Posted by: Ian Ross | March 25, 2008

YouTube Strengthening Democracy?

Do politicans really believe that they can get away with lying in today’s social media world? They are on camera during nearly all public appearances. So they can’t expect to tell tall tales and not face the music days (or even hours) later.

For me, YouTube stands out as the best tool to expose fibbing. You may be able to dispute someone else’s memory or claim to be misquoted in a transcript, but you can’t get away from video showing the words roll off your tounge.

US Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is the latest victim to the YouTube truth machine. To bolster her foreign policy experience, she recalled a time when she was the First Lady running from gunfire at the Bosnia airport. Only problem with the story – it wasn’t true. There was a welcoming party, not gunfire. And the reporters and cameramen who made the trip with her had the video to expose the truth.

This video on YouTube has received 700,000 views in the past 24 hours.

Is it possible that these embarassing moments for politicans will push them to be more honest and forthcoming with voters? Is it possible that YouTube will help hold politicans more accountable for their behaviour? Is it possible YouTube is strengthing our democracy?



  1. It never ceases to amaze me that politicians and even the hoi polloi, as C. Montgomery Burns might say, seem to forget that YouTube and other audio/video recordings turn behaviour into a permanent record.

    For that matter, I am baffled by how many people fib about something they said, knowing full well there’s email proof to the contrary.

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