YouTube overrules NASCAR, puts fan's Daytona crash video back online
The video is chilling, and NASCAR immediately pulled it down off YouTube. "The fan video of the wreck on the final lap of today's NASCAR Nationwide Series race was blocked on YouTube out of respect for those injured in today's accident," NASCAR executive Steve Phelps said on Saturday -- pulling the video within hours of the incident taking place.
YouTube has overruled NASCAR, though, and the Daytona crash fan video has been restored for regular YouTube viewing. The video, shot by Florida high school student and self-described "Sophmore at Providence. Bagger at Publix. 2012 Fantasy Football Champion" Tyler Andersen, currently has more than 800,000 views, and can be seen below. (WARNING: It's scary.)
The young man posting the video says in his description, "No disrespect intended to any of those injured or their families. I was just sharing my experience with a worldwide audience. I will continue to keep all affected by this incident in my prayers and I thank God for protecting me. Thank you
YouTube restored the video Monday night, saying, "Our partners and users do not have the right to take down videos from YouTube unless they contain content which is copyright infringing, which is why we have reinstated the videos."
Obviously, this video is not the best advertisement for anyone thinking of attending their first Nationwide Series race. Enormous motor debris comes hurling right at fans. A tire flies into the eighth row of the stands. You hear people screaming in that horrified tone they only take when they think they're seeing someone die horribly before their eyes. (No one died, 28 were injured.)
Worse yet, average NASCAR fans appear to be the first medical responders. I'm no EMT, and I have no idea how to evaluate the performance of the Daytona International Speedway medical staff. But if I'm just watching that 96-second video, I see fans tending to one another's injuries without a lot of immediate help from on-site emergency personnel.
NASCAR's initial takedown notice on Saturday said the video was taken down "on copyright grounds". Later in the evening, NASCAR clarified that the takedown was meant "to err on the side of caution with this very serious incident."
Legally, though, NASCAR can take down the video for copyright reasons. NASCAR does technically own the rights to all video shot at a track. It says so on the back of your ticket, and you agree to this by entering the racetrack stands.
Yet this video is newsworthy, for all the reasons NASCAR doesn't want it being seen. It establishes a clear physical risk in attending NASCAR events. It reminds us of another terrible accident on this track. It calls into question the preparedness of the staff.
And as human beings, it reminds us that when we see a crash developing at a racetrack, we tend to actually get excited and yell "Here we go!" until the carnage comes flying directly at us.