Could you post your own suicide video to YouTube?
April 26, 2007 2:15 PM   Subscribe

Could you post your own suicide video to YouTube?

First, my apologies to anyone who finds this question crass, and my assurances to all that I'm not suicidal or otherwise unwell. This is a question that a bunch of my friends and I are currently trying to hash out. (One friend recently watched some suicide videos as part of her psychology work, and got us talking.)

My hesitant contention is that one could use an elaborate macro to begin and end a recording from a webcam, save the recording to a pre-determined path and file, browse to YouTube and run through the upload process using pre-determined details. Then one would be free to kill themselves on camera and reliably broadcast it for presumably unpleasant ends.

I don't know if YouTube's upload process has steps which would preclude that, and I don't know specifically how a macro like I postulated could be created/executed. As well, my friends argue about how fool-proof such a setup could be, given the possibility of video transcription errors, internet connection problems or other hitches and glitches.

So, if you please, tell me if and how you think a person could reliably and automatically post their own suicide video to YouTube, assuming that the actual death occurs on camera and no one else helps in any way.
posted by chudmonkey to Computers & Internet (22 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
As well, my friends argue about how fool-proof such a setup could be, given the possibility of video transcription errors, internet connection problems or other hitches and glitches.
Once you've gone through one dry run (and the whole thing is technically feasible; use any of the web appliation testing frameworks if you're not sure of this) you can be reasonably confident it'll work the next time. I would throw in some Greek and Cyrillic lookalike letters in the keywords when they’re mentioned in the description, though, to avoid automatic deletion or flagging based on those keywords.
posted by Aidan Kehoe at 2:24 PM on April 26, 2007


This is morbid.

Youtube now has direct recording from the site, using some sort of Java magic. I've not tried it, but I imagine it would be possible that way.
posted by roll truck roll at 2:24 PM on April 26, 2007


While I think a person could liveblog their suicide, it would have to be someone else who would be responsible for posting it further. I don't know if that person would be subject to criminal action (although the UK would probably find a way). More likely, the user would be banned and YouTube would try quickly to take down the vid before it was downloaded and put on other sites.
posted by parmanparman at 2:25 PM on April 26, 2007


I do have to observe that you could have asked this question without mentioning suicide. You're basically asking: "Can I fully automate the process of taking a video and uploading it to YouTube. For example, if I want to record something that will happen when I'm not around?"
posted by vacapinta at 2:26 PM on April 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


I do have to observe that you could have asked this question without mentioning suicide

Exactly. Is this a question about how to post something to YouTube without doing it manually, or is this a post about whether or not you could put a suicide video up on YouTube? I think they would probably moderate it out reasonably quickly even if you managed to pull it off. And if that's the case, why bother?
posted by theantikitty at 2:33 PM on April 26, 2007


vacapinta: I observed that as well, and went as far to write a draft of the question that didn't mention suicide. But I decided that being oblique wasn't going to help me any, and that the only real reason I had to censor myself was to patronize AskMeFi readers, so I went this way. If you're bothered, my apology is right up top.
posted by chudmonkey at 2:35 PM on April 26, 2007


Its been a while, but im pretty sure they have a CAPTCHA during the upload process, thus your script wont be able to see what letters to input using OCR.

So, no.
posted by damn dirty ape at 2:36 PM on April 26, 2007


Its been a while, but im pretty sure they have a CAPTCHA during the upload process, thus your script wont be able to see what letters to input using OCR.

CAPTCHAs are notoriously easy to
beat, so if there is one it would not be a big obstacle.
posted by rafter at 2:46 PM on April 26, 2007


Applescript
posted by chillmost at 3:17 PM on April 26, 2007


As theantikitty said, if you were able to post it, it would probably be deleted pretty quickly.

Also, realistically speaking, I think this is highly unlikely to happen. Most people who commit suicide would not have any reason to want to do this. And those would want to bad enough, I think, would figure out a more reliable method of circulating their video, unless they failed to realize that their video would be taken down very quickly.

