You really couldn’t make it up….
A “Research Study” (oh how I hate those words) in New Zealand has concluded that “The tobacco industry may be using websites such as YouTube to get around a ban on advertising cigarettes” (note the word “MAY” in that sentence).
How have they arrived at this conclusion? Well, the researchers searched for five tobacco brands on YouTube and analysed the first 20 pages of video clips containing any reference to the firms. They looked at 163 clips in total and concluded that “20 looked very professionally made” .
Evidence of well-made pro-tobacco videos onYouTube is, according to these people who really ought to get a proper job, “consistent with indirect marketing activity by tobacco companies or their proxies,”
How disappointed must they have been? All that time slaving over a hot pc looking at shed loads of evil…. and their smoking gun (excuse the pun) is …….that 20 pro-smoking videos on YouTube look great ?
Who is to say that these brilliant videos were NOT made by a number of motivated, gifted individuals, with a video camera and/or some editing equipment, sharing their passion with the wider world? Why is it that the quality/brilliance of the videos is taken to mean that they are bound to have been made by the tobacco giants or their ad agencies…. Have these people not checked out just how many brilliantly made, professional looking, videos are being put out there on YouTube these days?
Of course not, they are too busy looking for problems relating to tobacco. Get a life people.
It is no surprise to find of course that this, frankly laughable, report was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, and that one or more of the authors of this report has several anti-tobacco “reports” under their belt. Well that explains the conclusions….
Conclusions Pro-tobacco videos have a significant presence on YouTube, consistent with indirect marketing activity by tobacco companies or their proxies. Since content may be removed from YouTube if it is found to breach copyright or if it contains offensive material, there is scope for the public and health organisations to request the removal of pro-tobacco content containing copyright or offensive material. Governments should also consider implementing Framework Convention on Tobacco Control requirements on the internet, to further reduce such pro-tobacco content.
Yep that’s it folks. A research study that proves nada – apart from the fact that a lot of people, passionate about smoking, make videos about their passion, and some are rather good at it shock horror – concludes that public health organisations should press YouTube to remove the videos on the grounds of copyright and/or offensiveness.
Copyright is the domain of the tobacco companies frankly. As for offensiveness… If it is genuinely offensive – oh I don’t know like forcing a puppy to smoke a cigarette for example – then I can see a reason for YouTube to remove it.. But if offensive is defined as those videos that health quango’s don’t like – then I trust YouTube will tell them where to go.
But some good may come of this….. I am thinking of emailing the authors of the research study – Lucy Elkin’, email@example.com , Dr George Thomson firstname.lastname@example.org, Dr Nick Wilson email@example.com – asking if they wouldn’t mind posting links to the 20 videos that looked “very professionally made” so that we cant put them up on LV. Long live freedom of expression.