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What Is Real On YouTube?

kdawson posted about 8 years ago | from the i'll-believe-it-when-i-see-it dept.

277

An anonymous reader writes, "The popularity of user-generated video sites like YouTube has given rise to deceptive videos created for self-promotion, advertising, or even smearing rival brands. This latter format, dubbed the 'smear video,' depicts a rival brand's product exhibiting fictitious faults. One example is the 21-second YouTube video entitled 'Samsung handset, easy to break at one try!', which shows a smiling woman easily snapping the new Samsung Ultra Edition mobile phone in half. Samsung says the phone was rigged to snap and the video has now been removed from the site. The article also accuses those who created the now infamous Lonelygirl15 YouTube videos of 'deception for profit. Misrepresenting commercials as independent user-generated content, actors as members of the public, and fiction as fact.' Will user-generated video sites increasingly confront visitors with the disturbing possibility that the video they're watching is not a home video at all, but a sophisticated ad campaign?"

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277 comments

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What is real on Slashdot? (4, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | about 8 years ago | (#16133382)

Slashdot users are pretty adept at spotting slashvertisements [slashdot.org] and astrotrufing (better than the slashdot editors, it would seem. Did anyone think "lonelygirl15" was real?

Re:What is real on Slashdot? (1)

TopShelf (92521) | about 8 years ago | (#16133442)

Slashvertisements are a little different, however, as they are articles posted by the editors. There have always been informative newspaper articles that in another light, could be looked at as advertisements. For instance, a piece about the dangers of personal computing in the internet age could refer to leading antivirus packages.

On sites like YouTube, however, the premise is that you're seeing personal content being posted. Really, it's just an extension to the maxim of taking in content with a critical mindset. Who produced the content you're seeing, and why did they do so?

Re:What is real on Slashdot? (3, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 8 years ago | (#16133449)

Headline: Not everything on the internet is real

More news at 11


How are fake videos any different from fake websites?

I wish someone had taken the old "fake website" con, changed it to "fake video" and patented the idea.

For the day that faux computer generated humans are perfected, I call dibs on "fake webcam sluts"

Re:What is real on Slashdot? (1)

Xentor (600436) | about 8 years ago | (#16133501)

I didn't know she was fake... I watched her once, for about ten seconds, before I got bored and switched to something else. I don't think she actually said anything coherent.

I have another question... Does anyone actually watch her?

Re:What is real on Slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16133633)

CmdrTaco's heterosexuality? no wait...

Re:What is real on Slashdot? (1)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | about 8 years ago | (#16133656)

Quite a lot of people it seems. Quite a few got the underlying story where its believed she is to be sacrificed on the 22nd October by her Satanists parents (alledgelly).

However after her interview on MTV, it turns out she may nothing more then a clever marketing viral advert for revver.com which is a rival of YouTube.

I recommend watching the lonelyOctober videos on youTube. The purple puppet explains the plot.

Re:What is real on Slashdot? (2, Informative)

RLiegh (247921) | about 8 years ago | (#16133673)

>Did anyone think "lonelygirl15" was real?
Yes. I saw threads about her on several message boards I frequent where people who were decently intelligent (judging by the quality of their posts on other subjects) were discussing her without appearing to have a clue that it was a set-up.

Oh NO! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16133387)

You mean everything on the web isn't real? FUCK!

Re:Oh NO! (1)

ab0mb88 (541388) | about 8 years ago | (#16133585)

You mean everything on the web isn't real? FUCK!

This is true for that topic more than any other.

Arrr (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16133388)

Talk like a pirate day is tomorrow!!

You mean YARRRRR! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16133607)

Me hearty.

hmm (3, Interesting)

aleksiel (678251) | about 8 years ago | (#16133390)

i'm kinda unclear on how the whole lonelygirl project generated much/any profit.

The next LonelyGirl (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | about 8 years ago | (#16133431)

will be telling us about Serenity II.

Re:The next LonelyGirl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16133543)

there will never be a serenity 2.

Re:The next LonelyGirl (1)

Doyenne (1003042) | about 8 years ago | (#16133559)

will be telling us about Serenity II. I'd rather she tell us about Firefly:The Resurrection. Actually, I'd prefer ANY of the crew, or Joss, to tell us anything. They could read the phone book. Just not her; I, too, shut her off after 15 seconds due to extreme boredom. Perhaps it's too much exposure to this speedy internet after years of gaming with commands like "go n"; "turn e".

