My Own Video Was Just Deleted From YouTube October 2, 2008

My Own Video Was Just Deleted From YouTube

After the talk of Pat Condell‘s new video being taken down from YouTube, it looks like someone is after me, too.

I don’t understand why… other than spite.

My video’s content?

At the atheist Coming Out Party in Ohio this summer, I videotaped a man desecrating an “atheist communion wafer” — really, just a regular cracker with peanut butter on it. Before the man’s hammer comes down, breaking the cracker into a million little pieces, the man dedicated the action to the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue.

(Incidentally, the “atheist communion wine” was actually A&W Root Beer.)

It’s not enough that videos of desecrating actual communion wafers are being taken down? Now, someone has to go after anyone who breaks any cracker at all?!

This is getting out of hand.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Kevin L.

    The next thing you know, PETA and the Catholic League will join forces to censor videos involving animal crackers.

  • David D.G.

    Hemant, this situation has been out of hand at least ever since Webster Cook got attacked by militant Catholics for failing to swallow his own communion wafer. It is now just getting far more widespread and downright mean-spirited.

    ~David D.G.

  • Siamang

    OMFSM, you mentioned cracker on this site.

    I predict this thread will soon have 234900975 responses.

  • Siamang

    Oh noeees…. they took down my video on how to make duck-meat jerky!

    Was it the title: “How to dessicate a quacker”?

  • PrimeNumbers

    All this censorship somewhat proves the religious are wrong.

  • What’s happening is that Catholics are organizing flagging campaigns against videos with Eucharist Desecrations. It seems that YouTube’s standard response to flagging campaigns is to remove the videos until someone can review them. Luckily, FSMdude got his account reinstated and all his videos back a few hours after the take-down, so there’s a good shot that you’ll get your video back. If not, I would definitely fight it. I know I plan to fight it if they ever take down the Eucharist Desecration video I made back during The Blasphemy Challenge.

    FSMdude’s YouTube channel:

  • mikespeir

    Of course, YouTube has the right to allow or disallow anything it wants. It can also lose its dominant place in its niche. If it’s going to delete something every time somebody complains, there won’t be anything at all soon enough.

  • Greg

    I say we launch an indiscriminate cracker smashing crusade. Down with all saltene, ritz, and water crackers (blasphemous NaCl free Saltenes). And let us not stop there, all crunchy baked goods deserve to be smashed. I will personally take on Nabisco.

  • Okay.

    This is getting ridiculous. They’re essentially taking down any anti-religion video that gets posted.

    We need to start a protest campaign. How does one write to YouTube to give feedback? Their site doesn’t exactly make it obvious. They do have a phone number, though… maybe we should just start calling…

  • SarahH

    Yeah, it seems clear that private individuals are abusing YouTube’s system to get these taken down, but it’ll only be temporary if all goes well.

    Generally I still trust Google (the owner of YouTube) to not be “evil” and I think this is a case where there’s not a discriminatory intent on the part of the site – just on the part of a group of users. Hopefully when a flagged video is reviewed and found to be okay there’s a mechanism that prevents it from being removed through flagging again.

  • Crackers are serious business.

    And also: why are you atheists always picking on the Catholics? What did they ever do to you? It’s persecution, I say!

  • Awesomesauce

    Yeah! You atheists eat their babies out of hate and all the Catholics ever do to you, they do out of love!

    Censoring your opinions is for your own good!

  • Whoa, wait…we’re suppose to use A&W…all these years I was using the cheap store brand stuff… does that make me a generic atheist?

  • theShaggy

    Asylum Seeker:

    Good gracious, man, you’re right! What the heck did the Catholics do to the atheists to deserve this kind of Inquisition!

  • The next thing you know, those dirty communistic video-posting atheists will be lynching Catholics and punching the Pope…while wearing condoms. All while Bill Donahue, the beacon of rationality, pleads for tolerance.

    Now, stepping off the slippery slope, I don’t know how they could sincerely come up with a justification for removing the video that Hemant describes. Censoring a simulated desecration of a normal cracker has even less justification than censoring an actual desecration (which is very near zero already). If it is anything like the wafergate mindset, they probably justify this reaction by saying that showing disrespect for magical, functionally worthless symbols is akin to a “hate crime” (lol). And, even if the cracker wasn’t enchanted, or wasn’t even the right the kind of cracker, just the mere act of pretending that it is makes it equivalent to the actual act, since, for these people, pretend and actual have no distinctions.

