Is it the end of YouTube as we know it?

It was such a glorious concept.

The idea of free video streams coming through millions of computers for the cost of nothing sounded pretty good. That was YouTube.

But now that Google has its corporate fist wrapped around the Web site, there is a good chance that this glorious video-sharing site will never be the same.

Google Inc.’s $1.65 billion dollar deal to purchase YouTube threatens the very essence of the site.

The days of freewheeling videos with everything from buffoonish dancing to your favorite music video may be in its last days, as the elements of advertising and corporate interest infiltrate the site.

In a recent Associated Press article, avid YouTube patrons voiced their concerns about the merger.

One user after another begged the corporate owners not to ruin their YouTube experience.

These detractors had good reason to worry about the sanctity of the beloved site.

Corporate involvement could soon take away the small elements that made YouTube so special.

The days of people posting video of themselves lip synching their favorite tune may soon dissipate at the feet of hungry advertisers who are unwilling to purchase ad time over the homemade entertainment piece.

And that is what YouTube is supposed to be about – an Internet community coming together to exchange pieces of their lives and environments through video.

Unfortunately, for more than 70 million “YouTubers” the corporate agenda might not be parallel to this mission.

Maybe the bigwigs of Google will find it in their hearts and pockets to maintain the site’s essence and make sure YouTube doesn’t become “TheirTube.”

Akeem Anderson for the editorial board.