Sign this petition to demand that Youtube provide exact timecodes for content within a video that they think warrants an entire ban, and provide a method for creators to edit out just those parts, instead of having the entire video banned:
After my ten+ years of being banned over and over to an insane degree on every platform you’ve heard of and some you haven’t, Youtube has been one of the worst offenders of this blatant sexism, misogyny, transphobia, and overall bigotry:
Even when I cover my nipples up entirely with a giant digital pastie–hell, even if I cut the video off completely from the neck down, STILL Youtube has banned me over and over.
And I’m hardly the only one to suffer such insane, unfair, unreliable censorship over types of content that exist all over Youtube, yet somehow only unlucky creators like me are banned for it-
Simply search “banned from youtube” on Twitter or a similar social media platform, and you’ll find thousands of posts from other creators and fans of creators sharing their stories of being similarly banned for nonsense reasons.
Youtube’s “community guidelines” are intentionally vague, so they can decide if and when to apply a ban to someone, based on an arbitrary understanding of those rules that always seems to favor the already-famous creators, no matter how severe their violations.
Take, for instance, Youtube’s alleged rules for what they consider to be “nudity or sexual content”:
“nudity or partial nudity for the purpose of sexual gratification,” you say?
So Youtube is saying content like this is “intended for the purpose of sexual gratification” and therefore must be banned-
But a simple search for “male stripping” gets you countless results like these, which are NOT banned??
Not to mention incredibly graphic music videos and other content that is not only allowed but given front-page status where it accrues millions of views, such as the now-infamous “Wet Ass Pussy (WAP)” music video with Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion–
Or the classic “Anaconda” with Nicki Minaj–
Clearly, Youtube’s decisions on what to ban as “intended for the purpose of sexual gratification” is guided more by what upholds the patriarchal view of women’s bodies as sexual objects, and punishes content that argues that women’s nipples should be given the same-not more, not fewer-rights as so-called “male-looking nipples.”
Even beyond nonsense definitions of “nudity,” Youtube finds other nonsense reasons to ban some content but not others
One of the most crippling flaws of Youtube’s ambiguous moderation methods are that algorithms can be weaponized and exploited by haters to deplatform content creators they don’t like through false-flagging: using the “report” function on a video over and over, until the algorithm thinks “well, lots of people are flagging this video, it must therefore be in violation of our terms of service”
Youtube claims that once a video is flagged for removal then appealed by the creator, they have live humans review the ban and reinstate the video if the violation is found to be in error. However, this is demonstrably untrue– for instance, the many times I’ve appealed falsely banned content, only to have the appeal denied within seconds of filing it, far too quickly for human eyeballs to have ever viewed the alleged offending content.
Even if there were human moderators reviewing the content, these are all severely underpaid low level employees who have their jobs threatened if they ever reinstate a video that a higher-up might decide was actually in violation.
And often, the appeal is simply ignored outright–many times, I’ve received a nonsense ban that I appealed, only to have that appeal float in “Submitted” limbo for three months at a time, never addressed by Youtube moderators while the entire video remains banned-
Worst of all, content creators specifically targeted repeatedly by haters are “blacklisted” by the algorithms so that their content is even more likely to get banned.
After the first few false bans that make it through the algorithms and indentured servitude to avoid being reinstated, the effect of the bans will snowball until that channel is in ever-worsening hot water, increasing the chances that future false flagging will be successful. This means that no longer does a video have to accrue hundreds of false flags to be removed–just one or two flags will be enough, or often a video will be banned automatically because the algorithms assume that the content was posted in bad faith.
Because of these easily-exploitable algorithms at the mercy of false flagging, no video is safe from being banned.
Even videos clearly not in violation of any alleged breaches of Community Guidelines can be banned, such as this mild reproach of bad conservative behavior that does not mention Covid-19 or vaccines or anything like that at all, banned as “medical disinformation”:
Simply claiming that a video is in violation of these guidelines is all it takes to get your video removed, regardless of actual violation or not.
There are many ways these weaponized methods of exploiting Youtube algorithms to deplatform creators can be addressed, but this petition puts forth two simple actions that would make an incredible difference to thousands if not hundreds of thousands creators who have had videos banned:
Sign this petition to demand that Youtube:
- provide exact timecodes within banned videos for alleged violation of Community Guidelines, and
- provide the creator the opportunity to edit out the offending parts, rather than keep the entire video banned
As stated, this would make a world of difference to creators (like me) who have been banned over and over and over, with no clear explanation of what parts of the banned videos are in alleged violation.
This would also have the benefit of forcing Youtube to actually review the banned video by human moderators
Instead of automatically banning then keeping the bans on videos, having to provide timecodes would mean that Youtube has to find actual parts that they claim are in violation. This means that videos that aren’t even close to actually violating the alleged guidelines–like banning a video that never mentions illness or vaccines or anything as “medical disinformation”–will be proven innocent.
So how can you help? Start by signing this Petition!
The only way that corporations will ever improve their platform to be more fair to the marginalized and persecuted people they target is if they are publicly shamed into it– and this happens by gaining awareness of a problem until companies are finally forced to address it, or else lose massive amounts of users.
This has happened to many popular platforms already, such as:
- #FreeTheNipple: Facebook allows breast feeding photos in change to nudity and pornography policy”
- “Instagram Changes Nudity Policy After Model Points Out Bias”
And even “real life” public legislation has been changed, like:
- “NY Laws On Topfreedom, False Arrests and Topfree Equality in NYC”
- “Anti-Topless Rule Stripped, All Nipples in Fort Collins Are Free”
Of course, even when corporations are shamed into claiming they changed their policies to be more fair to all, they are still frequently weaponized by detractors to ban the same posts they just claimed not to–such as Facebook’s continued persecution of breastfeeding photos, despite claiming to allow them:
- “Facebook ban of breast-feeding photos sparks protests”
- “Facebook blocks famous nude artwork and feels the internet’s ire”
On and on it goes, endless back-and-forth as major corporations claim to be changing their policies, yet continue to be weaponized and exploited (when not automatically banning content based on algorithms) to remove content that should, by their claims, no longer be considered in violation of their rules.
Clearly this is not a problem that can be solved easily–and companies will always make the decision that makes them the most money.
This is why we must pressure companies like Youtube to do the right thing, and prove the reasons behind their bans, instead of leaving it all up to automated algorithms
And again, signing this petition is one way we can do this:
And once you do sign, let others know about this petition– share links to it on social media, post it in video comments for videos about banned content, tell it to friends and family by word-of mouth. The more signatures the petition gets, the more likely we can raise sufficient public awareness to force Youtube to enact these creator-protecting features.
So please, sign the petition today, then share the link to it far and wide.