Re:hmm (2, Insightful)

aliendisaster (1001260) | about 8 years ago | (#16133591)

It didnt generate any profit. However, it did give this unknown actress her 15 minutes of fame. I dont think its really about lonelygirl. I think its really about what the next ones going to do. Soon, the internet videos that all the lil kiddies love to watch are going to be filled with product placement just like the full length movies.

Re:hmm (1)

RLiegh (247921) | about 8 years ago | (#16133709)

The creators now have several articles in various news outlets to add to their resumes and will be able to use those the next time they try to sell some half-assed idea of theirs. IE the profit was in publicity and 'buzz', not in dollars.

Re:hmm (3, Informative)

Peter Mork (951443) | about 8 years ago | (#16133805)

From a Washington Post article: "[Lonelygirl15] was a 19-year-old acress named Jessica Rose." Skip to the next paragraph: "Rose landed on 'The Tonight Show.'"

The profit is in self-promotion. The other filmmakers "have since signed with Creative Artists Agency."

I am SHOCKED (4, Funny)

soft_guy (534437) | about 8 years ago | (#16133400)

I am shocked, shocked I tell you! LonleyGirl isn't real?! People would actually post videos that are not what they appear to be?!

This comes as a great revelation to us all!

Re:I am SHOCKED (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about 8 years ago | (#16133540)

As long as people continue to be gullible idiots*, there will be people who will exploit that.

*The fact that anybody believed lonelygirl15 was real, more than a couple minutes into her first episode, indicates they still are

It's the tubes! (5, Funny)

spun (1352) | about 8 years ago | (#16133555)

It's the tubes. You see, things have to chopped into little pieces, appropriately called "bits" to be sent through the tubes without clogging them. Real girls can not survive being chopped into bits! So no, nothing you see on the internet is real. Why just yesterday I was hungry and told one of my aides to send me a ham sandwich through the internets. They asked me how to go about that and I told them to scan it in and send it by email. When it got here, I printed it out, and let me tell you, it tasted nothing like a ham sandwich!

Free Sp$$ch (1)

Zxeses (236430) | about 8 years ago | (#16133404)

I don't see how a persons opinion of a phone, expressed by video, is any different then simply writing "this phone sucks". The video should not only have stayed up, but its in the public best interest to leave it so.

Re:Free Sp$$ch (3, Interesting)

1010110010 (1002553) | about 8 years ago | (#16133458)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if I go around bitching about a company with bogus claims of its products' deficiencies, isn't that libel? So why would doing it in video be any better?

Re:Free Sp$$ch (4, Informative)

ReverendLoki (663861) | about 8 years ago | (#16133670)

You are free to say "Company X sucks", or "I think Product Y is cheap crap". However, to say "Product Y breaks so easily, this woman can do it without any effort" is making a supposedly factual statement. You are free to express an opinion all you want, but when you get into statements of measurable fact, you better hope the numbers back you up.

Or, to put it another way - I can go online and say "Joe's a butthead" just fine. But, if I'm gonna go saying "Joe just beat up a homeless cripple and stole his blanket", I'm opening myself up to a lawsuit if, indeed, Joe did not perform these acts, and I knew as much.

Oh, and as video is a fixed format, it would be a libel case. Slander is for transientory defamation, such as unrecorded speech - i.e., I go shouting it on the street corner, or start telling all my friends this "fact". You got it right, but I've already seen a lot of others get it wrong so far...

Re:Free Sp$$ch (1)

freshBlueO2 (753611) | about 8 years ago | (#16133661)

All false advertising should be criminalized! Just like those false exploding laptop batteries that Dell and Apple provide. Come on, that doesn't REALLY happen!

Just YouTube? (3, Insightful)

mrn121 (673604) | about 8 years ago | (#16133405)

This has been a main criticism of the internet since the first newsgroups began appearing years ago. You could always write a blog or review of something posing as anyone pretending to know anything. YouTube is no different, save the fact that manipulation and misrepresentation of facts can be created and shared easily in a video format. I fail to see how this is a new (read: interesting) question.

Re:Just YouTube? (4, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | about 8 years ago | (#16133464)

Especially since YouTube (and the videos on it) never presented themselves as "home movies." Some are, some aren't. It's just a big grabbag, which personally I think is fine. What I actually learned from this story is that YouTube will take down videos at request of companies (Samsung in this case) who feel they have the right to control any depiction of products they make. This in itself is a bias of the system by businesses that don't want you to see certain things.

