YouTube Channels and the GOP Race
Published: Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 19:11
Which Republican candidate, thus far, strikes you as the least insane?
Behind the mainstream media, political maneuvers manifest themselves in astonishing ways, especially when it comes to the official YouTube account pages of the remaining candidates for the Republican presidential nomination.
As a political junkie, I have watched a bunch of YouTube videos about the GOP race. From candidate speeches, appearances, commentators, and supporters, there are hundreds of new videos each day.
There are two observations that I will share: the theme of the comments, and the fact that some of the candidates disable the posting of comments on their YouTube channels.
I have watched some videos that cover Congressman Ron Paul of Texas; in these videos, it is fascinating how the commenters go on diatribes about how Ron Paul is the only candidate worth voting for. Some say they would even die so that the congressman could be elected president.
How many supporters of Rick Santorum would sacrifice their lives so that the former senator could become president? It is humorous but also strangely revealing about the race.
When I was reading the comments, I wanted to compare the Paul videos to those of other candidates and their supporters.
For each of the remaining candidates' YouTube accounts – places where they can upload TV ads, online ads, speeches, or anything that they want – one would think that the candidates would want to not censor comments. But unfortunately, comments are disabled on the channels.
For example, Newt Gingrich recently won the South Carolina Republican primary. On his official YouTube channel, "ngingrich," the video of him giving his victory speech has comments disabled. Even the main page of the channel had no place for comments – a standard feature of any home page of a YouTube channel.
On Rick Santorum's YouTube channel, "RickSantorum," video after video had comments disabled. Again, the homepage of the YouTube channel had comments disabled.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's YouTube channel, "mittromney," had no standard comment section on the main page. There was a feed from Twitter visible, where people could view tweets about the candidate. As for the videos, there were not many that had comments disabled. However, most of the videos were filled with negative criticisms of Romney.
Finally, on Ron Paul's official YouTube channel, "ronpaul," there is an open comment section on the main page, and I have not seen one video that has comments disabled. Unlike Romney, the top-rated comments were all positive.
This YouTube phenomenon has largely been unreported, but it provides much awareness into the campaigns as well as their online supporters. Often times, the comments on a political YouTube video are coherent and insightful. I urge any politico to hop on the Web and explore each of the remaining candidates' online presence for themselves.