Google's buyout of YouTube may or may not be troubling; it's still too early to tell. I'm always suspicious of huge companies gobbling up other huge companies (even if gobbled-up companies like YouTube don't make any money), so in one sense I look at this acquisition as an unhealthy diversity-squashing move.

In another sense, though, viva YouTube! They continue to be an amazing democratizing force in our culture, springing up from out of nowhere to take over the business of online video-sharing in just eighteen months.

Check out this long -- but compelling and terrifying -- account of police abuse in Zimbabwe. To those who think this video-sharing is kids' stuff, or only for rich Westerners, think again: if we push to use it right, it will be one of the most powerful vehicles for free expression on the planet. Just keep your eye on this monopoly business.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI1l7jmabBA]

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