The White House is distributing government-produced, anti-drug videos on YouTube, the trendy Internet service that features clips of wacky, drug-induced behavior and step-by-step instructions for growing marijuana plants.
The decision to distribute public service announcements and other videos over YouTube represents the first concerted effort by the U.S. government to influence customers of the popular service, which shows more than 100 million videos per day.
The administration said it was not paying any money to load its previously produced videos onto YouTube’s service, so the program is effectively free. Already by Tuesday, when the White House formally announced its video efforts, thousands of YouTube users had watched some of the government’s videos.
“If just one teen sees this and decides illegal drug use is not the path for them, it will be a success,” said Rafael Lemaitre, a spokesman for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.