YouTube is a neo-Nazi website according to The Independent

 by Martin Belam, 1 October 2006

Regular readers will be aware that I loathe rubbish journalism which features the internet. This weekend the article that most roused my ire was a piece in The Independent by Tony Paterson headlined "German neo-Nazis to launch their own video news channel". Maybe it is my new setting in Austria that particularly made this grab my attention.

Essentially the story is that the German right-wing NDP party are producing news bulletins to promote their point of view, claiming that they are bringing to the public stories neglected by the mainstream media.

A couple of paragraphs of Tony Paterson's article especially irked me. He reports that:

A crop-haired young anchorman called Marcel Woell, wearing an ill-fitting brown suit and orange shirt, sat at a polished wooden studio desk against a backdrop of party slogans and what looked like a pre-Second World War map of Europe

Were it not for a curious black sun logo - a mythical Germanic symbol revered by the Nazi SS leader Heinrich Himmler that sat in the top right hand corner of the screen - the setting would have been almost identical to Germany's prime time television news programme Tagesshau

So which element did Tony Paterson think made this scene "almost identical" to prime time television news in Germany? The byline says he is in Berlin, so has he noticed that all German news anchors wear ill-fitting suits? Or is it that prime time television news in Germany usually has a "pre-Second World War map" as a backdrop? Becuase I thought "bloke-sits-behind-desk" was a fairly universal news presentation format, and not the unique preserve of Tagesshau?

The paragraph that really infuriated me though was this one:

Internet users were given a taste of Germany's first far-right propaganda broadcast since the Second World War this week, when the NPD launched pilot video newscasts on YouTube online, already a favourite neo-Nazi website.

So, if I read that right, uploading a video to YouTube is the equivalent of being a national broadcaster. According to Tony Paterson's use of the apostrophe, this is the "first far-right propaganda broadcast since the Second World War" belonging to Germany.

And then there is the line - "on YouTube online, already a favourite neo-Nazi website".

You'll note again that he hassn't written "a website that some neo-Nazis use", or "a website where anyone can upload any old video even if it is neo-Nazi content", it is written that YouTube is "a favourite neo-Nazi website". This will, I'm sure, come as some news to millions of people using YouTube for video clips every day.

1 Comment

Sorry, but Youtube IS a favourite neo-Nazi website. Just do a search with a few Nazi terms, and you'll see plenty of videos that have been there for years with no question.

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