YouTube Decides That Cancer Examination Videos Are Too Explicit
from the ah,-this-again dept
Whenever anyone suggests putting all porn onto a separate part of the internet or putting in place laws that require somehow labeling porn, people tend to forget that it’s not so easy to determine what is and is not porn in many cases. During the court debates over mandatory internet filters, one example often brought up was that many filters block sites dedicated to educational information about breast cancer — which can hardly be considered porn. Yet, a more recent example shows that this issue clearly has not been worked out yet. YouTube is facing some criticism after pulling down some videos by a famous doctor that showed people how to examine their bodies for early signs of cancer. It’s great that these videos are up there, as they provide a tremendous public service — but apparently YouTube wasn’t happy with them and decided that the videos were too explicit. It’s no surprise that YouTube would act that way — but it once again shows how difficult it is to make a simple statement suggesting that all porn should be filtered or separated somehow.
Comments on “YouTube Decides That Cancer Examination Videos Are Too Explicit”
Mike needs to take headlining 101.
This item should have been titled “Barely related ranting with a hint of news”
This is Techdirt...
What do you expect? It’s usually hyped up garbage, but I still read it anyway. It’s like a wannabe-Register with sometimes interesting tech news (not totally random off-the-wall crap that Register has been pulling lately).
And now some facts
The breast inspection video does feature a fully topless woman, and the testicle inspection does feature a plain view of a mans scrotum.
The videos are obviously not “porn”, and they are obviously intended to be informational videos, but they do have fully visible reproductive organs, and not just a quick glimpse, they are the main focus of the 5 minute videos.
The doctor, Chris Steele, is from England and so are his publications. He is “outraged” that youtube would censor such videos and was quoted as saying “I have done live television involving examinations of women’s breasts and men’s testicles being shown before 9am, yet YouTube have decided to restrict who can see what are straightforward medical education videos.”
The aforementioned broadcasts happened in Europe where non-sexual nudity is undeniably more acceptable in culture.
YouTube is owned by Google which is a U.S. based company and reflects that in its choices to censor videos. You will not find fully exposed breasts on broadcast television in the middle of the day in the U.S., especially for the duration in the videos in question, and you will never see a scrotum on broadcast television, period. By those standards YouTube has deemed the video inappropriate for people under 18.
Something else that happens here in the U.S. during doctor exams is the use of latex gloves. I was quite surprised to see in these two videos that the doctor was examining the woman’s breasts and the man’s testicles with his bare hands. I don’t know if that is common in Europe but I found it quite odd.
Contrary to Mike’s horrible article, the videos are actually still on youtube, they were just moved to the 18+ section so that you have to be logged in (and say you’re over 18) to view them.
There are links to the videos (which are still hosted on YouTube) at the bottom of this page on Dr Steele’s website which is dedicated to the YouTube controversy where the doctor is saying that “By limiting access, YouTube is stopping us from saving lives. “
Re: And now some facts
Paul, none of the points you raise change the point of the post, which is that it’s not so easy to determine what’s proper and what’s not.
I’m sorry you find the post to be “horrible” or a “rant” but we pick interesting stories that allow us to discuss our opinions on things. This was a great story for highlighting the problem of claiming that porn can simply be filtered — and your response doesn’t seem to change that.
Re: And now some facts
> The breast inspection video does
> feature a fully topless woman, and
> the testicle inspection does feature
> a plain view of a mans scrotum.
> The videos are obviously not “porn”,
> and they are obviously intended to be
> informational videos, but they do have
> fully visible reproductive organs, and
> not just a quick glimpse, they are the
> main focus of the 5 minute videos.
Not to be blunt but… who cares? There’s nothing inherently wrong, shameful or dirty about reproductive organs. They are just a part of the human body like any other. (And breasts aren’t even reproductive organs in the first place.)
How did we as a society become so hysterically afraid of our own bodies that this sort of thing occurs on a regular basis?
And before anyone mentions “protecting The Children” and I’m obliged to vomit, I’ll point out that The Children have these very same body parts themselves and already know what they look like.
Re: Re: And now some facts
>Not to be blunt but… who cares? There’s nothing >inherently wrong, shameful or dirty about reproductive >organs.
