The video-sharing website YouTube suspended the account of a prominent Egyptian anti-torture activist who posted videos of brutal behaviour online. Wael Abbas said some 100 images he had uploaded to the site were no longer accessible to users due to "complaints about the content". Abbas, who has won international recognition for his work in opposing the use of torture, claims the clips depicted police brutality, voting irregularities and anti-government demonstrations. But a message on Abbas's YouTube user page now reads: "This account is suspended".
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Corporate media sharing YouTube has vast potential audiences and are rich in features. However that potential doesn’t necessarily translate into actual audience. There are a lot of videos on YouTube that are viewed by hardly anyone. If you put in effort and networking to get people to view your content you could just as well build an audience in ways which do not rely on a network service that could suspend your account at any time.
There are different levels of independence and features that you may want from a video or audio sharing service.
Many who people use Facebook and the highly criticised licence are horrified when they find out what that licence allows Facebook to do with your images.
If you use alternative image sharing website like Flickr and Indymedia to upload images you are able to choose your own licence. You may also want to try out a WordPress blog to upload your images. There are many themes specifically designed for uploading images (also know as Photo Blogging).
Audio editing and encoding: Audacity1 & Ardour2 are audio editors that can import, edit and export audio in a number of different formats. Audacity is a great starting application that is very suitable for short audio reports or recording music mixes. Ardour is aimed at multi-track recording and or longer audio reports with many tracks.
Video encoding: There are several Free Software applications which are great for encoding videos. HandBrake3 and Avidemux4 is a cross platform encoders which can convert DVDs and other videos files so that they are ready for archiving and uploading to the Internet.
Video editing: For free software the situation is much worse for video editing. On Linux our recommendation is Kdenlive5 which is making great steps towards being stable. On Windows there is a bundled video editor Windows Movie Maker and on Apple iMovie which work great for short videos. However, if you are trying to create a long video then the getting hold of a computer which runs Final Cut Pro or Premiere may save you a lot of time.
Archive.org contains thousands of digital movies ranging from classic full-length films, to daily alternative news broadcasts. All these movies are available for download, often in very high resolution, and are freely licensed. You can embed the video into other websites, but you ca not create an RSS podcast there. They support open formats like Ogg video. You cannot upload content anonymously.
VisionOnTV is not a service where you can upload video. It does however help to promote Grass roots video reports and provides tips and training on how to make short videos using low cost tools. Get in touch with them if you have videos to share. 6 7
There are a number of Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) web Content Management Systems (CMS) that offer specialised video functionality - such as Plumi http://plumi.org/ and various Drupal and Wordpress modules targeted at handling media. There is a network of groups and individuals called Hacktionlab, who share knowledge about media activism and would be happy to help on their email list. 2