Libel/Slander (1)

KalvinB (205500) | about 8 years ago | (#16133728)

Samsung had a right to have the video removed because it libeled/slandered/whatever their product. If it were an honest critique and they had it removed then there would be a problem.

Re:Just YouTube? (5, Insightful)

Saeger (456549) | about 8 years ago | (#16133757)

That was my takeaway message as well -- not the expected frauds, but that Samsung managed to get the video pulled so easily.

It's not suprising in the least that lame stealth marketing will eventually worm its influence wherever it can. The only real fix for the "unauthentic slimeball problem" is a reputation system that works.

Re:Just YouTube? (1)

adamacus (1002560) | about 8 years ago | (#16133553)

I think it is interesting. No forum or newsgroup really gets the kind of global attention that youtube gets. Add to that the fact that producing a fake video is so much more involved than just typing up a few paragraphs. These companies actually have to plan it all out, get someone to shoot the video, do the sound, script, etc. Posting on a forum could just be the act of a single individual, this is somehow creepier, and more conspiratorial. Furthermore, I think people tend to trust more what they see than what they read.

Re:Just YouTube? (1)

1310nm (687270) | about 8 years ago | (#16133653)

Capitalism promotes the best in people. Used car salesmen Spammers Insider trading Lobbyists Now featuring: YouTube propaganda videos!

Duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16133407)

I m bored with youtube.com and every freakin story being about it.

What Is Real On YouTube? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16133416)

The tubes.

The internet is full of them and they can never take that away from us. We'll always have Paris and the tubes.

Re:What Is Real On YouTube? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16133602)

We'll always have Paris and the tubes.

Better make that, "We'll always have the tubes." Paris's video got pulled for being "inappropriate content".

The real question is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16133426)

What's Real On Slashdot?

Re:The real question is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16133647)

Sims getting the boot seemed pretty real.

Was anyone honestly fooled by lonelygirl? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16133432)

It's obvious from the skillful editing (watch how the timing of the cuts seem like a documentary or a "reality" show and not like some kid on a webcam) that at the very least lonelygirl "knew what she was doing" and was creating a narrative rather than just randomly talking about her life. That this narrative was created by professionals should come as no surprise.

Is this a real story? (5, Funny)

mrn121 (673604) | about 8 years ago | (#16133435)

Maybe THIS story was posted by YouTube's competitors! NOW WHO DO YOU BELIEVE?

Re:Is this a real story? (4, Funny)

porkThreeWays (895269) | about 8 years ago | (#16133530)

... you just blew my mind man

Re:Is this a real story? (1)

EVil Lawyer (947367) | about 8 years ago | (#16133639)

Right! I assume that you, actually, are a YouTube competitor. You want us to think that, pathetically, YouTube made a post suggesting that the anti-YouTube story was posted by a YouTube competitor. I'm one step ahead of you...

Nah. It can't be real. (1)

jd (1658) | about 8 years ago | (#16133646)

Text is purely integer.

Re:Nah. It can't be real. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16133711)

that means myspace is rational.
thats crazytalk.

Re:Nah. It can't be real. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 8 years ago | (#16133799)

Integers are real numbers. Imaginary numbers aren't.

Re:Is this a real story? (1)

dr_strang (32799) | about 8 years ago | (#16133676)

mm121 wins the internet.

Re:Is this a real story? (1)

generic-man (33649) | about 8 years ago | (#16133692)

Maybe your comment was posted at the request of YouTube who is trying to astroturf by enlisting otherwise trustworthy Slashdot posters!! I'm on to you!

And you! and you! and you! and all of you!

Phew... (5, Interesting)

scarlac (768893) | about 8 years ago | (#16133446)

Well It's A Good Thing(tm) that we have TV to tell us what's right and wrong instead of misguiding internet sites...

Joke aside, the internet is a media like TV and newspapers and should be treated equally: With sceptism.

The only thing that keeps us away from being puppets of the media is our ability to judge and do a reality check. If you see something "stunning" or amazing - be sure that the first thing you do is disregard it for a moment and don't start telling it to others, since that's when speculation and lies become "the uofficial truth".

