Analyzing the Sun's Top 10 TTC YouTube Videos

The first Sunday of the new year was a slow news day for the Toronto Sun, as they ran an article exposing YouTube videos primarily made up of drunken-antics on the TTC. While the behaviour displayed in these videos may have been an eye-opener for the 905 crowd, for most of us at blogTO it's nothing new.

The other videos varied from cops breaking up a fight, to the surreal adaptation of a colourful TTC rapper, to a pitifully sick rider, and then my personal favourite, the Bohemian Rhapsody sing-along. While some were amusing, the others displayed some disturbing similarities.

The most disturbing commonality in many of these and other bystander videos filmed on the TTC is the inaction of those recording the footage, also known as the bystander effect. In some of the videos, the subjects are labeled as drunk or crazy by the other riders, thus negating their willingness to help. For example, the 'crazy woman on subway' video made my stomach lurch; is it a hyper-sensitive rider struggling with a history of abuse? Or is it an assertive rider who was fondled by a man on the subway and let him know he couldn't get away with it? Why didn't anybody just ask if she was alright and what happened?

Furthermore, the concerns raised from this TTC YouTube trend mirrors the questions that arose regarding the TTC's controversial step to install security cameras to reduce crime and make the TTC safer. But I'm not so convinced and Privacy International isn't either. As PI shows, research taken from the implementation of the UK transit cameras has shown that while the cameras may assist in reducing low-level opportunistic crimes, the level of actual arrests was negligible. When concerns regarding privacy arose, Giambrone stated that the cameras would only be used by the police for review, and wouldn't be watched live. This only brought up more questions about the reasoning behind installing cameras for crime prevention if they would only be used after the fact. While we're still waiting to see what becomes of these new cameras, maybe these and other YouTube videos can act as 'moron' security in the meantime.

On a final note about the 'Best Of' list, am I the only one who found the screaming child video, which was labeled as 'endearing' as the most annoying?


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