YouTube As A Crime Fighting Social Network

Did you hear about the laptop thief in New Zealand who was caught after somebody identified him through a YouTube video? Apparently someone caught the crime on camera and created a video of it set to the Pink Panther’s theme music and uploaded it to YouTube. One of the 500,000 viewers recognized the thief and called the police.

In our States capitol, a LeDroit Park store owner posted the surveillance camera footage of 2 armed robbers of his store in the hopes of someone being able to provide information about the robbers and also to get the attention of the police.

A really interesting twist is the way comedians are starting to use YouTube to expose other comedians that steal their jokes. Videos comparing the routines of various comedians over different time periods are uploaded so that the public can judge for themselves on whose joke it really is.

Ironically it’s copyright infringement lawsuits that have YouTube working to implement video recognition technology to automatically detect videos that fall under copyright material and were uploaded without permission.

Despite its crime stopping abilities, the more I play around on YouTube, the more I really believe the site absolutely needs to use age verification before allowing access to some of the material being posted. One example is the movie trailer for Superbad which anyone can see on YouTube (hmm, how will movie trailers rank in the copyright detection software?) but Sony Pictures, the movie’s producers, required age verification to view the trailer (although it appears the system they chose was ineffective based on this person’s experience).

Besides the easy access to this red-band movie trailer, there are other videos anyone can watch that truly shocked me given so many kids are on YouTube everyday.

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