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When YouTube Became NoTube

A shop burns as riot police try to conta

By Sam Goh

(As seen in Pegasus Pages, March 2014)

It was a bright cold Wednesday in March, and the clocks were striking seventeen. Girls sat at their desks desperately racing to finish overdue prep before the celebratory mood of the last week of term kicked in and rendered the entire student population unproductive and in a state of elated vegetation. That was when the study music stopped. Refreshing twice, we found that the glorious YouTube had been blocked. A certain SFC2 in St. Hilda’s streaked across the corridor from her bathtub to discover in desperation if this was true. Chaos and confusion reigned CLC for a night.

Shrieks of terror and appalled gasps cut through the stony silence of that crisp, spring night (this incident coincided with the spring equinox and is deemed one of the most backward cases of pathetic fallacy to be recorded in history) as the student body rose together in outrage in a rare moment of student unity.

We had seen the fall of many of our allies, beginning with Neopets at the tender age of thirteen, and then Facebook, soon followed by Twitter, Tumblr and ProjectFreeTV in one of the darkest ages of website genocide ever to be witnessed in CLC, leading to the labelling of this decade as The Black Decade. YouTube had been the last straw, as whisperings of a rebellion spawned and plans were made for a full-scale revolt against such heavy-handed censorship.

Suggestions ranged from rational to brinking-on-psychotic, including ideas such as a pie-chart of educational versus inappropriate material, the hacking of the school system and the holding of the techies at gunpoint.

A shop burns as riot police try to conta

Above: The riots that almost happened: miscommunication with technology-addicted teens almost led to bloodshed and the deaths of thousands.

Practically cut-off from all contact through means of the internet to the outside world, we struggled and ploughed through the remainder of that suddenly cold and bleak night without our study buddy YouTube. In fact, the only thing that kept most of us going was the determination to ensure that this situation was not made into a permanent disposition.

Following the tormenting night, most trooped to school the next day sporting a defiant fire in their eyes, only to find that access to YouTube had been reinstated. This was only cleared up later in the week by Mr Pothecary, who demonstrated his own love for YouTube, and explained how it was simply a need for larger bandwidth to upload the dreaded school reports.

Though the flames of the rebellion incited by liberators and freedom fighters across the student body have been quelled, conspiracy theorists have analysed the sequence of events and some have concluded that it was just a cover for a bad attempt to replicate the conditions in Orwell’s 1984, and that the protest and uprising from the student body was the only thing that stopped this.

Whatever happens, we students must never forget to be vigilant in the face of authoritarianism. We will be watching.

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