But then again.. if we were all able to tell when the media was lying... I guess there wouldn't be tabloids ;-)

Re:Phew... (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | about 8 years ago | (#16133463)

Yep.

>'deception for profit. Misrepresenting commercials as independent user-generated content, actors as members of the public, and fiction as fact.'

Three out of four of which apply to the mainstream advertising industry.

Re:Phew... (1)

aliendisaster (1001260) | about 8 years ago | (#16133684)

Joke aside, the internet is a media like TV and newspapers and should be treated equally


I completely disagree with this. Part of what makes the internet great is the freedom. Imagine the internet being controlled by the evil FCC. I couldn't even say "fuck that" on a forum.

digg has same problem (2)

moracity (925736) | about 8 years ago | (#16133459)

All of the these "social networking" sites suffer the same affliction. They are all just another source of ad revenue for marketers and the people running the sites.

this reminds me of an interview with ... someone (4, Insightful)

bunions (970377) | about 8 years ago | (#16133462)

I think it was Bruce Sterling, if anyone recognizes it, let me know.

They were talking about the concept of Temporary Autonomous Zones, like the ones in the carribean that pirates frequented - lawless places which somehow managed to govern themselves, and because the interview was in Wired around 1999 or so, the interviewer likened it to afterhours raves and waxed poetic about how awesome it'd be and how we'd be free of corporate etc etc. So the interviewee said "You want to see a TAZ in action, you go look at a toxic-waste dumping 'rave' - where a corporation hires some dubious character to take barrels of waste out into the TAZ that is the open ocean and just throw it over the side. That's the destiny of a TAZ, not some hippy vision of freedom and egalitarianism." Of course, I'm butchering the quote, but gimme a break, I read it like 7 years ago.

Anyhow, the point of this exasperatingly long-winded anecdote is that things like youtube, which promise freedom and creativity for all will always end up used for evil for the same reason as the TAZ - because freedom is nice and everything, but money trumps all. And the money will drive a wedge of mistrust between us all.

Re:this reminds me of an interview with ... someon (2, Insightful)

RexRhino (769423) | about 8 years ago | (#16133640)

The people with money and power (either directly, or government apointed 'civil servants' who have defacto ownership - essentially state capitalists) are already living in a total autonomy zone. The people with money and power do what they like, when they like, and don't have to worry about any law because it doesn't apply to them.

Total Autonomous Zones are about giving the common people the same freedom that the rich and powerful already enjoy. Dumping in the oceans you say? Already happens nowadays, without any restrictions, so long as you are rich and powerful enough, or you are a government. And big corporations, or government officials, already engage in FUD campaigns both on and off line, without any restrictions.

All laws and regulations are laws and regulations designed to restrict the poor, or those who are less politically powerful (in a political economy, effectively the same as the poor).

Re:this reminds me of an interview with ... someon (2, Insightful)

bunions (970377) | about 8 years ago | (#16133706)

> Total Autonomous Zones are about giving the common people the same freedom that the rich and powerful already enjoy

Right, but the guy's point was that these zones would always be co-opted, and that while living in a society of law is kind of a pain in the ass at times, it's the citizens only protection against larger, more powerful entities such as corporations, and that the desire for autonomous zones is a nice idea but in practice amounts to suicide.

Re:this reminds me of an interview with ... someon (2, Interesting)

bunions (970377) | about 8 years ago | (#16133720)

Dang, forgot to respond to this:

> All laws and regulations are laws and regulations designed to restrict the poor, or those who are less politically powerful

Well now, that's patently false. I'll just point you at car safety and tobacco/liquor advertising laws and make my exit.

Crackpot, kettle, black (2, Insightful)

subl33t (739983) | about 8 years ago | (#16133467)

"...actors as members of the public, and fiction as fact."

It sounds like big media don't want amateurs moving in on their territory.

to clear up any confusion (1)

SethJohnson (112166) | about 8 years ago | (#16133468)

The video I just uploaded titled "how to break a kryptonite lock [youtube.com] " is for informational purposes only and is not intended to affect the reputation of the Kryptonite lock company.

Seth

Re:to clear up any confusion (1)

iPodUser (879598) | about 8 years ago | (#16133571)

No shit dude - the abuse that lock took makes me want to go out and buy 2 of them. Affect their reputation? More like enhance it!

P.s. Did you try a hacksaw?

Re:to clear up any confusion (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 8 years ago | (#16133750)

This [youtube.com] should change your mind.

