A friend of mine, who's bad with computers, managed to upload a video about a very personal matter to Youtube some months back. He later regretted doing it and wanted the thing off. I guided him through the process... basically just read out the instructions I Googled and he said it was done. End of story. Or maybe not.
Today I get a call from him telling me the video isn't deleted after all and could I just do it for him. He mails me the link and his login credentials. Youtube tells me I can't login unless I link the Youtube account with his existing email account, something I am loath to do coz who knows if Youtube will decide to let all his contacts know about his "new" Youtube account. I have no option, however, since that's the only way I can get into the account. Once I'm in I see that my friend has set the video public.
I scramble to make it private. And then delete it. I then close his youtube account and get automatically signed out.
Just to make sure it's done I search for the video on Youtube and bingo! - it shows up. He's got his name in the user id, his face in the thumbnail and the video title is completely revelatory. The video can't be viewed but everything that he was trying to cover up is right there.
Youtube claims deleted videos show up
in "non-Youtube search results" for a while, which is perfectly understandable. But I'd searched from Youtube. I read a post by someone who claimed the video he deleted was showing up in search results four months later.
I admit it was a stupid decision on my friends part to upload the video in the first place, but it still seems wrong that the guy has to live with the consequences even after it's been deleted and the account closed. And I'm assuming that setting a video public and making it private later would have the same effect?