Friday, September 22, 2023

YouTube Won’t Block Video Artist

Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”) and the National Coalition Against Censorship wrote to YouTube this past Tuesday, asking YouTube to reconsider its removal of the art work of video artist Amy Greenfield. According to EFF’s website,

TIDES HD from Amy Greenfield on Vimeo.

Amy Greenfield received notice from YouTube that her works, which contain some artistic nudity, did not conform with YouTube’s “community standards.” Under YouTube’s policies, “films and television shows may contain [full nudity]; however, videos originating from the YouTube user community must abide by the YouTube Community Guidelines and are not permitted to include such content.” (emphasis in original). The Community Guidelines purport to allow nudity with “some educational, documentary and scientific content, but only if that is the sole purpose of the video and it is not gratuitously graphic,” but does not recognize the value of nudity in art.

Today, YouTube responded to the letter from EFF and the National Coalition Against Censorship by reviewing Greenfield’s videos and reinstating them with an age gate. EFF remains a bit concerned,

YouTube should still change its policy to expressly allow artistic works that contain nudity, and give individual artists the same freedom it reserves for professional television and film.

Congratulations to EFF and NCAC.


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Comments: 2

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  • Dan

    Maybe the problem is with the Miller exception to legal obscenity: “serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.” How can a company like youtube distinguish between content that has serious artistic value and that which is not serious? Enevitably, this standard will continue to chill speech so long as it remains the law.

  • Dan,

    I think you may be right. Unfortunately this dilemma is also due, in the U.S., to our ever-growing politically correct atmosphere. Corporations are much more willing to succumb to what they think is morally right rather than legally correct for fear of insulting and/or angering consumers.

    Thanks for your comments.

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