    I don’t know what we should do. Should we continue to show depraved, amoral contempt for their enchanted wafers as continued protest to their insistence that such an action is equivalent to actual expressions of hate for their group, or should we just collectively give up and stop feeding their persecution complexes? Well, either way it goes down, I look forward to the actions and reactions. Personally, I am rooting for the path that involves more smashed crackers. But, then again, that’s easy for me to say, since I don’t intend on getting off my ass and doing it myself. So…a matter of future interest, I suppose…

  • It’s just business, guys.

    (Translation: fuck ethics! Dolla dolla bill, y’all)

  • Richard Wade

    If YouTube wants to kiss the asses of everybody who complains, let them. They’ll just lose business. Censorship is self-defeating. Nobody is too big to be immune to competition. Right now somebody who is hungrier and has more gonads is planning a video posting server that will not have the flagging nonsense. Post whatever you want. Don’t like what you see? Don’t watch! Who the hell are you to stop me from saying and hearing whatever I please?

  • hmm…

  • Richard Wade

    YouTube publishes its Community Guidelines here.

    They preface with:

    We’re not asking for the kind of respect reserved for nuns, the elderly, and brain surgeons. We mean don’t abuse the site. Every cool new community feature on YouTube involves a certain level of trust. We trust you to be responsible, and millions of users respect that trust. Please be one of them.
    Don’t Cross the Line

    Then they list what they call “common-sense rules” that will help users “steer clear of trouble,” and for the most part I agree, prohibiting porn, shock stuff like accident scenes, unlawful material or copyright violations. One of the rules is this: (emphasis mine)

    * We encourage free speech and defend everyone’s right to express unpopular points of view. But we don’t permit hate speech (speech which attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation/gender identity).

    They conclude with this:

    We Enforce These Guidelines
    Okay, this one is more about us than you. YouTube staff review flagged videos 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate our Community Guidelines. When they do, we remove them. Sometimes a video doesn’t violate our Community Guidelines, but may not be appropriate for everyone. These videos may be age-restricted. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination. If your account is terminated, you won’t be allowed to create any new accounts. For more information about how the Community Guidelines are enforced and the consequences of violating them, please visit the Help Center.

    I was unable to find any more specific criteria for these guidelines, specifically what they mean by “attack or demean.” That is so broad, vague and subjective that it allows any staff reviewer to censor entrirely by their personal agenda. “Disagree” to one person can be “attack” to another person. “Spoof” to one is “demean” to another. I found nothing about peer review for decisions to delete material. Is there staff discussion on these decisions? Once one YouTube reviewer decides something is over the line is that it? Maybe YouTube staff member Joe Truebeliever has the graveyard shift and he considers it his personal crusade to protect his creed from any and all “attacks” or “demeaning” in his opinion.

  • Wow Richard,

    How can you do so much research this late at night?

  • Richard Wade

    I’m on the West coast so it’s not so late as it looks on the blog clock. 😉

  • I, my magnificent self, shall post a clip of my own glorious crucifixion on You-Tube and defy them to take it down.

  • It’s kinda funny that the company that based itself on “NOT being evil” (google) bought out youtube then started censoring everything on it.

    So now google is so big (it’s probably worth more than all the banks in America) it can’t afford to upset all those religious nutjobs (and a few cranky big time musos). yeah right!

  • This is a reflection of something I’ve been saying for a while; Those who censor are cowards and are beneath contempt. These cultists cannot stand to have their insanity challenged and instead of talking things over, they’ll go out of their way to block any chance of conflicting information from getting out.

    None of this surprises me.

  • SarahH

    Does anyone have any real proof that this is a conscious effort by YouTube to censor? I really doubt it. Like I said before, this looks to me like lots of religious nitwits flagging these videos and getting them taken down automatically for review.

    Once they’re reviewed, I’m pretty confident they’ll be put back up. If they’re not and there’s an actual response from YouTube (to a private query or in a public way) acknowledging the censorship, then I’ll believe they’ve gone “evil” – and until then, I’m skeptical.

  • Ian

    I think we need a new video sharing site that we can promote whatever videos we want. Perhaps Atheist Nexus could incorporate video sharing or something. Basically, if YouTube wants to maintain its policy (which it can) of removing videos that upset someone than we can go somewhere else.

  • If someone filed a false DMCA notice, file a reply with YouTube. Then head to and get more info on what you should do next.

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