YouTube Censorship Gives All Users the Power to Censor

A little over a week ago, I went into our YouTube station with strategies to upload a new movie. But before I could do so, I was smacked with a warning. Our brief naturist promo mp4 was reported by a user, reviewed by a YouTube admin (I suppose) and taken down for breaking the Terms of Use. It’d been up for 3 years and had over 200,000 views.
The transgressing clip:
YouTube is now so large, they’ve essentially lost control over their content. With thousands of videos uploaded daily, it becomes impossible to locate, review and remove every single delinquent clip. So what’s their alternative?
YouTube now relies on users to report videos that violate their terms of use. Quite simply, users now have the power to determine what is and isn’t overly obscene for YouTube. It doesn’t matter if the video has been on the website for years and accumulated hundreds of thousands or even millions of views. It doesn’t 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 who reported the avi, it would still be sitting on YouTube getting more viewpoints.
All it takes is one offended audience and several clicks, and the video is gone.
In a avi on the best way to censor flag content, YouTube actually describes how the users are at present in charge of helping monitor content. Though they refer individuals to their (vague and almost worthless) community guidelines, in this movie they state, “That Is why we rely on our community of over 280 million people to help flag content they consider is inappropriate. The YouTube flag is the most significant tool for telling us about content you believe shouldn’t appear on YouTube.”
(They have a new, shorter version of this howto movie, but I find the old one is unintentionally more reliable.)
So YouTube is essentially like, “well our website is so vast, we are only going to give off this monitoring responsibility thing to our 280 million users!” Quite sneaky, YouTube! In the mind of the user, YouTube would now appear considerably less answerable for what appears on the website. It also empowers users to act on improper content, gives them a sense of duty to help monitor content and gives individuals a simple button to click when they see something that offends them (whether it violates the terms of use or not).
So we’re supposed to believe that 280 million people, and YouTube reviewers, are capable of equally employing some obscure community guidelines to report inappropriate content. Or if not the guidelines, they could just report content predicated on what they believe. Solid strategy, right? What could possibly FAIL?
What exactly happens if a movie was actually unjustly removed? In the case of our avi, I couldn’t locate any way 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 ago, I’d created a parody “Facebook Look Back” avi to make a point about Facebook censorship. Ironically, it got reported and censored on YouTube. I could appeal it once, but my appeal was rejected. This is why it’s so amusing which they state “we support free speech” in the flagging video above.
This censorship is absolutely idiotic. I thought Facebook was the evil empire of Internet censorship, but Google (Google owns YouTube) is worse.
Why was our avi removed? It violated their policy on nudity and sex. I will just assume the violating part was the two exposed female breasts.
Here’s what they say in their own Community Guidelines on Sex and Nudity:
“Most nudity is not allowed, specially if it truly is in a sexual context. Usually if a avi is intended to be sexually provocative, it is not as likely to be acceptable for YouTube. There are exceptions for some educational, documentary, scientific, and artistic content, but only if that is certainly the one purpose of the mp4 and it is not gratuitously graphical. As an example, a documentary on breast cancer would be suitable, but posting clips out of context in the documentary might not be.”
This policy is vague and fundamentally subjective. There are not any concrete guidelines. Artwork is always subjective. What’s nudity precisely? What exactly is art? What qualifies something as educational?
YouTube didn’t always have the policies it has today. At one time, nudity wasn’t even let on the website. Span. But I’m certain they comprehended no nudity meant censoring millions of works of art. So in 2010 they altered their policy to letting nudity in the context of art. There’s just one problem. Who decides what’s art and what is not?
Having no special guidelines means every user is at the mercy of every other user and YouTube admin. The censorship becomes fully random and inconsistent. Uploading a mp4 with any form of taboo content is like a risk. Perhaps it will stay up, perhaps not. Possibly two years or five years will go by before it is taken down. Who knows.
Judging by the amount of pornography on YouTube appropriate now, the system clearly is not working. There are tons of porn videos. SHORT TONS.
Precisely the same development has occurred with Facebook, which now asserts that content simply comes for their attention when it’s reported by a user. So this also creates a system where the censorship is completely random. Sometimes content is left alone, and sometimes it’s taken down. It doesn’t matter whether a post or pic or video actually breaks the community standards or not. Facebook has repeatedly stated that breastfeeding photos are allowed, and yet these sorts of photographs continuously get removed.
When they get called out for it in the media, their response is like, We Are sorry. This almost NEVER happens. There is just SO much content on our website, and it is so darn difficult to manage! If we fixed it, how would we find some time to develop our elaborate marketing schemes and violate users’ privacy without them knowing about it?
I understand, Facebook. Technology is hard. It is tough for Google, too. Fortunate for you guys, nobody has successfully taken a stand in a big way and forced you to rewrite all the rules. But eventually, the time will come when people with more sway than us will do something about this.
The present system is shit, as well as Google knows that. My remedy for them would be to give up trying censor the most inane content. It is a losing battle. The best move to make is work on taking down prohibited material and let everything else be.
So for now, #boycottyoutube. We’re still going to place videos on YouTube, but they will maintain a style similar to my censored Facebook Look Back video. 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 are thinking – But YouTube is a free service. You will find options, and you don’t have to use it.
1. It is not really free. You pay with your eyeballs on the ads. And no doubt, provided that you’re signed in, Google is monitoring your every move and figuring out the way to monetize that information. Google is not your buddy.
2. is a gigantic empire. Where do you take your investigations? Do you Bing that shit? No, you Google it. Where would you go first to locate a mp4 clip? Google might suck, but it controls the Internet. Telling someone to only leave is like telling them to go do their searches on Yahoo! from now on. You’re not going to get the exact same results.
YouTube Censorship Is Out of Control was released by – Young Naturists and Young Naturists America FKK
Tags: breasts, censorship, sexuality
Type: Felicity’s Nudist Website, Nude Censorship and Censoring Of On-Line Nudity, Social Activism
About the Writer (Author Profile)
Writer of Naturist Site. Cofounder of Naturist Portal. 3rd-generation nudie. Avid reader. Feminist. 70% vegan, 30% vegetarian. After I’m not active eating, I’m writing about naturism, censorship, topfree equality, body image and other fun subjects. I like comments, so plz leave a comment when you’ve got something to say!
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