There is absolutely nothing shameful about the human body but you obviously don’t work in a US school where any nude content is found by the students and used in inappropriate ways. These videos are very viable content for anyone looking to examine themselves for cancer. What
Re: Re: Re: And now some facts
> There is absolutely nothing shameful
> about the human body but you obviously
> don’t work in a US school where any
> nude content is found by the students
> and used in inappropriate ways.
The answer to that is to address the issue with the kid who is acting inappropriately, not ban the material wholesale from a video domain or treat it like pornography.
That’s what schools are for: in addition to teaching kids academic skills, they function as a way to educate young people on how to behave appropriately in a social context. Better to have the kids misbehave with material like this in a school setting where they can be corrected and taught how to deal with it properly than hide it from them and wait until they’re adults out in the workforce without those social skills. Because if they misbehave then, the consequences are a lot worse than just detention or time outs.
I’ve got to go with BTR1701 on this one- if we as a society weren’t so damn uptight about our bodies, this wouldn’t be an issue. God forbid a child should see a bare breast before the age of 18…
I’m afraid that in most cases the older more enlightened society are not so uptight, hence the comments by the good Dr. about being on broadcast TV prior to this. Its us puritanically uptight Americans who have the issue.
Bottom line on this, we would rather people live in ignorance than one person see nudity they shouldn’t see. Same as with the HPV Vacination (point being made under assumption it is not in any way harmful), we would rather women and children died (or were supported through tax dollars for cancer treatment) than give the mistaken impression to our kids one day that they may have SEX and that its OK to do so.
What's the logic? Or is it just emotion?
It’s a good thing Youtube didn’t outright pull the videos. But I have to wonder about their rationale putting an 18+ label on it, except perhaps to appease outraged viewers that their little boy or girl might see breasts or a scrotum and ask their parent(s) awkward questions parents shouldn’t feel awkward answering.
Why is the human body, or parts of it, so repulsive to, what it seems like, many people that it requires an inappropriate label for young viewers? Is it really to avoid the “awkward” questions? Is it because seeing breasts, vagina, or penis could lead to sexual arousal? (There are people out there who are sexually aroused by feet/leg or hands. Shouldn’t those body parts be censored as well?) What is the logic, the rationale, from parents or sensitive people, that ANY sight of a breast, penis, vagina, buttocks, is psychologically scarring (that is how they seem take it)? Is this all because of religious dogma? Is it hampering public medical education?
Re: What's the logic? Or is it just emotion?
We live in a “society.” In a given society, there is a fuzzy line as to what is acceptable for 18- and 18+, and Google, from a business standpoint, is aware of that line. What they do with that line is a business decision, and putting a stake in the ground on either side of the line (or within the fuzziness) has consequences.
Re: Re: What's the logic? Or is it just emotion?
>>We live in a “society.” In a given society, there is a fuzzy line as to what is acceptable for 18- and 18+,
Yes, but who’s drawing that line? It seems to be based on the hysteria of a minority of people who are terrified of sexuality, but perfectly comfortable with horrendous violence. We’re making choices based not on reason or consensus, but on keeping the lunatics well-behaved.
Glorify violence and demonize sex? Nine Inch Nails sees the results: “You see your world on fire, don’t try to act surprised”.
People find it perfectly acceptable though to watch people get hurt from skateboarding accidents, or skiing accidents, or watching peoples arm break from arm wrestling, or peoples shins breaking from boxing. There is so much stupid stuff, that a lot of kids these days are intent on recreating because they would think it would be “cool to do” themselves. But when it would come to potentially saving your own life, and being shown in explicit detail how to do it, and do it properly, its a horrible thing.
Im going to agree with BTR1701 and what he said. Society today is too uptight, period. By the time kids are in the 5th-8th grade, they already know more about their sexual reproductive organs because of sex-ed classes that are offered.
More Google Evil
Someone should tell Google that censorship is generally considered an evil thing to do.
Agree 100% BTR1701,
It’s funny – something I’ve always thought about there…
You sit and watch TV and even on regular old channels like – TNT, AMC, etc.. and years ago with analog broadcasts..
Violence is mostly ‘OK’.
