Note: I don’t show animal cruelty videos on this page.
There is a brilliant petition going around at the moment on the causes.com website: Stop Youtube accepting and showing cruelty to animals. What is so impressive about it is that almost 500,000 people have signed up to it. The usual sort of numbers are 5,000 and even that seems to be good. So half a billion is awesome. There are definitely a lot of people who don’t like the fact that animal cruelty is shown on YouTube videos.
However, I am not sure what sort of video we are voting against. When you search YouTube for “animal cruelty” or “people being cruel to animals” you get lots of videos, nearly all of which show actual animal cruelty. But the video maker is nearly always showing animal cruelty in support of their argument that it should stop. The video is a plea that animal cruelty stops. Are these videos good or bad?
Personally I can’t watch them. I can barely look at the video icon never mind the video. Generally, these videos do not do well in terms of numbers of views. This is understandable because they are horrible.
My gut feeling is that a video made to stop animal cruelty should not show animal cruelty. On that basis I support the cause. However, there are videos, much less of them it seems to me, that show animal cruelty for the sake of it, just to try and make a high hitting video. Are these the ones that the petition is focused on? The difficulty for YouTube is distinguishing one from the other.
A video against animal cruelty should be no more than a well rehearsed statement, well said and with passion. My reason is that seeing animal cruelty damages us. Also you will get voyeurs who watch the video because they like seeing cruelty to animals and do not want to listen to the arguments against animal cruelty.
There is a significant proportion of people on the planet who like to be cruel to animals. They like to express their anger at their predicament by hurting a creature more vulnerable than themselves. It is a bit like self-harm. People who self-harm say they feel better after cutting themselves. Some of the anger and self-loathing is dissipated. I am sure the same applies to harming animals.
I believe Google – who owns YouTube – should think about this sensitive matter carefully and prioritize it. Google do great work and are the most important internet presence. With that comes serious responsibilities. Google are only just waking up to that. They support a freedom of speech approach to the point where anything goes. But that is not good enough, I am afraid. With their massive success Google have massive responsibilities. When people search for something on the internet, Google finds it. What Google finds is the information because what is does not find is buried under 30 billion web pages.
This is an example of a voyeur’s animal cruelty video. Perhaps Rudolph can comment on it?
Not for the faint hearted :: Halavatha Munneswaram Kovil – Animal Slaughter OMG cruel people
One other point worth making I believe is that we know that some of the viewers who watch these videos are uneducated and desensitized because the comments they leave clearly indicate that. They leave rude and crude comments. There are far too many comments like this on YouTube. This really is a dumbing down of humanity on a worldwide scale.
I wonder at times whether the internet is good for us. On the internet, there is a lot of dumbing down, misinformation, bad behavior and time wasting chatting about stuff that does not progress humankind. Maybe the internet is neither good nor bad. It is simply a reflection on mankind’s behavior – good and bad.