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Thread: Why can't Youtube videos count as evidence?

  1. #1 Why can't Youtube videos count as evidence? 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    Some are better, some are worse.
    I think the real problem is how to sort the wheat from the chaff.

    For example,
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4vE_vpkr90#t=229

    and counter example

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws6AAhTw7RA

    So how can Youtube videos be validated and used as support?


    Last edited by dan hunter; March 7th, 2014 at 06:13 AM. Reason: adding a counterexample after Dy's comment made me laugh.
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  3. #2  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    If it's got Doc Brown in it it MUST be real.


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  4. #3  
    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    So how can Youtube videos be validated and used as support?
    You can certainly use a YouTube video as support for a point you are making, but it will never be valid evidence in the scientific sense. The reason is quite simply that anyone can put anything on YouTube, without peer-review or textbook references, and furthermore that videos are rather easy to fake. Just search ( e.g. ) for "anti-gravity" on YouTube, and you will know immediately what I mean.
    Given the right editing software I could quite easily put together a video showing a pink unicorn in my back yard - will that be permissible evidence for the existence of pink unicorns ?
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  5. #4  
    Genius Duck Moderator Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    Given the right editing software I could quite easily put together a video showing a pink unicorn in my back yard - will that be permissible evidence for the existence of pink unicorns ?
    Of course not.
    A back yard is far too easy to fake.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    So how can Youtube videos be validated and used as support?
    There already have been cases where a Youtube video was used to show people doing the wrong thing to others and animals. A example was the guy who was secretly watched by a camera doing things with another guy which no one knew about until after that video was put on Youtube for all to see The guy committed suicide because of it and the harassment he suffered through. Then another where 4 girls attacked another girl and beat her down and that too went viral and the 4 girls were charged with assault. So there are certain cases that can and do use the videos to help support the cases at times but not always. It is rather hard to fake 4 girls all hitting another girl plus the girl went to the police right after this with bruises and contusions.
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    Forum Professor Daecon's Avatar
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    If someone puts a video from one of the Harry Potter movies on YouTube, how credible do you think it would be as providing "evidence" that magic is real?

    It's the same reason that other videos can't be used as actual evidence for anything.
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  8. #7  
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    The best use of a video is when demonstrating something that's very hard to describe in words or equations.

    It's one thing to learn that certain gases absorb heat/radiation, it's another thing to see it happen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ot5n9m4whaw

    That was real. Videos can also be constructed with techniques to show how those gas molecules behave. Learning that certain gas molecules with certain structures will or won't vibrate in certain circumstances is a bit difficult to comprehend from a static molecule kit. A representation can illustrate the concept without being "real". Vibrations of Carbon Dioxide

    But neither of these presentations is actual formal evidence. They're illustrations or demonstrations to clarify the information or the concept.
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  9. #8  
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    Science hasn't really developed a means to formally review and approve other than written communications media. I think it will eventually, something we see in budding series of approved by messaging by major scientific organizations...but it's got a long ways to go.
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  10. #9  
    Moderator Moderator Janus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    So how can Youtube videos be validated and used as support?

    Given the right editing software I could quite easily put together a video showing a pink unicorn in my back yard - will that be permissible evidence for the existence of pink unicorns ?
    For instance, this YouTube video is not evidence that I can transport beer into an empty mug.

    "Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feelings for the strength of their argument.
    The heated mind resents the chill touch & relentless scrutiny of logic"-W.E. Gladstone


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  11. #10  
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    For instance, this YouTube video is not evidence that I can transport beer into an empty mug.

    Of course not, silly. That's iced tea, not beer.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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