I’m sure most of us have wasted an unspeakable amount of time on YouTube or even posted videos that we regret the next morning, but besides serving as a distraction to our stressful lives, YouTube may actually serve a purpose. While we all have different ideas about the purpose of the video broadcasting website, some believe that it actually brings justice to our society. However, YouTube can also demonstrate activities that will likely land you in jail.
To begin, YouTube has put many oblivious and clearly ignorant criminals in confinement. With more people installing video security systems in their homes or apartments, criminals are finding it even more difficult to avoid the lockup. Dan and Alyssa of Atlanta have given YouTube a new reputation as an effective and undeniably accurate crime fighting tool. When their house was robbed, security cameras captured the entire incident along with clear images of the thieves. It wasn’t long before the criminals were brought to justice, but Dan and Alyssa made sure the faces of crime were well known to Atlanta. After sharing the videos with police, the couple posted the video on YouTube and within a few days 40,000 people knew who the criminals were, including the uncle of one perpetrator. There are many similar instances, including one in Texas. After obtaining security video at a grocery store, police posted the video on YouTube and the burglary suspects were arrested within days.
Not only is YouTube an effective crime fighter, but it ensures that people can keep their neighborhoods safe. Other than raising awareness of potential criminal activity, the website keeps everyone alert and serves as a “high tech neighborhood watch”. Some police departments have even made websites specifically for video surveillance to allow people to view the videos and provide tips anonymously. Still, YouTube does serve other purposes, some of which police are probably irate about.
Learning how to pick a lock, remove security devices from clothing or steal items from a grocery store are just a few not so lawful lessons provided on YouTube. Videos like this are getting thousands of hits each day and may end up in the wrong hands. While some may find it humorous to try the techniques of lock picking, it may not be funny when an unwanted stranger enters your home with ease. As expected, all good things have downfalls, but should YouTube institute strict policies against such roguish activity?
For now, YouTube hasn’t been linked to any crimes, besides apprehending criminals so it appears that no harm has occurred. I enjoy browsing the insanely ridiculous videos and even fantasizing about the possibly useful lessons of YouTube, as I’m sure you have too. We all need sources of entertainment and YouTube has created just that, whether lawful or unlawful.