Quentin G., Nigeria: "Cambodia is a poor country. This means that most houses, especially in the outskirts of Phnom Penh, have no toilets, so women and young girls have to relieve themselves roadside. Cambodians are very polite by nature. They always look the other way. But there are now more and more Western men walking around in the outer parts of Phnom Penh. And usually they wear sunglasses so nobody knows what they are looking at. There are now two urgent measures to be undertaken to stop this intrusion into the privacy of young girls (which actually is a form of rape). First, the sale of sunglasses to Western men must be prohibited (except if they have a medical prescription). Second, the international community urgently must provide funds so that secure toilets can be build for girls and young women throughout Cambodia."
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Others, satisfied with the global attention, have noted that the clip has publicized EUTube more rapidly than anyone expected.
Sex video or no sex video, EUTube isn't the only recent addition to YouTube?s European sphere. Media outlets like the BBC and EUXTV, which has channels in five languages, have a YouTube presence. Poland has a channel for its public broadcaster, TVP. Moreover, Google recently announced 150 content partnerships with other European television and broadcast companies, as well as with several sports teams.
As the site's European appeal broadens, regional powers could mimic these individual examples or take the lead from the EU and local media sources, using YouTube channels as new avenues for disseminating information.
Nonetheless, the launch of EUTube and the convergence of visits to the sexy film clip underscores that YouTube is still more of an entertainment site than a venue for political dialogue and information.
But just as some governments have shut down "old media" and even put bloggers out of business, they are taking action against YouTube and its more hard-hitting offerings. Turkey temporarily blocked the site because of a clip criticizing the modern republic's revered founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Morocco, Iran, and Thailand have also blocked the site at various times.
Belarus is taking a different route. With ITV it is stepping in to provide a censored alternative to YouTube -- in one Belarusian journalist's words, still only a "niche phenomenon."
YouTube, for now, poses little threat to countries that still like to control what the public sees and hears. The mostly English content also limits the potential market. YouTube also requires fast Internet connections, and the number of people with access to the Internet, even in the new EU states, is well behind northern and western Europe. Central Asian and Caucasian countries are even bigger laggards in Internet use, according to the 2006 UN Human Development Report. In Belarus, only about 16 percent of the population uses the Internet, meaning that ITV has a long way to go before it threatens YouTube.
In the meantime, it remains to be seen how other politicians and policy-makers react to the video-sharing sites. For now, Internet users with the money and access can escape from news, chat and blogs by viewing quirky home videos, snippets of the European sex cinema, or reruns of Belarusian news. This may not cause great shifts in policy-making, but politicians and authoritarians are both starting to take notice.
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