Iraqi government gets on YouTube

Chris Caceres · November 25, 2009 · Short URL:

Another country hoping to connect with its citizens via online video

Another addition to governments who are now communicating with citizens via YouTube - the most popular video sharing site in the world announced on Wednesday the Iraqi government has started its own channel.

"In the interest of enabling the Iraqi government and the national center for information to use technology and advanced methods of communications and to present our message to other peoples, in particular to the Iraqi people at home and abroad, The National Center for Information has created the Iraqi channel on YouTube, a new and advanced method of communication. The Iraqi government is committed to using this technology to connect to various international communities and to those who follow the issues of Iraq," said Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

YouTube's Director of Product Management, Hunter Walk commented on its blog saying he had visited Baghdad earlier this year and had several discussions with elected officials, private companies and NGOs where he routinely heard, "the desire to connect with fellow citizens, Iraqis outside the country's borders, and cultures across the world."  

With the rise of citizen journalism and wide variety of opinions being consumed by millions across YouTube, it's interesting to see governments finally catching on to set up their own channels.  It's a way for governments to have an official spot to communicate with the world, without journalists or analysts altering their messages, it's a source.  

YouTube users have mixed opinions on the announcement.

Citing two comments left on the blog post, one person said, "that is cool," while on the other hand somebody said, "so they could continue spreading propaganda and infecting more minds."  

YouTube said, "we hope that by launching on YouTube, the Iraqi Government and their citizens will also find it easy to use YouTube to engage in such conversations, and bring their proceedings, policies and ideas to a larger audience around the world."

Other governments and leaders with YouTube channels include the US, France, South Korea, Estonia, the Pope, the Royal Family and Queen Rania. 

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