Update: YouTube responded to the letter from EFF and the National Coalition Against Censorship by doing just what we asked. They state: "We have re-reviewed your videos and have reinstated them with an age gate." This is good news, and YouTube is to be commended for correcting its error. Amy Greenfield's channel now has her videos.
Still, the fact that it took two nationally known groups to bring this matter to YouTube's attention is troubling. It demonstrates that YouTube still has work to do to create a viable appeals process. In addition, as we noted below, 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.
Previous Post: Today EFF and the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) wrote to YouTube, asking the video hosting giant to reconsider its removal of the work of internationally recognized video artist Amy Greenfield.
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.
When video artists present works that have clear artistic, political or educational merit, YouTube should allow the artist to post the material with at least the same freedom as major studio films and television. If a user community video is flagged as inappropriate, YouTube should at least have an appeals process to allow an artist to explain the artistic merit. While we understand YouTube's desire to keep pornography off its servers, it must also understand that not all nude art is pornographic.