The weekly White House “YouTube” addresses aren’t going to be on YouTube anymore. Instead, the videos will be hosted by a customized player. In the absence of a formal explanation, some are suggesting conflicts over YouTube’s privacy policies.
As Cnet chronicles, the White House has been under criticism since the beginning for choosing Google-owned YouTube as its video hosting platform. The change may silence criticism of the White House, but it won’t solve any of the root privacy concerns circling around Google and YouTube.
Could the White House have used its bully pulpit to make YouTube more secure? It certainly would have been a better service to internet users – after all, the folks who follow the President’s weekly addresses probably view hundreds of other videos on YouTube as well. President Obama could have been vocal in calling on YouTube to change its policies to better serve its users.
Of course, it may not be about privacy. YouTube is more than just a video site – it is an online community. The President’s Weekly Address is just one of millions of videos; and being on a site like YouTube invites comments and video responses. Maybe YouTube is too public a forum; perhaps the White House is unwilling to sacrifice their message monopoly to engage in a legitimate back-and-forth debate.