Tuesday, February 26, 2008

DU Video Hits 50,000 Views

A couple years ago when YouTube was young, I posted a US Army training video, "Depleted Uranium Hazard Awareness." It has received far more traffic than I expected -- over 50,000 views -- and I am very happy to report that a good chunk of those viewings are from troops in the field.

I found the video at Information Clearinghouse. Because the original file has such a small screen, the video quality is terrible. Fortunately the most valuable information is in the audio track. The video was originally made in the mid-90's but at the time of posting it still sat on the shelf. The video is now available at a number of sites. The YouTube video alone goes out to dozens of links.

In one respect I am pleased that anything I posted drew the attention of 50,000. But more important, I am thrilled that thorough, non-controversial and vital information is reaching the people who need it most.

There are edited version of this video that have higher quality images, but are remixed and edited with lefty agitprop. While I'm sympathetic with some of those messages, they ultimately dilute the value of the video.

Moderating the comments for the video has been its own story. Every few months, there will be a wave of comments which try to dismiss the content of the video. Other times, there is the occasional hate speech. (A lot of anti-Arab bigotry and one commenter who wished cancer on the children of service members, calling it "karma." If wishing cancer on someone's children isn't hate speech, I don't know what is.) So I've been applying rules for moderating the comments. They have to be either about DU or the video itself, and no hate speech. I haven't had to delete many comments lately.

For something that took me less than a half-hour, I'm glad it's been put to such good use.

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