U.S. uploads anti-drug videos to YouTube

By Universal Expat · Sep 19, 2006 · ·
  1. Universal Expat
    You can watch this video in the new videos section as well.
    U.S. uploads anti-drug videos to YouTube

    WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is taking its fight against illegal drugs to YouTube, the trendy Internet video service that already features clips of wacky, drug-induced behavior and step-by-step instructions for growing marijuana plants.

    The decision to distribute anti-drug, public service announcements and other videos over YouTube represents the first concerted effort by the U.S. government to influence customers of the popular service, which shows more than 100 million videos per day.

    The administration was expected to announce the decision formally on Tuesday. It said it was not paying any money to load its previously produced videos onto YouTube's service, so the program is effectively free.

    "If just one teen sees this and decides illegal drug use is not the path for them, it will be a success," said Rafael Lemaitre, a spokesman for the drug office.

    The government's YouTube videos include a previously televised, 30-second ad of a teenager running from a snarling dog and bemoaning pressure from his friends to smoke marijuana.

    "Then today, they said I should try to out run Tic Tic, the lumber-yard dog," the teen says. "And I don't think I can. I'm an idiot."

    YouTube, a San Mateo, Calif.-based startup, has become one of the Internet's hottest properties since two 20-something friends started the company 19 months ago. The free service allows users to share and view videos, most of which are amateurishly produced and include clips of young people singing and dancing — usually badly.

    The government's short public service announcements — all of which were produced previously for television — are highly polished. They will compete for viewership against hundreds of existing, drug-related videos that include shaky footage of college-age kids smoking marijuana and girls dancing wildly after purportedly using cocaine. Other YouTube videos describe how to grow marijuana and how to cook with it.

    "Welcome to the great experiment," said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project. He predicted computer-savvy critics of U.S. drug policies will quickly edit the government's videos to produce parodies and distribute those on YouTube. "This seems pretty new and pretty adventurous."

    The government linked its videos with the terms "war on drugs," "peer-pressure," "marijuana," "weed," "ONDCP" and "420," so anyone searching for those words on YouTube could find its anti-drug messages. All the videos were associated with a YouTube account named "ONDCPstaff" and identified as an 18-year-old living in Washington. The term 420 is a popular reference for marijuana.

    Michael Bugeja, who studies how different groups use the Internet, said the White House plan is misdirected because online video services don't afford serious consideration to weighty topics.

    "It's the wrong forum and the wrong target," said Bugeja, an author and director of the journalism school at Iowa State University.


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  1. grandbaby
    Yeah, I'm sure kids are looking up "peer pressure" all the time. Hey, I like this: more comedy gold, I'm sure, like the anti-LSD videos from the '60s.
  2. N0ly
    Damn Anti-drug propaganda. If your stupid enough to try and out run a lumber-yard dog then you dont need to be doing drugs. Im sorry but marijuana has never made SWIM want to do something that stupid. The problem isnt the drugs that made him do it but the asshole friends he has that pressured him into it.
  3. Creeping Death
    There's plenty of pro-drug videos also.
  4. bewilderment
    "If just one teen sees this and decides illegal drug use is not the path for them, it will be a success,"

    I wonder if this is the same logic behind politicians and such saying that the War on Drugs is "successful".
  5. Nagognog2
    "Facts don't matter anymore. Don't you get it? It's all about faith!" _ White House Press Secretary.
  6. Alfa
    I wonder if this relates to the fact that US anti drug ad campaign was called a complete failure by the media, because it did not affect drug use. There are some articles about it in this forum.
  7. Nagognog2
    Look Alfa - you can't be a successful neo-con funded politico, with the money rolling in for your re-election campaign, unless you go by the "Faith" principle. In other words: You must ignore the facts that anyone with basic math skills can see, and just say 'Jesus' alot and say anyone who believes the liberal media are traitors working for al Qaida and drug-pushers.

    Unfortunately, with the help of the fundamentalist churches, this tactic has proven to be a winner. I'm NOT kidding.
  8. Riconoen {UGC}
    Hell no look how bush got re-elected after veitraq.
  9. turkeyphant
    Hilariously, 99% of the comments and ratings are cussing these videos up. As a result, the ONDCP is removing the videos and then reposting them with the comments deleted and disabled.
  10. Nagognog2
    Steal the videos and repost WITH the comments! Fight fire with fire!

  11. illuminati boy
    ^Yes, my understanding of US copyright law is that all publications made by the US government can be distributed/copied without need to pay any royalty… that and parody is clearly protected. It would be nice to see a whole YouTube genre devoted to the media hacking / culture jamming of anti-drug propaganda. Some nice clips about the Nobel Lauriat responsible for PCR commenting on the importance of LSD to his work contrasted with the standard ‘drugs are bad ‘m kay’ line would be cute.

