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September 28, 2006

Government Videos Distributed Through YouTube

Another major institution has realized the value of video sharing sites like YouTube, as the U.S. government has started to distribute some of its anti-drug material through the cultural phenomenon, in hopes that its repurposed content will reach new audiences and be shared throughout YouTube.

The content, which consists of a vareity of commercials/public service announcements that were just repurposed into a clip to be distrubted online, has been posted to the site in hopes of reaching young people in ways that they prefer their content.

The article, by Ted Bridis with the Associated Press, focuses on the wide variety of drug-related YouTube content, including videos depicting drug use and many videos of people doing things while supposedly high, and the ways in which the government's anti-drug content is hoped to counteract the reach of these drug-related videos.

As YouTube increasingly becomes a blend of a few corporate-driven pieces of content among a vast majority of user-generated pieces of video, the government is hoping to carve out a space out in this area.

Bridis quotes a statement from Rafael Lemaitre, spokesperson for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, in which he says, "If just one teen sees this and decides illegal drug use is not the path for them, it will be a success." Further, national drug policy advisor John Walters says that "public institution must adapt to meet the realities of these promising technologies."

How will government content fit into the YouTube space? Will it generate a significant amount of interest? Only time will tell...

Thanks to Margaret Weigel for forwarding this article to me.

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