Posting Video of Illegal Activities on YouTube – Should it be Taken Down?

This last week, Daredevil Steven Hoeg posted a video on YouTube of him jumping off the Monona Terrace in Madison, WI. This is an illegal stunt that will cost him a fine of $400. However, the video stays on YouTube, which could make him more money and additional fame for just pulling the stunt off.

Since Hoeg created a video doing something illegal, should that video be allowed to stay on YouTube?

Youtube does have a policy for illegal activities. However, these activities are mostly limited to drug use, acts of violence, bomb making, choking games, dangerous content involving minors, or other acts where serious injury could result.

This puts Hoeg in a grey area. It is dangerous but no injury happened. If Steven would have said “I dare you to try this”, YouTube would take this video down.

Yet it not only is still up, but multiple news sources in the Midwest have reported on it.

The video is at 9,000 views right now with potential for growth. Hoeg doesn’t seem to have revenue sharing on his site at this time, but previous videos suggest he might have a sponsorship from GoPro. He has done one other jumping stunt and a video doing burnouts in a Lexus.

So how can this video be taken down. Further, does the city want this video to be taken down?

Looking on the marketing side, a video being talked about could result in a win-win situation for everyone. Hoeg wins because people are promoting him and the video, the city of Madison can win because of the location for his jump. This could result in people visiting Madison and the Monona Terrace – which has its own fame being a Frank Lloyd Wright building.

The stunt could also bring other daredevil jumpers to try it. Its actually not the first time it happened – back in 2007 two teenagers were caught and fined after they jumped off the ledge. They didn’t do it for a video, either.

Its also not as exciting as jumping off the Freedom Tower in New York. A team of three did this back in March. Their video is also up on YouTube and has been seen over 3 million times – which is being monitized.

They’re still waiting sentencing, which could be 5-15 years in prision. Is a prison sentance even the best answer?

So should the videos be taken down? It is a great promotional item, even though its through an illegal activity. Its also not like people are standing in line waiting to do it.

Could there be a legal way to do it? As a kid I watched Evil Kenivel do a lot of daredevil stunts with his team. The i’s were dotted and t’s were crossed. I would guess the red tape for a stunt like the Freedom tower would be more expensive, but the end result would be a sanctioned, and highly promotable video.

As for Monona Terrace, they are planning to beef up security, but not put up any other barriers that could inhibit the beautiful view. They ask people to “not jump from the terrace”.

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