I just deleted my favorite youtube video, and so can you

OK, I was tired. And it was late at night. And maybe I wasn’t as attentive as I should have been. Still, I have not yet forgiven youtube for making it soooo easy for me to delete one of my favorite youtube videos from my Second Living video channel – forever! I had a backup of the video, Tahrir Voices, on another hard drive, so I have reposted it here – but it lost all its 4,000+ views, and its historical poignancy of being posted during the Egyptian revolution. Also, since it has a new URL, anyone who clicks a link to the old video gets this ugly, unfriendly pic.

Video removal screen

Just so you know, it was not removed. It was deleted. By mistake. And despite my pleas, my desperate e-mails and calls, Google assures me it keeps no backups and cannot restore it by any means. Sob. How can a company that has a mountain of background info on anyone of us, who tracks our every move, who can offer me search hits based on what I looked up a year ago NOT have a backup of a video that retains its views? I can even see the views sitting in my Google Analytics laughing at me. I don’t believe you, Google. Not for a second. Sigh. Rant over.

Now I’m going to tell you exactly what I did so that you will never do it yourself.

It started when I was making a playlist. Simple enough. You click the big “Video Manager” button at the top of your channel, and then in the menu down the lefthand side, you click “Playlists.” So far so good.

But here’s where the road gets rocky. If at this point you click that big “Video Manager” button at the top – you do not, I repeat NOT – stay in your Playlists.

You go into your “Uploads.” These are not a playlist. These are your actual videos that you have on your channel. See that big “Uploads” title at the top? Well, I didn’t. I thought it was a playlist. So I clicked that little box to take Tahrir Voices out of the playlist, and it became history … instantly. The ironic thing is that video was history. It has clips from a video of Asmaa Mahfouz – who later became my Facebook friend and inspires my life so much – calling the world to come down to Tahrir Square on January 23, 2011, and join demonstrations that toppled the 30-year regime of then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek and contributed to the domino falling of regimes across the region.But now the video itself is history. Sob. Please watch it reposted here and help it regain some of its rightful views.

Liberty’s Child, my new video, is back up

My new video Liberty’s Child explores the bewilderment that innocence experiences when encountering brutality and violence. The video contains graphic images that are not suitable for young children.There is an irony in using a children’s story to illustrate a video that isn’t suitable for children, but children live with us in our horrific times and see things that shouldn’t have to see all the time. This contradiction is the heart of this video. And I think we are all the child in this video, who cannot begin to understand the horror before our eyes.

Hubert Flattinger, the author of the brilliant and touching children’s story Stormy Night featured in this video, closed his letter granting permission for use with the words “Give Peace a Chance!”  This struck me as a poignant reminder of the goodness that exists alongside brutality in our modern world. Also, I am continually amazed and heartened by the increasing willingness of artists like Mr. Flattinger to share their work freely beyond the constraints of copyright.

Continue Reading “Liberty’s Child, my new video, is back up”

Tahrir Voices, my new video

Here is my tribute to the Egyptian people. A labor of love. Mashup of discussion among Global Voices, Harvard Law School, and Berkman Center for Internet & Society using live AlJazeera footage from Tahrir Square. (Thanks to AJ English Creative Commons repository of video clips)
This is my entry in the Wired for Change remix competition.