YouTube participant advice
YouTube is a popular online video sharing site, which boasts the second largest search engine in the world.YouTube and similar sites provide an easy method of distributing Christian/creationist videos across the globe and have therefore become an important tool in internet evangelism.
In 2006, Alan Beeber of Campus Crusade for Christ International (CCCI) (one of the world's largest evangelism organizations) predicted that internet evangelism will result in more conversions than all other forms of evangelism for CCCI combined.
Although YouTube is a potential effective witnessing tool, many Christian/creationist users have experienced problems with anti-Christian/Creationists users of the site. Within this document are included effective strategies and tactics for thwarting the actions of these users, which primarily come from the atheist/evolutionist camp.
- 1 Honing your message
- 2 Video marketing and miscellaneous
- 3 Affiliating your creationist YouTube channel with a church/Christian organization
- 4 Start now and create more professional looking videos as you go along
- 5 Diversification
- 6 Thwarting naturalists on YouTube
- 7 Using the block option
- 8 See Also
- 9 References
Honing your message
The maximum "Content is king" is an important consideration to keep in mind. Engaging video content causes people to talk to members of the internet community, friends and family so news about your Creation/Christian content spreads. Creation/Christian apologists have a wealth of internet content you can cite.
Christian apologetic resources:
Video marketing and miscellaneous
You have created your creationist videos. Now what? Now it time to promote your videos. Below are some helpful resources:
Also, don't be afraid to use other social media websites to promote your videos such as Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, blogging, etc. A good book on this matter is The Social Media Marketing Book.
Affiliating your creationist YouTube channel with a church/Christian organization
Affiliating your YouTube channel with a church or Christian organization has definitely has benefits. The Christian/creationist YouTube channel ppsimmons is very successful and is run by a Baptist church. The ppsimmons YouTube channel has over 6,000,000 uploaded views and it has over 8,000 subscribers. Another example is the pro-creation church the Grace Community Church of San Antonio, TX which has a YouTube channel entitled I'll Be Honest, Will You that has over 11,000 subscribers and their YouTube channel has had over 3,000,000 uploaded views.
Benefits of affiliating your YouTube channel with a Christian organization:
1. YouTube is probably more likely to respond favorably to complaints from a Christian organization YouTube channel as they do not want potential bad publicity. The bigger the Christian organization you affiliate yourself with, the more leverage you have in terms of potential bad publicity for YouTube. Also, don't be afraid to go to the conservative and local press as corporations like YouTube (which is owned by Google) try to avoid bad publicity as it negatively effects their corporate profits.
2. In a church there is bound to be a bigger talent pool. One person might be good at creating videos while another member of the church might be better at promotion.
3. You can retain your private identity more readily.
4. You might get donations and financial support from your church and if you are affiliated with a church or Christian organization, it is easier to get funding from other churches.
5. If you choose to have a donate button on your YouTube channel or have a donate link in your YouTube channel description, people are going to be more willing to donate to a bona fide Christian ministry rather than to an individual. In addition, donations to Christian organizations such as churches/ministries are often tax deductible. If you build up your YouTube channel views, you can become a YouTube partner and put a Paypal donate image on your web channel, but until then you can merely put a donate link in your YouTube channel description.
6. There are Christian grants available for evangelism. If you are affiliated with a Christian organization, it is far more likely that you will be able to get a grant for internet evangelism. One of the best books on writing grants is Everything Grant Writing Book: Create the perfect proposal to raise the funds you need. At any given time, there are about 200-300 Christian grants for evangelism. Your librarian can help you find the grants, but there are organizations which specialize people in helping find grants as well such as Christian grants.
Start now and create more professional looking videos as you go along
Don't wait until you create professional looking videos before you get started. There are plenty of YouTube channels with large audiences that do nothing more than have someone talk in front of a camera. As long as you offer good information and are personable, you can do very well.
However, if you get funding via a Christian organization you can do such things as:
1. Getting video editing equipment - If you are affiliated with a church or Christian organization, it is easier to obtain video editing equipment. For under $500 or less you can get some very professional equipment so you can remove or add sections to your videos plus do things such as adding pictures/text/audio. A professional video editor allows you to do effects too like having fade in or fade out your videos.
2. Receiving online video production lessons. The organization Web Video University offers a convenient and quality video production lessons.
3. Paying for video website sharing distribution services or software so your videos can reach people though a number of video sharing websites which will be discussed shortly.
