YouTube Censorship Gives All Users the Power to Censor

A little over a week ago, I went into our YouTube channel with strategies to upload a brand new avi. But before I could do so, I was smacked with a warning. Our short naturist promo movie was reported by a user, reviewed by a YouTube admin (I think) and taken down for breaking the Terms of Use. It had been up for 3 years and had over 200,000 views.
The violating avi:
YouTube has become so huge, they have basically lost control over their content. With thousands of videos uploaded daily, it becomes impossible to locate, review and remove every single delinquent movie. So what’s their alternative?
YouTube now relies on users to report videos that violate their terms of use. Put simply, users now have the power to decide what is and isn’t too obscene for YouTube. It does not matter if the avi has been on the site for years and accumulated hundreds of thousands or even millions of views. It does not even matter if the report is reviewed by a YouTube admin, who presumably makes the final decision on leaving it up or removing it. Because, were it not for that one user who reported the avi, it would still be sitting on YouTube getting more viewpoints.
All it takes is one offended audience and a couple of clicks, and the mp4 is gone.
In a video on how you can censor flag content, YouTube actually explains how the users are at present responsible for helping monitor content. Though they refer folks to their (vague and practically worthless) community guidelines, in this video they state, “That Is why we rely on our community of over 280 million individuals to help flag content they consider is inappropriate. The YouTube flag is the most significant tool for telling us about content you think shouldn’t appear on YouTube.”
(They’ve a new, shorter version of this howto mp4, but I find the old one is inadvertently more honest.)
So YouTube is basically like, “well our website is so vast, we are just going to hand off this observation responsibility thing to our 280 million users!” Quite sneaky, YouTube! In the mind of the user, YouTube would now appear much less answerable for what seems on the site. Additionally, it empowers users to act on inappropriate content, gives them a sense of duty to help monitor content and gives folks a simple button to click when they see something which offends them (whether it breaks the terms of use or not).
So we are supposed to consider that 280 million people, and YouTube reviewers, are capable of equally applying some obscure community guidelines to report improper content. Or if not the guidelines, they can just report content based on what they believe. Solid plan, right? What could possibly FAIL?
So what happens if a clip was really unjustly removed? In the case of our movie, I could not locate any method to appeal it. It’s like they just took that choice away, and it was a done deal. So we’re stuck with a 6-month strike, whether it was warranted or not.

Several months past, I’d created a parody “Facebook Look Back” clip to make a point about Facebook censorship. Ironically, it got reported and censored on YouTube. I could appeal http://zykad.com , but my appeal was rejected. This is why it’s so comical which they state “we support free speech” in the flagging video above.
This censorship is absolutely idiotic. I presumed Facebook was the evil empire of Internet censorship, but Google (Google possesses YouTube) is worse.
Why was our clip removed? It violated their policy on nudity and sex. I will only presume the violating part was the two bare female breasts.
Here’s what family nudist pics say in their Community Guidelines on Sex and Nudity:
“Most nudity isn’t allowed, particularly if it is in a sexual context. Normally if a avi is meant to be sexually provocative, it is not as likely to be adequate for YouTube. There are exceptions for some educational, documentary, scientific, and artistic content, but only if that is the single reason for the movie and it’s also not gratuitously graphical. For instance, a documentary on breast cancer would be suitable, but posting clips out of context from the documentary mightn’t be.”
This policy is vague and fundamentally subjective. There are not any real guidelines. Art is always subjective. What is nudity exactly? What is art? What qualifies something as educational?
YouTube did not consistently have the policies it has now. At one time, nudity wasn’t even let on the website. Period. But I am sure they understood no nudity meant censoring an incredible number of works of art. So in 2010 they changed their policy to letting nudity in the context of artwork. There’s just one issue. Who determines what is artwork and what’s not?
Having no special guidelines means every user is at the mercy of every other user and YouTube admin. The censorship becomes fully haphazard and inconsistent. Uploading a clip with any sort of taboo content is like a gamble. Perhaps it’ll stay up, perhaps not. Maybe two years or five years will go by before it is taken down. Who understands.
Judging by the amount of porn on YouTube right now, the system definitely isn’t working. There are heaps of porn videos. TONS.
Exactly the same development has occurred with Facebook, which now maintains that content only comes for their attention when it is reported by a user. So this also creates a system where the censorship is totally arbitrary. Sometimes content is left alone, and occasionally it’s taken down. It does not matter whether a post or picture or video actually violates the community standards or not. Facebook has repeatedly said that breastfeeding pictures are allowed, and yet these sorts of photographs always get removed.
When they get called out for it in the media, their reply is like, We Are sorry. This almost NEVER happens. There’s just SO much content on our website, and it is so darn hard to manage! If we repaired it, how would we find time to develop our elaborate advertising schemes and break users’ privacy without them knowing about it?
I understand, Facebook. Technology is challenging. It’s challenging for Google, too. Lucky for you guys, nobody has successfully taken a stand in a big way and driven one to rewrite all the rules. But eventually, the time will come when people with more sway than us will make a move about this.
The present system is shit, and even Google understands that. My option for them is to give up attempting censor the most inane content. It is a losing battle. The best thing to do is work on taking down illegal substance and let everything else be.
So for now, #boycottyoutube. We are still going to place videos on YouTube, but they’ll be in a fashion similar to my censored Facebook Look Back avi. We’ll use their own web site to make a point and drive users to Vimeo.
One last note ’cause I understand what some of you happen to be thinking – But YouTube is a free service. You will find choices, and you do not have to use it.
1. It is not really free. You pay with your eyeballs on the advertisements. And no doubt, so long as you’re signed in, Google is tracking your every move and figuring out the way to monetize that information. Google isn’t your buddy.
2. Google is a huge empire. Where would you take your hunts? Do you Bing that shit? No, you Google it. Where do you go first to locate a mp4 clip? Google might suck, but it dominates the Internet. Telling someone to just leave is like telling them to go do their searches on Yahoo! from now on. You are not going to get the same effects.
YouTube Censorship Is Out of Control was published by – Young Naturists and Young Naturists America FKK
Tags: breasts, censorship, sexuality
Group: Felicity’s Nudist Blog, Nude Censorship and Censoring Of On-Line Nudity, Social Activism
About the Writer (Author Profile)
Author of Nudist Blog. Co founder of Nudist Portal. 3rd-generation nudie. Avid reader. Feminist. 70% vegan, 30% vegetarian. When I’m not active eating, I’m writing about naturism, censorship, topfree equality, body image and other interesting subjects. I like comments, so plz leave a comment when you’ve got something to say!
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