Re:to clear up any confusion (1)

iPodUser (879598) | about 8 years ago | (#16133814)

Yes. Yes it has. Thank goodness I have a garage to keep my bike in.

Re:to clear up any confusion (1)

SethJohnson (112166) | about 8 years ago | (#16133753)

I've seen other people use a hacksaw and it was a very labor-intensive process.

If we had been watching more closely, half of our work would have been unneccessary. When we spin the lock around, the bracket of the lock comes out of the hole in like two more cranks on the jack, but we didn't notice it until we cranked about ten times.

I've heard a sawz-all can work, but it probably still takes longer than a jack.

Seth

Re:to clear up any confusion (1)

rilister (316428) | about 8 years ago | (#16133600)

I hope you intended to raise Kryptonite stock. It looks like you really struggled. And you had to have a car jack "handy".

Real or not.. (3, Funny)

wfberg (24378) | about 8 years ago | (#16133471)

Real or not, lonelygirl15's whiny voice made me want to vomit so hard after 15 seconds I "like totally" didn't visit youtube for an entire week.

The internet misleads? (5, Funny)

filtur (724994) | about 8 years ago | (#16133475)

The internet would never lie to me. Did you know that the population of elephants in Africa has tripled in the last six months?

You mean... (1)

boristdog (133725) | about 8 years ago | (#16133483)

You mean these pills won't make my P3n15 larger?

So there isn't a party with lemons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16133487)

Because I heard there would be on the internets

Thread Worthless (1)

MindStalker (22827) | about 8 years ago | (#16133495)

This Thread is Worthless without links to said videos.

There now it has been said!

Without the dancing little characters holding the signs.

advertising (-1, Offtopic)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | about 8 years ago | (#16133510)

Self promotion? Advertising? Smearing?

People are always going to self-promote. What, do you want GM to advertise Ford's cars? That would never happen. Besides, GM makes better cars.

But I digress... Since we're on the topic of advertising, I'll take the liberty of advertising something right here: Taglit-birthright israel with Sachlav Educational Experience. [birthrightisrael.com] This is an amazing and uplifting program. If you're eligible (check the link to find out), you could have a great time in Israel this winter.

Re:advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16133714)

yes. and get to see a rocket impact killing everyone around you. gee. no thanks.

Sounds fishy to me.... (3, Insightful)

revery (456516) | about 8 years ago | (#16133514)

An article submitted by an "anonymous" user purporting to be about the authenticity of web content and art vs advertisement, but instead linking back to a site that makes most of its money from advertisements, product reviews, and page views....

I don't know about you, but I'm a little ironied out...

Much Ado About Nothing (1)

1+(smarterThanYou) (539258) | about 8 years ago | (#16133519)

How many morons in the world actually accept everything they see or read (especially on the internet) as fact?

I think the real story here is that there are a bunch of idiots in the world who are ignorant of humor. Case in point: Borat vs. Kazakhstan. --> There's way too much of this in every government and most major media outlets (see: u.s. gov./media vs. video games)

Lighten up and enjoy life while you can.

Who cares? (3, Interesting)

WiggyWack (88258) | about 8 years ago | (#16133522)

Who cares if the video of snapping a Samsung phone in half is real or not? Even if a rival company paid to have that spot made and distributed, it HAD to come from somewhere. Samsung says it was rigged, but they didn't just invent the fact the phone is cheap. It was probably based on complaints and testing. If it was completely made up, it wouldn't rise in popularity. It's like stereotypes - you might not like them, but there's SOME basis in fact. Or else it would never catch on.

What if someone whose Samsung phone broke made that video versus a rival company making it. Would it matter? I don't think so. Because again, SOMEONE had to have problems with that phone breaking. Whether a rival company made and paid for it or the pissed off consumer did it for free, I don't think it matters...

People get mad about not knowing when they're being advertised to. They shouldn't. Everyone has agendas. Do your research and listen to more than one source.

Re:Who cares? (1)

EVil Lawyer (947367) | about 8 years ago | (#16133751)

"If it was completely made up, it wouldn't rise in popularity" Right. Because no sensational conspiracy theories are popular unless they are based in fact.

Re:Who cares? (2, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 8 years ago | (#16133762)

It was probably based on complaints and testing. If it was completely made up, it wouldn't rise in popularity. It's like stereotypes - you might not like them, but there's SOME basis in fact. Or else it would never catch on.