Putting all your eggs in one basket is often a mistake. Solomon wrote about "casting your bread on many waters." There are many video sharing websites besides YouTube where you can place your videos. Some of these video sharing websites specifically cater to Christian or conservative audiences such as Tangle, GodTube, UltimateTube, Pop Modal, QuebeTV and the upcoming Rightnetwork. The free web traffic tracking services Compete and Alexa will give you a ballpark estimate on how much web traffic these video sharing websites receive although they often underestimate the web traffic.
Video sharing distribution software and services:
Plus, there are video distribution software and services which will spread your videos across 50 or more video sharing websites.
Below are some 2009 video sharing website statistics that may be of interest to you and the marketshare of YouTube is listed:
Thwarting naturalists on YouTube
If you start a channel and post creation videos, or anti-evolution videos. You should know that there are many "trolls". A troll is a person who will try to spam your videos, channel or inbox, post offensive comments constantly or who will dislike your video and falsely report it. While there can be both Christian and non-Christian trolls, the only group that you will probably have to deal with is the non-Christian one. Certain trolls have irritated and mocked many creationists on YouTube - they have even found ways to bait creationists into breaking the law and then later threaten to sue them. Despite all of the potential problems that you can have with these types of people, there are many ways to stop them from doing this.
Using a URL redirect to stop false reporting
The popular Christian and pro-creation YouTube channel, Shockofgod (see also: shockofgod), was shut down several times by atheist cyberbullying through false reports. As a result, he developed the tactic of promoting a URL which redirects them to his YouTube channel. Specifically, he promotes the URL Shockawenow net which redirects people to his website offered by a company which offers free hosting that lists his YouTube channel. As a result, attempts to disrupt his subscriber base is stopped because his subscribers can quickly find his new YouTube channel through the URL redirect he promotes. As of December 2014, the Shockofgod YouTube channel has over 30,000 YouTube subscribers and he has over 25,000,000 uploaded views of his YouTube channel videos.
Mirror YouTube channels
Another tactic to prevent naturalistic YouTube cyberbullying is to create duplicate YouTube channels. This is allowed by YouTube. These duplicate channels are often referred to as YouTube "mirror channels". Mirror channels will not only stop "trolling" but they will also give increased exposure to your videos. Because of this, you should probably encourage your fans to create mirror channels of your YouTube channel and to copy your videos and put them on their YouTube channels.
Possible "baiting tactics"
Some trolls will choose a particular creationist video, download it and then edit it. Sometimes, the changed video will have the purpose of mocking the creationist video or the creationist himself. Certain people who do this will also try to get the original creator of the video to see the video in order to irritate him. The person who edited the video may upload this as a video response, or use similar tags so that any search for the video may bring up the spoof of the video.
If you find that one of your videos has been spoofed, you can take several courses of action. You can ignore it, you can make a video or post a comment explaining rationally and calmly why the spoof is irrational or, if you find the spoof very offensive, you also have the option of blocking the user with the video.
Example of a threat message
6C of the user agreement
6C You also hereby grant each user of the YouTube Website a non-exclusive license to access your User Submissions through the Website, and to use, REPRODUCE, DISTRIBUTE, DISPLAY and perform such User Submissions as permitted through the functionality of the Website and under these Terms of Service.
I have emailed you and explained YouTube user agreement part 6C which means you already have given me permission to copy your videos (By uploading them to YouTube)
I have explained a false copyright claim by you is against YouTube user agreement and will result in his banning when I file a counterclaim.
Also its perjury (Criminal offence) to file a false copyright claim.
Also you are liable for civil and punitive awards against you in court for a false copyright claim.
He should contact a lawyer as the copyright claim form suggests. I suggest an international copyright specialist, this will cost 500$ an hour for at least 3 hours to get their opinion. Failing to get legal advice and take it when youtube have suggested you do it, will not look good for you when it comes to time to decide how much punitive awards are due to your false claim.Now you have been educated (this email will be supplied in court), your "I did not know" you will use in court will be seen as the Lie it is. Not that being ignorant of the law is any excuse, as you seem to think it is the case of science.
The gloat: You think your the first fundy to file copyright claim against me? 6 others have all their videos are back up on my accounts. The same will happen with yours :)
These threat messages have been sent to several creationist YouTube channels. If you receive a message similar to this one, it is best not to respond to avoid trouble.
