Youtube Censors Educational Video For Using Same Graphic Images as CNN & MSNBC

Youtube upheld their decision to age-restrict my video, while CNN & MSNBC use the exact same graphic images in their Youtube videos without the same restrictions.

Youtube age-restricted my educational documentary on Bernie Sanders for using “graphic content” in a section on America’s role in the Yemen Civil War.

The Youtube notification explained:

“We review content on a case by case basis and will only make limited exceptions for appropriate educational, documentary, artistic, and scientific contexts, where the purpose of posting is clear.”

The purpose of my video is clearly “educational” and “documentary” so I appealed, writing:

“This is an educational documentary using images broadcast on mainstream news (CNN, MSNBC). These images are not age-restricted on the large corporate news Youtube channels, so why should they be restricted on a smaller independent channel like mine? In addition to that, the images document important current events — what the UN calls “The world’s worst humanitarian disaster”. And they are used very sparingly, making up only a tiny fraction (a couple 1–2 second shots) of this much longer 13 minute documentary.”

Approximately 2 hours after I submitted my appeal, Youtube upheld their decision to age-restrict my video, while CNN & MSNBC use the exact same graphic images in their Youtube videos without the same restrictions.

Not only does the corporate media’s videos use the same imagery, the gruesome images take up a much larger portions of their videos than in mine.

I used 2 seconds of this image from MSNBC.

The unrestricted MSNBC video features many additional graphic images — images I chose not to use including this one:

Likewise, the unrestricted CNN video also had additional graphic images that I chose not to use including the following:

Additional graphic image used in CNN’s video that is not used in my video.

I used two shots (less than 2 seconds each) of this image from CNN.

I also used significantly less graphic images of the Yemen War from a VICE video that is not age-restricted.

Youtube’s decision to censor my video but not CNN’s or MSNBC’s is a clear case of unfair enforcement of Youtube’s community guidelines, favoring large for-profit corporations, and hurting independent video creators.

UPDATE: In addition to banning high school aged students, and anyone of any age without a youtube account from viewing, the age-restriction also eliminates the option of a share button for some mobile users.

Normally there would be a share button between the thumbs down and download buttons.




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Matt Orfalea

Matt Orfalea

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