No, stereotypes are usually based in total ignorance, and catch on because others are also completely ignorant and don't know any better.

Similarly, the conclusion that "if it was completely made up, it wouldn't rise in popularity" is also falacious. I think the vast majority of entries at snopes.com would disagree with you.

The most obvious way to handle this is (-1, Offtopic)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | about 8 years ago | (#16133533)

don't waste your life watching crap on youtube and making fake friends on myspace.
Get a life. Go outdoors for once.
There is life outside of the internet.
It's sad how far society has spiraled down the toilet since the Internet came to be.

Re:The most obvious way to handle this is (1)

truthsearch (249536) | about 8 years ago | (#16133625)

That's pretty funny coming from someone posting to slashdot. What makes you think the people on youtube and myspace spend any more time there than you do here? They need to "get a life" and go outdoors more, but you don't?

It's Called Psychological Warfare (2, Interesting)

mpapet (761907) | about 8 years ago | (#16133536)

and most countries do it to their citizens in order to achieve some end.

Now, companies and people can do it to each other!

Seriously though, take a step back for a moment and ask yourself a couple of questions:

1. Why should I trust anything on the site in question? They don't say they are purveyors of trustworthy data. I think the problem is that "trustworthy videos" may not be an expectation they want to meet.

2. What does anyone gain by visiting the site in question?

When did actors stop being members of the public? (1)

eht (8912) | about 8 years ago | (#16133537)

So uh, when did actors stop being members of the public?

Can I stop being a member of the public?

Re:When did actors stop being members of the publi (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 8 years ago | (#16133588)

Easy, just misrepresent the public, just like the actors did.

I wouldn't be surprised if people felt that now (5, Interesting)

Ynsats (922697) | about 8 years ago | (#16133541)

Most of the people in the Slashdot community have been "online" for decades now. We have watched the Internet become something so big that a signal entity can't wield enough power to control it any longer. Yet, like all modern entertainment and communication formats, there is a certain amount of deception that takes place. For years people have made the on-going joke that the "girl" with the screen name of "supersexysweet16" is actually some fat guy in his underwear either screwing around or preying on juveniles. Now, we have news organizations like Dateline activly trapping people with deceptive tactics that the police have been using to nab predators for a while.

Asking the question "Will user-generated video sites increasingly confront visitors with the disturbing possibility that the video they're watching is not a home video at all, but a sophisticated ad campaign?" at this point in the history of the Internet is just silly and evidence that the "Anonymous Reader" is woefully out of touch with reality and needs to quit being so naive. Deception is everywhere. Even the bum on the street begging for your change may not even be a REAL bum. There are so many deceptive acts taking place out there and if YouTube letting some unscrupulous ad agency post an ad to generate revenue is the biggest worry I have then I'd say I'm doing pretty good.

In other words, big deal. I'm not going to YouTube to determine what's real and what's not or who's lying to me about what. It's so inconsequential that I don't even care who's going to get sent up the river for such a travesty. I'm going to YouTube to be entertained and even commercials are entertaining at times. Just watch the commercials on the SuperBowl for evidence of that. If someone on YouTube wants to lie to me about it then fine, it's not going to impact my life adversely because I don't believe everything I read, see or hear. Especially if there is only one instance of bad press like the Samsung phone when there are droves of people out there with opinions that are the polar opposite. It's on me if I am so gullible to not see through something as silly as that Samsung video that was posted. It's even worse if I base a consumer decision on such a video and limit my research to just that video. Shame on me for being such a stooge if that were true.

Shouldn't this be posted by Roland Piquepaille (5, Funny)

DECS (891519) | about 8 years ago | (#16133545)

A Slashdot story not posted by Roland Piquepaille just lacks a certain level of credibility that I've come to expect from Slashdot.

--- Greenpeace Apologizes for Apple Stink [roughlydrafted.com]

Main Tube Too (1)

Flwyd (607088) | about 8 years ago | (#16133546)

Mainstream TV [usatoday.com] and newspapers [paulgraham.com] are hardly immune to this effect.

Crap. (1)

koreth (409849) | about 8 years ago | (#16133547)

You mean now I have to be skeptical of things I see online? What next? You gonna tell me the Tooth Fairy isn't real?

e gads! (1)

dosle (794546) | about 8 years ago | (#16133558)

Suprise! Not everything online is really what you think it is! outta my way, I need to preorder that new Phantom console!!