Never send a false DMCA or claim copyrights to things you don't have copyrights on. When you make a video on YouTube, you are submitting to their agreements, so others are allowed to use your videos - you do not have copyrights unless you purchase them. Cyberbullies may file false DMCA claims against one of your videos to get it taken down. If this happens, consider carefully what you do next. To file a counter claim and assert your rights to the video, you must provide personal contact information: Your full name, address, etc... Cyberbullies have then taken that information and made it public in various youtube venues as further cyberbullying and abuse.
In one such incident, youtuber Nephilimfree had one of his videos (which contained video footage of only himself) taken down by youtube upon receiving a DMCA claim against his video. Nephilimfree consulted with a lawyer, who prompted Nephilimfree to demand the personal contact information of the one filing the DMCA complaint. Nephilimfree pointed out that the DMCA claim was against himself, not youtube, and thus youtube was required by law to provide the contact information of the one making the DMCA claim. Youtube complied, providing Nephilimfree with the cyberbully's contact information. Thus, the false DMCA claim actually backfired on the cyberbully.
Rob Reed, a California attorney who has a youtube channel (LiftAloft, experienced cyberbullying and false DMCA claims personally, which prompted him to start the CounterDMCA.com website where he will represent you in your Counter-DMCA claim for $1.29 US. His process allows you to use the address of his legal practice office, thus protecting your personal information as you file your DMCA counter claim. He has a video explaining his counter DMCA process here: False DMCA craziness getting to you? CounterDMCA.com might help
Obtaining copyrights for your works
Obtaining Copyrights for your original works is not as expensive as you might think if you know the right sources. Having a Copyright for your works means that you can require people who want to use your work to ask permission first. This also allows you to claim Copyrights at the end of each video that you make and block people who want to edit your original work. One can obtain inexpensive Copyrights from Legal Zoom. It costs less than 200 U.S. dollars, so if you are serious about your YouTube ministry and do not want the hassle of dealing with the anti-creationist hate groups on YouTube, then this may be a good idea.
If you do respond
Be careful about what you say. If you reply, the person who receives the message may post it in an actual video or they may share it online somewhere else (for example, TheThinkingAtheist posts comments that he finds stupid on his Facebook page often). This is done to bait the creationist as well.
Some trolls will create voting bots, which are accounts that will find as many videos as they can and dislike them. Many videos, both atheistic and Christian, have had voting bots give them thousands of dislikes. If you wish to avoid voting bots or you start to get "attacked" by them, you can disable ratings on your videos.
If you create a Christian channel, you will no doubt receive a large amount of negative comments. Not all the comments you receive will be bad, but you will receive at least some criticism and probably some hate messages. You should try to take the good comments with the bad. You may not even personally lead someone to Christ from your YouTube ministry, but always remember, planting good seeds of truth from God may prepare someone to accept Christ, so that their next encounter with someone who evangelizes may be a positive one. Seeds planted are just as important as the harvest.
Using the block option
Blocking various users who troll or try to constantly annoy you may be another option that could help. Ultimately, you are the one who should decide whether to block people or not, so this section consists simply of suggestions. There are advantages and disadvantages to blocking YouTube users and there are many different options.
YouTube quick tips
In the quick tips area on this page: Safety resourses page you can fnd several helpful areas.
QUICK TIPS: Flag videos that violate our Community Guidelines. Keep personal videos private. Block users whose comments or messages are bothering you. Think before you post: don't reveal personal information. Keep comments clean and respectful.
There is also an issues section on the linked to page where you can find out what you can do about people whom break YouTube rules. You also have a list of rules so that you can be sure a rule was broken before you go to all the trouble to report it.
Who to block
Who you block or whether you should block anyone at all is completely up to you. It is advised to block at least certain types of people (such as ones who make death threats), but with that general guideline in mind, there are several things that you can decide to do and there are advantages and disadvantages to each policy.
Some Christian channels block virtually anyone who disagrees with them or posts a counter argument (I've seen this before and will add a source later). This is generally not advised, unless you are very tired of answering arguments and criticisms. If you do this, you will very likely be criticized by skeptics for being close minded.
Other Christian channels will block virtually anyone who causes them any trouble (for example, shockofgod, thunderbolt94, nephilimfree). Others will block many people who cause them any trouble, but will also give them another chance (for example, venomfangx ). Still others will allow video comments for a couple days and then remove them (for example, PPsimmons). These are all fine policies and will probably get you less criticism than simply blocking everyone who disagrees. However, you will probably still receive some criticism if you block comments that aren't extremely offensive.
