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David Cameron prepares to get the YouTube treatment

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On Friday, David Cameron will be grilled by the users of YouTube. It’s part of the Al Jazeera World View series being run by YouTube which last month saw Barack Obama give a frank but less than earth-shattering interview.


If you haven’t seen World View before, the system is probably as you’d expect: YouTube users go to the World View microsite and submit questions in video or text form. You can also vote on which existing questions should be asked. The questions that get the most votes get asked – apparently with no form of censorship or regulation. Users currently have less than 12 hours to submit their questions.

It’s a nice idea, and I’m all for crowd sourcing but I can’t help but be reminded of early 90s Newsround Press Pack interviews, where an enthusiastic but ill-informed teenager would ask a cabinet member what their favourite colour is and what they thought of Brother Beyond.

Of course there are a few contributions from the inhabitants of Crazyville but I can’t see them getting an airing. I think this one from a young chap who seems to think this is an oportunity to ask the PM for a shout out. (Name and email removed)

Will you make a video, For me. . .Saying, Hello ****** ******* from plymouth in devon, Thankyou and send it too a private email adress *******************

***** ***** Royal Marine Cadet.

Good work keeping that email address private, Private. Also, this isn’t Babestation (whatever that is). What kind of video is he expecting if it isn’t suitable for public viewing… *shudder*.

Crazies aside, if there really is no intervention, why are all the questions so perfect for the politician? I’m browsing the top questions for Cameron and they are mostly relevent but bland and likely to allow the interviewee to say exactly what he wants. Is the voting system geared towards presenting questions that give the politician an easy ride or are crowd sourcing systems innately geared towards the bland and predictable?

Unfortunately I think it’s the latter which is why I’d rather see Cameron being put through the wringer by Paxman or another hard-nosed journo with a desire to see someone squirm.

Incidently if it’s Cameron squirming on YouTube you want, look no further.