Also, if any passers are planning a suicide - perhaps you came across this on google trying to plan the very thing this question is about - please seek help. Call a trusted friend or family member, 1-800-273-talk, or another hotline that you know of, right now. (chudmonkey, I know you aren't suicidal, but just wanted to add this in case for any passers by).
posted by gauchodaspampas at 3:39 PM on April 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


WinBatch.
posted by jimmythefish at 4:16 PM on April 26, 2007


or AutoIT or AutoHotKey.
posted by JaredSeth at 4:39 PM on April 26, 2007


If you're bothered, my apology is right up top.

Its not that. I just think the suicide bit overshadows the rest so you wont get the best answers. Unless a response like gauchodaspampas is what you're really looking for.
posted by vacapinta at 4:44 PM on April 26, 2007


vacapinta: I disagree about not getting the best answers. In my experience, a lot of people on AskMeFi like to ask things like "What's the point?" and "Why do [x] when you can just do [y] and then maybe [w] or [z]..."

So when I want opinions or suggestions regarding a specific scenario, I find it best to explain myself upfront. Simply put: there are lots of effective ways to capture video and broadcast it, even automatically, but not many applications are aimed at the almost-immediately-to-be-dead. I didn't want people recommending those ways as alternatives, I wanted people recommending ways that fit my scenario.
posted by chudmonkey at 5:00 PM on April 26, 2007


Simply put: there are lots of effective ways to capture video and broadcast it, even automatically, but not many applications are aimed at the almost-immediately-to-be-dead.

Then you could have inserted the word "immediately" into your question of how to automatically upload something to YouTube, minus the suicide part. Every argument you've presented in this thread to justify your reason of including this scenario is just a load of BS. Have some tact.
posted by koshka at 5:18 PM on April 26, 2007


I just uploaded a video to YouTube this morning and they didn't need a CAPTCHA. Also, there is a way to directly record stuff to YouTube without having to save it on your computer first, so I'd imagine that's pretty possible. I'm not sure how you'd indicate that the recording has ended though.
posted by divabat at 5:32 PM on April 26, 2007


Does it have to be you tube? I don't know about scripts and automation, but I am that if there is a video sharing service that allows posts by email, that might make it easier.

why is it tacky for the asker to post a question that describes the specific situation for which he wants an answer? Is it tacky to talk about hypothetical suicide or is suicide one of those terms we can only whisper about in select company?
posted by necessitas at 5:40 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


why is it tacky for the asker to post a question that describes the specific situation for which he wants an answer?

As someone whose family member committed suicide in a very public way, yes I do find this tacky. Personally, there is nothing hypothetical about suicide.

Is it tacky to talk about hypothetical suicide or is suicide one of those terms we can only whisper about in select company?

Would you strike up a conversation about ways to commit suicide with a group of people who have personally been affected by it? I can guarantee you the majority will find it very uncomfortable or offensive. That said, I believe the topic of hypothetical suicide should indeed be discussed in "select company."
posted by koshka at 6:14 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


If the biggest problem is the fact that YouTube would delete the video as soon as it was spotted, then really what you need to do is determine if there is a way to set up some sort of post-death repeating submission. I don't know if that's something that can be accomplished.

[I hate it when mefis argue. :-( Can't we all just get along?]
posted by AlliKat75 at 7:09 PM on April 26, 2007


It seems like people are so distracted by the suicide that they are misunderstanding the question. Unless I am misreading the question, the question is about whether or not it is possible to film an event and upload it to youtube without human intervention, not whether or not such a video is acceptable content for youtube or how to keep it from being flagged for deletion. It seems like suicide is mentioned to frame the question in order to explain the need for specific automation process and why it can't include human intervention.
posted by necessitas at 7:21 PM on April 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


[further discussion can take place in MetaTalk]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:40 AM on April 27, 2007


for what its worth, you could very easily do this with macro express. It can record mouse movements, keystrokes, activations, you name it-- its got a pseudo-programming language that fits right in snugly with windows. I got my copy off bittorrent. Highly recommended for all your post suicidal needs
posted by petsounds at 1:35 PM on April 27, 2007


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