Some Christian channels on the opposite side will allow virtually any comment (for example, thestinkingatheist and longhornman99001). Channels who allow the majority of the comments they receive will probably not receive as much criticism and may be accepted more by skeptics (though there will always be people who will criticize you no matter what). On the other hand, if you allow a lot of comments, you may get worn out and your channels tend to be a little bit more mature due to possible inappropriate content.
So, which users should you block? It's entirely up to you. If you want to respond to most of the users who post comments and dislike criticism from skeptics, you may want to allow most of the comments. If you want your channel to be open to users who don't want to see swear words and you don't mind criticism from skeptics or you don't want to attempt to respond to every person who leaves a comment, then you should block users that cause you trouble, because that's what the block button is for.
Suggested channels to block
Recently, a group has formed with the goal of removing Christians and creationists off YouTube or the internet in general. These users have multiple accounts and will try to focus on a particular channel, find as much information as they can about it, and then proceed to make fun of videos from that channel. If you don't mind criticism or if you would like to try to respond to them rationally, you certainly do not have to block any of these users. However, if you are starting a new channel on YouTube and you don't like criticism or don't want to bother arguing with them, you may want to block some of these users.
Here is a short list of the main members at YouTube who are part of this group: http://www.evolutionfairytale.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=1991
Arguments for blocking this group
Several YouTubers who have had many problems with atheists on YouTube have presented the following arguments supporting blocking the Atheistic group. They are as follows:
- You may receive criticism for filtering your comments or blocking certain users, but really, blocking someone is just taking away their power to express hateful comments under your video. They took away the power of the Christian voice in several places (school, work, government property etc...), it's time they get a taste of their own medicine. Besides, can they name anywhere science or evolution is not allowed by law in the U.S.? So what they are generally complaining about is losing their total freedom to steamroll over everyone else because of that total freedom. But yet they have no problem taking that same freedom from everyone else, which makes claims to free thinking, rational, and their defense of freedom of speech an oxymoron statement, and turns them into hypocrites for being so one sided about these claims.
- They are not even worth responding to most of the time. So if they send you a message that is not even friendly, block them. You owe nothing to people whom you don't even know, and they don't know you, but stereotype you for what you believe.
- People in this group who try to get Christian channels off YouTube are really just using illogical and fallacious reasoning. They don't intend to present a rational argument, their only goal is to use fallacies and mockery to try to eliminate something that they disagree with.
YouTube channels edited without reason
There have been several claims by Christians that their channels have been edited randomly, possibly by an employee of YouTube. It is unknown at this time whether this is a glitch, someone hacking into various accounts or someone who works for YouTube who edits Christian channels. It's a good idea to check periodically to make sure that all your links on your channel work and that none of them have been removed.
One creationist on YouTube, who is named VenomFangx, has been attacked by many anti-Christians because of his popularity. This group disagreed with many of his videos and constantly got in fights with him. After several fights, false accusations, threats, and suspended accounts. VenomFangx decided to leave after allegedly receiving death threats (the source of any alleged death threat is unknown).
At one point, VenomFangx decided that the mockery had gone far enough, so he closed his account and left YouTube. The reason for this example is to remind you that if you try to respond to every atheist on YouTube, you will receive lots of criticism. This is not to suggest that you should necessarily ignore all atheistic arguments (after all, VenomFangX returned to YouTube after a break, and his channel is as successful as ever), but if you don't like criticism, you may want to block certain users that will cause you trouble.
Watch out for fake Christian and Creation channels
In the anticreationists attempt to discredit Christians and Creationists, there have been several anticreationists that have put up fake Christian-Creationists channels. They may try to become friends with other Christian/Creationists YouTube members in hopes of being able to deceive more people (make their channel look more Christian like). And be a bad example of a Christian channel. What to look for:
- It's a fairly new channel.
- The images used are not Christian. And maybe pagan religion images.
- Their videos (favorites, or their own) are not Christian.
- Their channel description is not Christian and sounds like it could be new age.
- Their link to their homepage is not Christian.
- Their friends and subscribers are mainly atheists.
- Internet evangelism - YouTube video
- Internet evangelism
- Answers in Genesis evolution arguments
- YecHeadquarters debating evolutionists
- Contextualizing Cyberspace—Missiology Still Matters When it Comes to Cybermissions and Internet Evangelism By John Edmiston, Lausanne World Pulse, February 2006.
- VenomFangX unblocking his entire listA video of VenomFangX unblocking everyone on his blocked list and giving everyone a second chance
- VenomFangX returns.