Are you ... (1)

Syncerus (213609) | about 8 years ago | (#16133566)

Are you suggesting that we not uncritically believe everything we see on the Internet? I'm shocked, shocked at your cynicism. Next you'll be telling me that bears don't know Kung-Fu.

Syncerus

Entertainment (5, Insightful)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | about 8 years ago | (#16133567)

I don't think that anyone will really care (much) if the content they're viewing on youtube or Google video or whatever else is out there is an advertisement or not - as long as it is entertaining. That's the whole point behind advertising, trying to keep your target audience entertained long enough to maybe get an ad in edgewise. Youtube is chock full of amusing little adverts that I watch to entertain myself. Heck, even if its not blatant advertising or bashing, as long as I get a chuckle or a "That was awesome!" from it, then the point is made. If the advertising people are doing their homework and learning to take advantage of a new medium, then kudos to them, as long as it stays entertaining.

So please, ad people, continue bringing us your Wazzaaaaaa's and your Geico Gekkos and your dancing transforming cars, and whatever else you can think of, blatant or not. Make me laugh. Make me yell. Make me think about buying your products, or of discontinuing service with your competitors. I will continue to temper my decisions with research and past experiences as my guides, but if you have a truely superior product or service to offer, then I will appreciate a truely superior ad campaign to tell me of it.

Re:Entertainment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16133730)

I agree, George W. Bush is an awful president but he sure is entertaining!

Re:Entertainment (1)

Saeger (456549) | about 8 years ago | (#16133820)

So please, ad people, continue bringing us your Wazzaaaaaa's and your Geico Gekkos and your dancing transforming cars

All obvious ads. It's different when the ad is lie. i.e. faked word of mouth opinion.

Who cares of lonelygirl15 is contrived! (1)

Wyatt Galen Houtz (858073) | about 8 years ago | (#16133621)

All I care about is when the next episode of lonelygirl15 is released and is she going to start dating daniel! What would her religious parents think? What is this religious dance she's going to do that requires iron pills? This is what's really important. feed me Seymour!

A.K.A. Modern Life (1)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about 8 years ago | (#16133642)

The same thing happens everywhere, in everything we do, see, and hear. We're just used to it when it comes in other forms besides novel web fads.

-d

In the kinder, gentler America (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16133648)

nothing is real except our disingenuousness.

YouTube may have Napster-like legal problems (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | about 8 years ago | (#16133664)

Most of the content on YouTube is either pirated, marketing material, or total crap.

Which is a real problem. YouTube is starting to have the problems Napster did, with lawsuits from content owners cropping up every few days. Legitimate ones, too. Putting someone else's music on someone else's video and redistributing it is not original work. Not even close.

YouTube is starting to deal with this. "Removed for terms of service violation" messages are showing up more frequently. But that cuts into their free content supply.

So what's going up now? Marketing material. All ads, all the time. Music videos this week, with the Warner deal.

Already, more than half the YouTube screen space is third-party ads anyway. And YouTube is signed up with everybody. Watch a YouTube page load stall while "yieldmanager.com", "atmdt.com", "doubleclick.com", "insightexpressai.com", "euroclick.com" and "tacoda.net" ("an end-to-end marketing application used for analyzing customer interactions and segmenting and monetizing audience members") all are read. For one page.

YouTube is not the next Google. YouTube is the next MP3.com.

The disturbing possibility? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | about 8 years ago | (#16133675)

The disturbing possibility that video you're watching isn't amateur after all? So what? If it's grinding some rhetorical axe, then your critical thinking skills should already be kicking in. If it's simply entertaining, who cares?

You want disturbing? I'll tell you what's disturbing. Finding out, on the same day, that the Blair Witch and Santa Claus aren't real. At least, once you've digested that bit of shock, you're better able to deal with the fact that some people will use anonymous, free venues to blow a little smoke around, for both artistic- and agenda-driven reasons. Guess what: it's completely freakin' free! Relax, already!

Cynicism abounds (2, Insightful)

anachattak (650234) | about 8 years ago | (#16133687)

This isn't really all that new. I think things like Lonelygirl (and going back to the Blair Witch Project (marketing disguised as authentic recorded experiences)) are making people more cynical about what they see in general. Every time I see something that looks "authentic" on YouTube (or anywhere else for that matter), I'm inclined to doubt its true source. Maybe it's better that, by finding out there's so much "fake" information out there, we don't just blindly believe everything we see. But in a way, it's also a sad commentary on what mass media and the marketing engine have done to the dissemination of true information for worthwhile purposes. I guess as long as there's a buck to be made.....