    I B
  12. radiometer
    I doubt that the average taxpayer would agree. If just one teen decides not to take drugs as a result, then the video is an abysmal failure and a complete waste of money, even viewed from a anti-drug stance.
  13. Beeker
    It's bad enough that they use up out tax dollars but now they are using up our bandwidth! for shame!
  14. Lunar Loops
    Anti-Drug PSAs Getting Little Play on YouTube

    This from http://www.ecommercetimes.com/ :

    Anti-Drug PSAs Getting Little Play on YouTube

    By Jake Coyle
    09/21/06 8:30 AM PT

    The twelve anti-drug videos posted by the Office of National Drug Control Policy at www.YouTube.com/ONDCP have received a lukewarm reception from users so far. How the youthful, rebellious Web is responding to the ONDCP's efforts is perhaps hinted at by the mirror site, www.ondcp.com, which recasts the acronym as "oppressive network drug content propaganda."

    As various interests have increasingly converged on YouTube in hopes of some free, viral marketing, it came as little surprise when the White House announced earlier this week that it, too, wanted a piece of Lonelygirl15's spotlight.
    The Office of National Drug Control Policy posted a dozen videos at www.YouTube.com/ONDCP, mostly of public-service commercials on the dangers of drug use from the "above the influence" campaign, as seen on TV.
    Spoof Mirror Site

    As of Wednesday, the ONDCP channel had received a scant 53 subscribers and a total of 14,463 views, a relatively low total. How the youthful, rebellious Web is responding to the ONDCP's efforts is perhaps hinted at by the mirror site, www.ondcp.com, which recasts the acronym as "oppressive network drug content propaganda."
    It's true, though, that any YouTube viewings are basically gravy to the ONDCP; it costs nothing to post the clips. Still, the campaign's numbers pale in comparison to, for example, the hundreds of thousands that have watched various videos on how to grow marijuana.
    A spokesman for YouTube, which generally doesn't regulate its user-posted videos, declined on Wednesday to discuss the site's policy regarding videos that show illegal activity, such as drug use or drug production.
    YouTube and the Web clearly present a problem for public-service announcements. On TV and on radio, PSAs typically rely on federally-required play or corporations looking to bolster their image. They are inserted between entertainment -- they aren't the entertainment itself.
    On YouTube, there are no regulations, and videos make a dent with the public only if they create their own audience, thus making their way up the "most viewed" list. To help grab viewers, the government links its videos with the terms "war on drugs," "peer-pressure," "marijuana," "weed," "ONDCP" and "420" -- a reference to marijuana -- so anyone searching for those words on YouTube can find them.
    Another Dimension to Approach

    The Ad Council, a leading producer of PSAs since 1942, has seen its methods change over the years and has worked to adapt to the Internet -- like asking for donated ad time to play before videos.
    "I don't think YouTube has changed the way we approach PSAs, but I think it's just added another dimension and another media niche for a no-cost solution," says Barbara Shimaitis, the senior vice president of interactive services at the Ad Council.
    Shimaitis thinks YouTube and other video-sharing sites could propel PSAs to become still more entertaining, and points to the popularity of a dramatic global warming ad of theirs featuring a train -- a metaphor for global warming -- bearing down on a young girl (a stand-in for future generations).
    Some of the most viewed drug-related videos on YouTube are far more persuasively anti-drug than anything produced by the government or the Ad Council. In one video, you can see a real heroin user discuss his fight with addiction.
    Over 183,000 people have watched a sadly hysterical 1980 interview with Richard Pryor in which he brags about cocaine he recently purchased. It would be hard to watch the clip of Pryor, who died of a heart attack at the age of 65 in 2005, and not contemplate whether drugs shortened his life.
    Still, people generally don't watch YouTube hoping to change their lives. After all, one of the most watched PSAs on YouTube is a clip from the '80s about the dangers of crack cocaine. It's not watched for its message, but for its star: Pee Wee Herman.
  15. ~lostgurl~
    ONDCP: We Don't Care What You Dorks on YouTube Think

    ONDCP: We Don't Care What You Dorks on YouTube Think

    Posted in Chronicle Blog
    by Scott Morgan
    6 June 2007

    A Seattle Post-Intelligencer story about political messages on YouTube.com contains this delightful quote from ONDCP:

    The irony here is that, predictable as it may have been, ONDCP had no clue that this was going to happen. They deliberately generated media coverage of their YouTube page, only to find their videos marred by harsh comments and dismal viewer ratings. ONDCP quickly disabled these options, but the damage was done.

    If they had genuinely anticipated this level of hostility from viewers, they would have optimized their page before sending out press releases about it. Because they did not, most ONDCP videos are now permanently stamped with the lowest-possible rating of one star.

    This is to say nothing of the countless parodies that are now drowning out ONDCP’s unpopular propaganda. Since YouTube automatically recommends similar videos anytime you watch something, viewers of ONDCP’s materials are unavoidably connected to these abundant counter-messages. It is almost certainly for this reason that ONDCP has not uploaded a single new video since the page was first launched back in September 2006.

    In a case like this, the mature decision would be to ignore them. But I find it amusing that even something as perfectly logical as expecting ridicule on YouTube turns out to be a lie when it comes from ONDCP.

  16. noserious
    Re: ONDCP: We Don't Care What You Dorks on YouTube Think

    Why are adding comments disabled for some of their videos? silly rabbit
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