Take for instance:
Jaws, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Pale Rider… etc (you know well this could go on for days).
Now – those movies were aired at some point on regular free-for-all airwaves. Some cuts, some not – depending on the point in time.
But – nevertheless…. a level of violence was acceptable.
But show a naked person on screen????? OMGZ NOEZZZ!!!!! YOU CANNOT DO THAT!!!
Even the part in Halloween where it shows the nurse’s bare chest was cut from regular TV broadcasts, but not the part where another nurse is getting lifted off the ground due to the scalpel in her back… Countless examples of this.
Now… all things considered..
Normal people will – at some point, likely fall into at least one relationship that may turn into at least one, if not many sexual encounters. It’s actually quite normal.
On the other hand, sharks swallowing people, madmen slicing up communities with kitchen knives, maniacs using machetes on campers, and people cutting down 100’s with machine guns is…… ok??
I never did get that….
Realistically, there’s nothing wrong with seeing a naked person. Sex is a perfectly natural act. And the human body has been in art for thousands of years.
I guess violence has too; however.
So I guess the question is – which is more acceptable man’s natural look along with his frailties or abject violence..
If you ask people like Jack Thompson… he’ll go on and on about the ‘Hot Coffee’ scene in GTA, but only mentions violence when it comes to killing the cops, etc..
What about Mario Brothers? Afterall – you are killing little mushroom men.. and it’s marketed for 5 year olds +
Why does sex seem to offend so many people when violence does not?
You can say violence offends…. but society as a whole never seems offended.
Seriously – if you had to choose: would you rather see your kid acting out ‘Saw 2’ or ‘Debbie does Dallas’…
>Not to be blunt but… who cares? There’s nothing >inherently wrong, shameful or dirty about reproductive >organs.
There is absolutely nothing shameful about the human body but you obviously don’t work in a US school where any nude content is found by the students and used in inappropriate ways. These videos are very viable content for anyone looking to examine themselves for cancer. What less than 16 year old is really looking for videos to do that?
Another poster made a great point that in Europe nudity isn’t seen in the same was as in the puritanical US. The same can be said for alcohol consumption. It’s common for people in Europe to drink socially at a younger age than in the US and on average they tend they develop an overall healthier view of alcohol than in the US where most State require you to be 21 to drink.
However, Youtube moving the videos into an over 18+ section is hardly the same as saying that video/images designed specifically and for the only purpose of sexual gratification shouldn’t be put onto their own domain like .red.
The idea that it’s really hard to identify what is pornographic is also very secular progressive of you. I’m pretty sure that all of us can easily identify that which is pornographic and that which is shock art and nudity serving another purpose like medical.
BESIDES – Censoring implies blocking something. Moving things to their own domain is simply classifying them. Would you suggest that using .edu for higher learning institutions is censoring. How about .gov for government, etc.? I for one love domains being used for classification. Besides moving obviously pornographic content onto one domain would allow someone the option of either censoring it or — finding it more easily.
>The answer to that is to address the issue with the kid >who is acting inappropriately, not ban the material >wholesale from a video domain or treat it like pornography.
I’m sorry but I have to laugh at that. You obviously don’t work in a school with 25 kids sitting in a room with computers surfing the Internet. Even with software to allow the single instructor to monitor the students screens catching each kid is difficult at best.
Classroom management is difficult enough with the dynamics of student behavior all while trying to teach them a viable subject. Now you through Internet access into the mix and expect one instructor to somehow catch and discipline each student.
However, that was hardly the point of my post which was chopped in the middle for some reason.
Classifying things onto other domains isn’t censorship.
> I’m sorry but I have to laugh at that.
> You obviously don’t work in a school
> with 25 kids sitting in a room with
> computers surfing the Internet.
> Even with software to allow the
> single instructor to monitor the
> students screens catching each
> kid is difficult at best.
Not sure what you mean by “catching”. You suggested that these kids were taking this material and acting inappropriately with it, in which case “catching” the one or two who are misbehaving would be a simple matter, just as it is with any other kind of misbehavior. But now you seem to be suggesting that merely viewing these videos AT ALL would be inappropriate for them, which leads me back to my orginal point: why?
