These days a combination of foreign policy, education, taxation, the economy and the upcoming Presidential election have the political debate on fire and YouTube is center stage. We saw more political ads on YouTube during the 2010 elections than ever before, YouTube World View has interviewed important politicians around the globe from President Obama to President Paul Kagame of Rwanda. Today, political debate has made its way to YouTube with the launch of YouTube Town Hall.
The launch of YouTube Town Hall was announced this morning on the YouTube blog. They write, “YouTube Town Hall is an online platform for members of Congress to virtually debate and discuss the most important issues of the day.” On the Town Hall channel, viewers can select an issue that is important to them and then watch two different members of Congress expressing their opinions on the issue. After you watch, click ‘Support’ to choose the one that you lie best. Videos that get the most support will be tracked and displayed on the YouTube Town Hall Leaderboard. There are currently not enough votes to crown a champion on the Leaderboard, but throughout the day as more people find out about YouTube Town Hall we should start to see some action there.
For starters, YouTube Town Hall has put six issues up for debate—Budget, Energy, Economy, Health Care, Education and Afghanistan. They chose these issues because they have been the most popular on Google News and Google search over the past year. But now that YouTube Town Hall has officially launched, YouTube invites you to ask the member of Congress questions. Click ‘Ask A Question’ on the Town Hall channel (it’s a big red button—pretty hard to miss), and submit your question. Each month, the top questions will be debated within the YouTube Town Hall.
Ever since Obama dominated with social media in his first Presidential campaign, services like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have become key in the world of politics. I love the way that YouTube has closed the gap between politicians and their constituents, giving us the opportunity to ask the country’s leaders the questions that are important to us…and actually have our questions answered.
In YouTube Town Hall your views and votes count, so check it out, support your favorite congressmen and get them up on that Leaderboard! Let us know what you think about head-to-head debate on YouTube in the comments below.
Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast here at Social Times. Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.