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MMD > Archives > August 2010 > 2010.08.22 > 02Prev  Next

Revisionist History on YouTube
By Dan Robinson

I agree with Jim Welty that the recent explosion of mechanical music
misinformation posted as comments on YouTube presents a rather puzzling
situation.  I myself have posted many band organ videos on YouTube, and
at least one of the young commenters Jim describes has left many, many
comments on my videos.  Some of the comments are on-the-ball while
others are incoherent.  I wondered what the explanation was for this; I
then learned that this person is, indeed, twelve years old or perhaps
even younger.

It is certainly a positive development that there are very young people
out there who are so interested in, and so inquisitive about, mechanical
music.  However, it is troubling that they present misinformation as fact
and that other people are accepting it as such.  In response to some
misinformation posted on one video, someone posted a  comment along the
lines of, "You really should get your facts straight before you post stuff
on the Internet."  This seems not to have given the enthusiastic fan much

Like Jim, I would strongly encourage any MMDer who has videos on
YouTube to take a look, on a regular basis, at the comments that have
been left.  Remember that the uploader of a video can delete any
comment he chooses.  YouTube accounts can be set so that the uploader
gets an email whenever a comment is left (although this is a bit spotty
in my experience).  I believe another option is that comments do not
appear until they are approved by the uploader.  Finally, a YouTube
user can block people from posting comments on his videos.

I have done my best to answer questions from this most frequent
commenter, even ones that have been asked, answered, then asked again
later, because I want to encourage his interest and enthusiasm.  Jim
wonders what a "reasonable, gentlemanly" response might be to all this.
I'm afraid that I have so far come up with nothing that would not run
the risk of discouraging a budding interest in mechanical music and
contact with members of the mechanical music community.

Dan Robinson
Rochester, NY

(Message sent Sun 22 Aug 2010, 21:41:24 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  History, Revisionist, YouTube

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