5/6/07 -- OKC, OK - In just over 6-months time, over 1-million people have viewed videos shot by Brian Bates, aka the Video Vigilante and founder of JohnTV.com.
In October of 2006, JohnTV.com began publishing videos on the popular Internet video sharing Web site YouTube under the username VideoVigilanteOKC.
As of this morning, YouTube calculates that Bates' videos have been viewed just over 1-million times.
Bates currently has 43 videos on YouTube and adds videos on a regular basis.
According to YouTube, the most viewed top 5 videos by Bates are;
- Man Picks Up Hooker and Has Sex in Public Park (120,000+ views).
- Man Has Sex with Street Hooker Behind Church (108,000+ views).
- Biker has sex with hooker next to building (107,000+ views).
- Hooker and 'John' Busted in Store Parking Lot (100,000+ views).
- Prostitute Near School Bus Stop (82,000+ views).
Bates lists his 5 'must see' videos so far as;
- Prostitution in Oklahoma City - Robinson Minute 03/2007 (9,000+ views).
- Segment from Video Vigilantes Special (470+ views).
- Hypocrisy of Oklahoma City Vice - Caught in a Lie! (31,000+ views).
- Interview with Yvonne; Oklahoma Street Prostitute (30,000+ views).
- Interview with "Fire," a Street Prostitute (16,000+ views).
Bates says it is no surprise that his list of his favorite videos is different than what most of his viewers are watching.
"Unfortunately, the videos of people actually getting caught having sex with a street prostitute are far more popular that the one's that deliver an obvious message about the plight of prostitutes and neighborhoods held hostage by their presence," said Bates.
Bates says it is that very reason that he shoots his graphic videos and publishes them online.
"I can tell people there are hookers working our street corners, having sex in our parks and grocery store parking lots. I can explain that they discard their used condoms and drug needles for our children to find. And, I can try and convince them that the pimps, hookers and their 'Johns' pose a real danger to families and businesses. But, when I show them the videos, they see it for themselves and they can no longer deny its presence," said Bates.
Bates says that if people come to his Web site to see the 'graphic videos' he is okay with that. "My goal is to initiate dialogue on the subject of prostitution. Hopefully through that dialogue solutions will be realized. Whatever a person's reason for visiting my site, it is not as important to me as what they leave with. I know that you cannot leave without being exposed to the graphic realities of prostitution that must be addressed and dealt with," said Bates.
Bates' videos have gained him and his activism notoriety since he first picked up his video camera in 1996.
Bates says that while some may question his motives in filming acts of street prostitution he says it is all worth it.
"Prostitution has been in our society from the beginning. In that time there have been literally thousands of outspoken anti-prostitution activists. While the names of madams such as Heidi Fleiss and Deborah Jeane Palfrey (DC Madam) may be household names, I defy most Americans to name a single anti-prostitution activist," said Bates.
Bates says he is using his camera to shed light on the myths of prostitution and show it for what it really is. "Reality television doesn't get any more real than what I see with my own eyes and lens," said Bates.
While Bates and his crusade against street prostitution may not have made him as recognizable a name as those who would have you believe prostitution is simply a misunderstood profession, Bates' efforts have gained worldwide attention.
Bates argues that since he picked up his camera, over 10-years ago, there has not been another individual who has been featured more by the media for video vigilantism and anti-street prostitution efforts.