people —
unfiltered<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhWceh5-q1E>
, unedited <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVulslxDJh0> and with a single,
sometimesdisturbing <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVUoCo5B74Q> point of
view. No professional film could capture the one-to-one feeling of watching
an ordinary citizen's images of unrest in his or her own country.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hH6Y6YIP0CY&feature=player_embedded

We are constantly amazed by the videos our community uploads, whether from
their own backyards or the streets of a faraway land. Armed with only a
camera and a means to reach the Internet, anyone can ask another to bear
witness to their lives. Given the nature of the YouTube videos from Iran, we
may want to turn away from some of the images we see, but we keep watching,
knowing that we are seeing through the eyes of a people who have discovered
the power of information — despite the often extreme measures their
government is using to try to stop them.

We will continue to provide the platform for you to see what they see, hear
their voices and learn about their struggles. And we encourage you to join
the global conversation. Leave a comment, upload your own response video or
share a moving moment with someone else.

Posted by Olivia Ma, YouTube News and Politics

Permalink<http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/ordinary-citizens-extraordinary-videos.html>
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