The Use of Videoclips in Society

Michael Giberson

On Sunday, the Washington Post published a short piece by S.R. Sidarth, the political volunteer who was the object of George Allen’s “macaca” mocking. Allen’s remarks probably would have passed unnoticed, relatively speaking, but for Sidarth’s capturing them on video and the video later showing up on Youtube. That moment, more than any other in the campaign, is credited in turning the onetime presidential hopeful into a mere lame duck senator.

Welcome to America, Senator, and the real world of Virginia, where what you say and do can end up on Youtube.

And not just in America. This morning’s Post reports the story of a 22-year old Malaysian woman whose humiliating treatment by police in June 2005 was captured on a cellphone camera and later widely circulated, eventually to be shown in the nation’s Parliament and resulting in official inquiries directed by the Prime Minister’s office.

Cameraphones and portable videocameras, just another way to bring power to the people.

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