Why is there this de facto attitude that it’s inappropriate for someone under the age of 18 to see human body parts in ANY context, including a clinical medical cancer exam?
It’s a hysterical reaction with absolutely no rational basis. There seems to be this pervasive attitude out there that if a human child sees a naked member of its own species, it will undergo some kind of psychological trauma. If that were really case, it would be an odd anomaly indeed that in the natural world, we’re the only species that can be harmed merely by looking at ourselves. You don’t see baby polar bears freaked out by looking at other polar bears or infant gazelles having to undergo therapy when they see other gazelles.
The whole concept is silly and the only thing more silly is that grown adults choose to behave this way.
If that video is considered inappropriate material, then I’m suing my junior high school for showing me a VERY inappropriate video called “Miracle of Life”. You not only see a women going through all the changes of a baby, but you also see her giving birth with clearly shows her nether area.
And Nyle, I can understand it would be hard to supervise 25 students surfing the internet, but come on now. Does it really matter if little Johnny neglects his science assignment to go look at inappropriate things? Isn’t that what grades are for, so that when they mess around the parents can punish them? School should be a place of learning and just because the students would rather learn something else than the boring dribble handed down by the school board doesn’t mean teachers should get all upset about it.
I got through high school just fine, graduated with high honors, and rarely paid attention to a single thing my teaches lectured about.
Just watched the videos.
Man that was hot!
Society gone wrong
What about single parent children who doesn’t have the opportunity of having a same-sex adult to teach them these things?
What if my 7 year old son goes to the library and looks at a medical textbook and sees a penis or vagina? Is this porn now?
Classifying these videos as 18+ does a great disservice to the reality of medically helpful and accurate advice. Would you rather your son approach some other adult and ask them about these things or just watch it on You Tube?
What is perverted is how our society hides this information in order to appease some high minded goal of protecting children. My question is now how do we protect children from their own naked body?
As has been said, moving it to the 18+ section is not censorship, it is classification.
What person under 16 is going to look up these videos for their intended purpose? I’d guess 4%.
Some people are offended by unwanted nudity. I personally don’t want to be browsing youtube and unexpectedly see some guys scrotum, whether it be in a pornographic matter or a purely educational medical video. By it being in a section classified as 18+ I know I’m not going to haphazardly come across nudity unless I venture into that 18+ section.
I think the majority of you are focusing on the fact that the section is simply called “18+”. If it were called “Nudity” then half of you would have no issue with it. It is a well known fact that someone under 18 can easily enter an 18+ section of a webpage (hardly any sites use any kind of real age verification that is more than “type in your age”) so why are you all up in arms about it?
It is not just “think of the children” it is also “think of the people who want to know what they are looking at before they look at it”
Nudity is not in itself bad, but there are times when it is inappropriate. I’m sure most level headed humans living in todays age would agree that it would be inappropriate if children’s cartoon characters had free-flying exposed genitalia waving about as they run around and play on TV. The only people who should believe any differently are already living in nudist colonies, and that is fine, they have made that choice and they are living it without forcing other people to see it.
As for the rest of you who think nudity is appropriate at any time, if you’re not living in a nudist colony then you are a hypocrite.
Wow, you can hear the “whoosh” sound as the point of this story flies over the heads of the alarmists.
The point is that it is not easy to filter porn out of the net because there are so many other things that get caught up.
Case in point, we use a web filtering product at work. One of our social services health works called up in an absolute panic because she had been blocked from a web site because the words “child sex” were detected and she was worried that someone would think she was looking at paedophilic images.
The fact that the website was a health site that said (paraphrased) “a doctor must act differently according to the child’s sex” on a page detailing examination practices of 5-15 year olds didn’t really matter to the web filter which is programmed to look for phrases and word associations rather than intelligently looking at the page and saying “nothing to worry about here” as a human would.
As for censorship issues, the material is still available. I don’t have problems with under 18’s viewing the content and let’s face it, any 14-18 year old that doesn’t know how to create an account and tick the “i am 18” button is either Amish or an idiot. It’s putting it one shelf higher in the cupboard when the kid already knows to get a chair. Chances are those same teenagers are more interested in titillation or a giggle at the content rather than seriously watching it for it’s intended purposes though, no?
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