I wrote about the closure of the city YouTube channel in a July post, the city was attempting to save the channel from a ban because of TOS violation. The appeal process has failed. YT is famous for closing channels with little explanation, and no recourse. It doesn’t matter that the content of the channel was official videos from city council meetings, there was something on those videos that caused the people at YT to decree a permanent ban on the channel.
I emailed Chief Shaner (who does the IT work for the city, along with running the fire department). He found a better place to host the city videos.
“I corresponded with Google Government and their final response was, “the site will not be re-enabled”. If we establish another YouTube channel, it can be deleted just like that one was so we will not be doing that as long as I am here. Everything we have is now on Archive.org. It seems to be a good use of taxpayer money at this point.
I think the agenda center on the website reflects the changes. If you go to the website, you can navigate to the appropriate meeting. You should not have to search for it.” – Chief Shaner
The location of the city council videos is not so intuitive, you normally don’t expect to find videos of past meetings on a page that is titled “Agendas”. The city is using a pre-packaged CMS that doesn’t give them a lot of flexibility, so that might be the best that can be done.
Click on the little TV set icons to the right of each meeting, this will take you to the video on Archive.org.
The Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. You can think of it like a library for the internet, although it isn’t a library like the one we have on First Ave. It is funded through donations, grants, and by providing web archiving and book digitization services for partners.
You can also find videos from the Grandview city council by doing a search for the term “Grandview Heights” in the main search bar of the IA. A warning about using the IA, the website is not a fast as YouTube, it can bog down at times (it is one of the most used sites on the internet).
Why the city YouTube channel was closed
The management of YouTube is notorious for impenetrable decision making processes and rule enforcement. Even if we had all of the documentation that was provided to the city, it may have told us nothing except “rules were broken- see the rules on this page”. That page would then contain a list of possible infractions, with no explanation of who complained, or what they didn’t like.
We don’t know what closed the channel. We can look at the issues that were being discussed in city council meetings just before the closure, and the one that stands out is the complaints that residents were making about the open drug use and disruptions that occurred around the short term rental properties. The owners could have worked together to accuse the city of TOS violations, just because the words “drugs” were mentioned (a trip wire that has closed many YT channels).
The city did the right thing in moving away from YouTube, we don’t want our video recordings of council meetings censored or limited in any way. I’m hoping the city can work out a way to host the videos on their own servers, and end all outside party enforcement of content rules in city videos.
The schools use YouTube
The Grandview schools have been posting football games and other sports on a YT channel for the last two years. For some reason, despite the pitfalls of YT that the board knew and had objected to, they decided to post the new videos of board meetings on the same YT channel. The public comment section of the video posts has not been turned off. The channel is vulnerable to being closed for TOS violations.
The school has a video section on their own website, and can host their own videos. Why would they choose YouTube?