Congress Makes YouTube Promise To Host Representatives' Videos Sans Ads

from the following-the-rules dept

Apparently Congressman Kevin McCarthy happened to be one of a very small number of folks in Congress who actually bothered to read some of the rules that Congress is supposed to abide by. In doing so, he realized that all those Congressional Representatives putting videos on YouTube are probably breaking the rules, which say that Representatives can't be doing stuff on commercial sites. When he first brought this to the attention of other Reps, they basically told him to ignore it, since everyone else did -- but eventually Congress decided to fix the problem. Of course, they didn't fix it by changing the rules... but by putting out a request for a webhosting site to host their videos in a non-commercial manner. YouTube was the only site to agree to do so, so now your Congresscritters can continue posting to YouTube, and (apparently) you won't see ads on their YouTube pages. I can't decide if I'm happy that Congress decided to actually follow its own rules, or worried about them spending time on something as silly as this.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2008 @ 1:36pm

    Your headline was a bit misleading. According to the original article, congress asked for any websites to volunteer to offer them a way to host videos, without links to commercial sites. Youtube volunteered. There was no "Making" them do anything.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2008 @ 3:02pm

    Vote him out of California's 22 district.

    Kevin should focus on more important things, like less blackouts, and potable water.

     

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  3.  
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    Alan D, Apr 11th, 2008 @ 3:29pm

    Bits are the same as bytes... no?

    In the same way, you don't have "less" blackouts, you have "fewer" blackouts. You can have fewer of an item, and less of a quantity. This is pretty basic English, and although I mostly enjoy AC's comments their impact is diminished if the grammar and syntax is incorrect.

    My God! I'm becoming an old fogey! Thank goodness it doesn't stop me being right!

     

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  4.  
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    Chickenoodle, Apr 11th, 2008 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Bits are the same as bytes... no?

    Bits and Bytes are not the same. Bytes contain eight bits.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    nfk, Apr 11th, 2008 @ 4:19pm

    I don't know

    ...worried about them spending time on something as silly as this."

    It'll be hard to top freedom fries for wasting time.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2008 @ 6:42pm

    Yeah - great idea

    I don't like seeing these asshats on TV, and now they think I'll go out of my way to watch their propoganda on gootube ?

    They probably have plans to astroturf their page in an effort to make it look like they have a following.

    These are the folks who skirt the limits on campaign contributions by writing a book. Everyone knows that lawyers can not write in a literary sense. But their books sell by the thousands. I wonder if anyone reads them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2008 @ 10:33pm

    Re: Re: Bits are the same as bytes... no?

    Bits and Bytes are not the same. Bytes contain eight bits.

    A byte may contain eight bits. Historically, bytes have ranged from five to twelve bits.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2008 @ 11:26pm

    Re:

    Youtube volunteered. There was no "Making" them do anything.
    "Hi there, we're from the government. We make the laws that you operate and pay taxes under and fund the agencies that regulate you. Now we have a little favor to ask of you. Of course, you don't have to cooperate if you don't want to. It's strictly voluntary. Just remember who we are."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Shagger, Apr 12th, 2008 @ 12:02am

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2008 @ 1:06am

    Re: Re:

    Not even close though, was it? They didn't directly ask Youtube, and lots of sites *haven't* volunteered. Very much a case of a headline that doesn't match the content, I'm disappointed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2008 @ 5:30am

    YouTube videos and Congress

    @original article: You mention you're not sure if you were worried that this was something silly that Congress was doing. This is not silly at all actually. I work for the Federal Government in the area of communications and outreach. Where I work we are up against a major problem where we have a lot of great video that we've produced, or plan to produce, and are trying to get those videos out to the public. Specifically, we're trying to reach the "millenial" generation. The problem is that most people don't just go out and browse .gov websites for the latest video. If we put video up on our site then we're limited by the visitors that typically come to us for other government resources. Additionally, there's a major cost associated with setting up your own stream video site/service and then you're still not guaranteed that the audience you're trying to reach will see your videos.

    But, if the Government can use YouTube, sans ads and branding, then it gives a place to share our videos with the audience that we're trying to reach on the websites that they look at daily. Our outreach ability has just increase 100 fold. The "sans ads" is ideal because, in the Government, you ARE restricted from favoring one commercial vendor over another because it can be seen as endorsement.

    So, why it may seem silly to some, this is actually a big deal for the government communications and outreach offices.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    oregonnerd, Apr 12th, 2008 @ 6:15am

    Re: Re: Bits are the same as bytes... no?

    "Bits and Bytes are not the same. Bytes contain eight bits." Which was his point. You should have explained what a bit is, too, to be really thorough.
    --Glenn

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2008 @ 7:12am

    Re: YouTube videos and Congress

    "millenial" generation - another stupid tag

    Brought to you by a DC lobbyist.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2008 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "They didn't directly ask Youtube,..."

    The linked article only said that aids sent out a request, which I imagine could well have been in form of emails directly to the various video hosting sites. But if you have information to the contrary then please present it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2008 @ 12:14pm

    I'm happy when Congress wastes time on anything because that means they are spending less time passing bad laws.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2008 @ 1:27pm

    Re:

    It's a good thing we don't get all the governmant that we pay for.

    or something like that

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 12th, 2008 @ 10:20pm

    Re: Re:

    It's a good thing we don't get all the governmant that we pay for.

    I've always heard that we've got the very best politicians that money can buy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Congress didn't make Youtube do anything, Apr 13th, 2008 @ 8:43pm

    My understanding of the issue is that YouTube was the only video host that submitted an ad free plan for congress to use when posting video.

    It was a voluntary act. They didn't have to submit any plan if they didn't want to.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 1:58am

    Re:

    It was a voluntary act. They didn't have to submit any plan if they didn't want to.

    No, of course not. By the way, isn't congress looking into the issue of network neutrality as it affects sites like Google and YouTube? Yeah, I thought so. Not that YouTube would care at all about that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 10:35am

    What about IA?

    Last I checked, the Internet Archive 1) was a non-profit; 2) didn't have ads on their site and 3) hosted videos for free. Did Brewster Kahle get wind of this?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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