My YouTube Experience

Vernon Coleman

Foolishly, I recently recorded a YouTube video to provide some thoughts about the coronavirus. It was a huge mistake. I did not monetise my YouTube channel because the video was made purely to try and offer another view of the alleged crisis. I did not promote the video or use it to advertise or promote anything other than my website – which is free and carries no advertisements.

After just one day the video had received over 100,000 views. But when the Government changed a few things (they reduced the quarantine for the elderly to three months, they did what I had suggested and told those with chronic illnesses to stay indoors and they told those who had cold symptoms to stay indoors for 14 days instead of 7 days) I took down the original video and recorded a new one with the correct details. I believe that accuracy is always important when offering criticism or a review.

But that was another huge mistake.

Unknown to me, the original video had been taken by a number of people who had put my video up on their own websites. I had recorded the video as a public service, not wanting to make any money out of it, but a number of these channel owners had used my video to attract advertising. Both Antoinette and I were horrified. I have for decades refused to accept adverts or sponsorship of any kind so I was appalled to see that my work was now festooned with all sorts of adverts.

Antoinette and I spent almost an entire day trying to persuade these people to take down the video. I very politely pointed out that the video they were showing was now out of date and an embarrassment to me and to them. I even told them that if they took down the out of date video then they could put up the new video which I had recorded. (The two are easy to distinguish because in the second video, the updated one, I wore a blue shirt, whereas in the first video I wore a white shirt.)

But only a couple of the people who had taken my work did the decent thing.

Worse still, when checking these sites we found that I had been the object of a massive amount of personal abuse.

My sole aim had been to provide a voice of cautious reason in an increasingly hysterical world. But I was accused of trying to grab my five minutes of fame (I was moderately famous a few decades ago and that was more than enough) and I was accused of being a `quack’ (a clear libel since I am not). I was abused and criticised for just about everything imaginable.

When the current crisis is over I will take legal action against the many individuals who wrote libellous comments. All damages I receive will be paid to animal charities.

My wife was so horrified by what she read that she burst into tears.

I had planned to record one or two more informative and educational videos for You Tube but I shall never record anything for YouTube again.

I have, reluctantly, left the `blue shirt’ video on my YouTube channel for the time being.

I shall not access the channel or view any of the comments.

Antoinette and I intend to retreat to our quiet obscurity.

I shall write articles for my website. But I shall not write any more about the coronavirus. I have learned my lesson and I am only sad that learning the lesson brought tears to Antoinette’s eyes.

I am sad that good intentions brought such a harvest of abuse. It seems that offering an alternative view is no longer acceptable and attracts a strange mixture of oppressive intolerance and belligerent playground rudeness.

May I offer a big thank you to those readers who have, over the years, sent me kind and courteous letters, a very big thank you to those who continue to read my books and a huge thank you to those who sent good wishes to Antoinette since her diagnosis of breast cancer. Bless you all.

Copyright Vernon Coleman March 19th 2020