How could a reporter get this so wrong?
After a brief moratorium, YouTube is once again a leading source for fake news.
Thousands of clips from the Daily Show and the Colbert Report reappeared on the video site Tuesday after being yanked over the weekend due to a copyright complaint from Viacom, Comedy Central’s parent company.
It would just not be very hard to do a search and find sources that point out that thousands of CC video was never removed from the site at all. And a little basic reporting would also uncover that the videos that were removed have not reappeared.
The article does contain this Viacom statement I hadn’t see before (if the reporter can be trusted):
In a statement Monday, Viacom clarified that it was trying to strike a balance between protecting its content and pleasing its audience.
“Like our peers in the media industry, we are focused on finding the right business model for professionally created content to be legally distributed on the Internet,” the statement read.
“We want our audiences to be able to access our programming on every platform and we’re interested in having it live on all forms of distribution in ways that protect our talented artists, our loyal customers and our passionate audiences.”
Followed by this whopper of a paragraph:
The media conglomerate originally put YouTube on notice Friday, with a letter requesting that the site purge all Comedy Central content, as well as programming from VHI, MTV, BET and Nickelodeon.
All? Try some, and nobody knows for sure how many.
[tags]youtube, viacom, comedy central, [/tags]
[…] The most egregiously wrong YouTube story yet […]
Howard, I agree with you on this one. I tried to answer some of the questions you’ve been raising about this weeks YouTube coverage.
Tonight, using the Google Search API, I wrote a short PHP script to tabulate content from YouTube that is present or missing based on top search hits from Googleâ€™s search engine.
While not entirely scientific or entirely representative, my top line results show that 349 of 764 or 46 percent of the top Daily Show clips in Google search results are missing and broken, 190 of 537 or 35 percent of the Colbert Report results and 138 of 594 or 23 percent of South Park results. So, while you can still find 2,723 videos at YouTube.com of the Daily Show, 881 videos of the Colbert Report and 6,660 of South Park, the percentage of broken links from Googleâ€™s top results show that there either has been an ongoing take down or a large recent takedown effort at YouTube.
A handful of bloggers and reporters seem to have been confused when clips that were apparently taken down Friday stopped showing up in YouTube search results by Monday.
The New York Post reported a Viacom statement:
By yesterday it was understood that the media conglomerate had issues only with entire episodes â€“ not selected clips.
â€œLike our peers in the media industry, we are focused on finding the right business model for professionally created content to be legally distributed on the Internet,â€ Viacom officials wrote yesterday in a statement.
â€œWe want our audiences to be able to access our programming on every platform and weâ€™re interested in having it live on all forms of distribution in ways that protect our talented artists, our loyal customers and our passionate audiences.â€
I think the data of missing videos Iâ€™ve gathered above indicates that the Viacom statement lacks truthiness.
I’ve written more about the media handling of this story here:
This looks like good investigative work, Jeff. Thanks for leaving a comment about it.
[…] In the comments on this post, Jeff Reifman, who does deserve credit for bringing this whole fascinating matter to the public’s attention, mentions that he came up with an ingenious way to track missing Comedy Central video. Tonight, using the Google Search API, I wrote a short PHP script to tabulate content from YouTube that is present or missing based on top search hits from Googleâ€™s search engine. […]