Sunday afternoon saw a video posted on a YouTube account that had been a YouTube member for a while but had never uploaded a video. That user, ladyk89, had a bit of an eventful journey on the Croydon Tramlink:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i47HoiM0Au8 [This video was later removed, I'm sure you could still find it if you so wished]
Uploaded on Sunday 27th November, I didn’t stumble upon it until the 28th when it had ~10,000 views. I bet that was enough of a surprise to ‘ladyk89‘ but right now that same video is just under 2.5million views after 2 days.
My first thoughts when I saw this video were not about the content, and I won’t post any thoughts to do with that here, they were about the fact the video was uploaded so badly and that it wasn’t serving any ads. Many advertisers who allow their ads to be served on YouTube videos don’t specify which videos they do (or more importantly here, do not) show on. For that reason, if ladyk89 had monetised this video she could have been looking at a rather tidy sum of money just for posting her experience in the form of a video.
Forget the money though. Whether you agree with the subject of this video or not, her rant is illegal in this country. While the video was still around 10k views, a comment (which has subsequently been deleted) appeared which gave a potential name of the young mum in the video and I have no doubt that the comment was exactly what lead to an arrest by yesterday afternoon. The power of social networks strike once more – remember the naming and shaming of ‘people’ involved in the Croydon riots?
This was clearly an accidental viral, from a user who probably just planned to share her video with a few friends to show them her ordeal. From that she’s managed to enable the police to make an arrest they would have been unlikely to make. She could have also earned herself a few quid in the process!
It’s amazing how many businesses spend inordinate amounts of money coming up with a ‘viral’ marketing video, when someone on their commute with a phone can get a million views a day without trying!