Learning from Pron (1)

buckhead_buddy (186384) | about 8 years ago | (#16133689)

Will naked, all-women videos turn out to be deluded expressions of a sex-starved man's fantasy life, and not have anything to do with changing homosexual or feminist attitudes? Tell me it's not true!

While I can sympathize with people who feel tricked by seeing items posted on Youtube in a deceptive manner, it comes with no assertions that it is true. It's vast and unsupervised, and viewers need to be aware of that. Just adding a pretense that something is "authorized" or meets some kind of regulation will probably do more to lower people's guard than to actually improve the honesty of those who post.

Gibson is ahead of his time (4, Interesting)

L7_ (645377) | about 8 years ago | (#16133722)

In W. Gibson's latest novel "Pattern Recognition [amazon.com] ", there are a series of videos/short films posted anonymously on the internet. Noone knows who is posting them and why; Marketing companies all hunger for a chance to get some of the hype surrounding the posted short videos. I won't ruin the ending for you, but it is a story of marketing types and anonymous artistic video postings.

This is very applicable to what is happening on YouTube now; self-made work are being fostered by these types of user generated content sites. The problem is the viewer has non idea if those self made works are sponsored by companies, or if they are just 'solo artist in a room somewhere' type of works.

So What (2, Insightful)

TheDawgLives (546565) | about 8 years ago | (#16133726)

Who says we can't enjoy ads? I don't view You Tube as a "home video only" site as much as a "if this video is interesting I'll watch it" site. Personally, I don't care who created the content, if it's good, I'll consume it.

What's next?!?! (1)

Bugs42 (788576) | about 8 years ago | (#16133743)

Are they gonna tell me next that http://www.nuklearpower.com/ [nuklearpower.com] isn't really about Light Warriors trying to save the world?

Analogue on TV? (2, Insightful)

955301 (209856) | about 8 years ago | (#16133761)

Isn't this more or less the same as the "news reports" on television which are actually paid for advertisements? I mean, sure they have more license to mislead since there isn't a broadcasting company vetting the commercials for legal implications, but it's still deceptive multimedia.

Someone's post related this to piracy on the seas, or dumping toxis sludge when noone was around to spot them, but youTube is bound to be a bit different - this sludge isn't sludge until someone views it, at which point it can be demoted as disinformation. At that point, this slashdot posting would be as significant as a posting about a troll writing a misleading comment.

So give it 6 months and this story will only have historic significance.

all i can say is yay (1)

gsn (989808) | about 8 years ago | (#16133785)

As more and more of this crap makes its way onto YourTube, fewer people will actually use it and the site will fail and everyone will point and say another Web 2.0 failure. Intrusive advertising is great at killing mediums and peopel try to develop ways of screening it ou -blocking ads one of the bigest reasons to get a DVR, and how many of you use Adblock. If YourTube can't screen out "fake" videos those users will become cynical and stop using it.

What a shame to not have more videos of idiots lighting themselves on fire in creative new ways. The site is mostly "Stupidest Home Videos on the Net!" and the sooner it dies the better.

Two Words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16133787)

Caveat Emptor

In Defense of Lonelygirl (4, Interesting)

spoonboy42 (146048) | about 8 years ago | (#16133804)

Let's be clear, here. Although the creators of lonelygirl wound up being represented by CAA, a professional talent agency, they are nevertheless a bunch of young amateurs. The videos don't promote any product (except for purple monkey hand puppets, maybe), and the only sort of cross-marketing involved is, perhaps, the use of CAA-represented indie bands for background music. All in all the music is pretty unobtrusive and tasteful, and is far from the main point of the videos.

Lonelygirl is, at its heart, a series about an extremely compelling character, and her video diary makes people feel an intimate connection with her. I have to say, the series was even more enjoyable when one could believe that Bree was a real girl, seriptitiously posting her thoughts, colored by her signature humor and innocence, from her bedroom. Now that she's been "outed" as an actress, the "show" is a little more conventional, but when you're willing to suspend your disbelief, it's still wonderfully fun to watch.

In short, Lonelygirl is damn good television, except that it's not on television.
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