On July 12th 2012 the controversial documentary “Baseball in the Time of Cholera” was released on YouTube, free for the world to watch. The film exposes the United Nation’s involvement in introducing the deadly disease cholera into Haiti in 2010. Told through the eyes of a young baseball player, the film is a powerful insight into the tragedy and scandal of the epidemic which has so far sickened over 500,000 Haitians and claimed nearly 8,000 lives.
With help from some celebrity endorsements from Rainn Wilson, Olivia Wilde and others the video quickly started getting thousands of hits and by the evening of July 12th the campaign’s hashtag #undeny was trending on twitter. That day @UN and @Cholera were in the top 10 most mentioned handles on Twitter.
Over the next two months the film’s directors, David Darg and Bryn Mooser took the film to several film festivals. It had previously won a prestigious award at the Tribeca film festival and went on to win awards in Washington and The Bahamas. The film was backed by a large press campaign and featured in the Economist, Wall Street Journal and even MTV.
The campaign to put pressure on the UN to take responsibility was gathering pace. The film was shown at a congressional hearing on Capitol hill and a week later, 104 member of the house signatures appeared on a a letter to then UN ambassador, Susan Rice, calling on the UN to step up and take responsibility. Driven by so much publicity and a timely campaign the film continued to get views and the view counter soon passed a quarter of a million views. But then, suddenly, at the start of October the view counter stopped. The campaign was still steaming ahead, people were signing the petition, tweets and Facebook posts were flying around, festivals were being won but the Youtube view counter just flatlined. See for yourself:
After launch, the film had a steady climb in views until a suspicious plateau around 180,000 views during the height of the campaign then came back online in September and the view counter registered views for a couple of weeks up to around 250,000 then flatlined.
Suspicions are high that the view counter is being intentionally blocked. After the success of the Kony campaign the power of viral video has become clear. We know that the United Nations doesn’t want Baseball in the Time of Cholera to be seen, it’s the strongest media linking them to the cholera crisis in Haiti, so could they be behind this suspicious blockade?
The film is still viewable on YouTube, for now, so while it is we want to test this theory to the max. Please share the film with as many people as you can and ask them to watch it. Even if you just let it play, we want you to see how many views the film had before you watched it , refresh the screen and see if your view counted. If it didn’t then we want you to tweet:
@Youtube @UN why are you blocking views on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BK318mYuBWg Lives need to be saved in #Haiti #undeny
RYOT Note: Let’s see if we can get this film to start registering views like it was in September before the block. The UN knows that the more views this film has, the closer the time comes to them having to take responsibility. Watch it and share it now.