YouTube has become de rigeur for posting official war propaganda. As CMD reported in October 2007, NATO has dedicated at least 1 million Euros (about $1.46 million U.S.) to produce and post footage to the popular video sharing site. In Britain, the Ministry of Defence (MoD), Royal Navy and Royal Air Force all have channels on YouTube, with dozens of short videos shot by or with their forces. The Multi-National Force - Iraq (MNFI) also has a presence on YouTube. Their videos include combat footage, like one titled "Close Call for Marines," deemed graphic enough by the community of YouTube users that it is necessary for viewers to sign in to prove that they are adults. Other clips of a more general, human interest nature are those like "Iraqi Boy Scouts prepare for Jamboree," which can be viewed here. "The MNFI said the purpose of its videos were to give a 'boots on the ground perspective' of Operation Iraqi Freedom." Defense analyst Gordon Mackenzie "said videos shot by soldiers on operations had been appearing on the internet for some time despite MoD efforts to control them and these have been used in the past by the BBC. However, Mr Mackenzie said videos of operations uploaded officially by the ministry and armed forces verged on sending out a political message. 'Effectively the armed forces are carrying out a political order. The Ministry of Defence is a political organisation, the army isn't, but has to find support for what it's asked to do.'" In May 2007, CMD reported that the U.S. Department of Defense had blocked soldiers and journalists from accessing YouTube and other sites when using DoD computers.
Posted by Judith Siers-Poisson on December 20, 2007