One of the most-viewed websites these days is the video-uploading site YouTube. Students spend hours browsing humorous videos; some students also upload their own creations. This is usually done with no malice in mind, but if you find yourself the subject of one of these videos, you will probably feel very uncomfortable. Here are a few steps you can take to quickly and quietly take care of this situation.
First: Assess the severity of the situation.
Obviously, this is a potentially embarrassing situation for you, especially if the video was taking during class time; it begs the question of how students were able to film you.
However, if the video is something fairly benign, like a clip of you at the supermarket or doing something routine at school, the best move is probably to ignore it. If you react, students might try to get more embarrassing videos to post.
Second: Go to the source.
If the video is something that you feel is mildly embarrassing, like a clip of you on the elliptical trainer at the gym or belting out the soundtrack to Grease on your morning commute, you can send the poster a message via YouTube’s private messaging system.
Don’t over-explain yourself; simply state that you don’t think it’s appropriate for that video to be on the internet, and firmly ask that it be taken down immediately. If they refuse to remove it, YouTube has a privacy complaint form that you can complete to have the video removed.
Third: The harsh reality.
If the video shows you doing something inappropriate or saying something that violates school policy, it’s up to you to assess the situation. While you will probably want to complete YouTube’s privacy complaint form, you need to decide whether or not to come clean to your supervisor.
This can be a difficult call to make; you may feel like you’re running the risk of alerting your supervisor to something that may never have come to his or her attention in the first place. However, the potential consequences of your action’s coming to light in an unexpected way are probably worse than if you yourself bring them up.
In this case, you’ll want to schedule a meeting with your supervisor to discuss the situation. Explain what happened, list the steps you’ve taken to remedy the situation, apologize for your lapse in judgment, and stress that you’ve learned from your mistake. Hopefully, your supervisor will be understanding and you’ll be able to put this experience behind you.
Overall, make sure you maintain a sense of humor throughout the situation. Kids will be kids, and if there’s nothing incriminating in the video, then you have nothing to worry about; their attention spans are short, and pretty soon you and your Spandex will be last week’s news!