Six years ago I posted a twelve-second video to YouTube. Today, that video was pulled and my YouTube account received a strike for inappropriate content.

The video showed a disfigured man with a condition similar to Ella Harper, begging on a busy street somewhere in India while a man laughs at him in the background. In the video description, I condemn the laughter discus the condition the man is afflicted with and link to one of my articles that details an uplifting account of someone with a similar affliction triumphing over fate.

I’m disgusted that someone found the video objectionable and, rather than address the feelings they had – or read the description, or do some research – they chose to try and sweep it under a rug so they could pretend that sort of thing doesn’t occur in the world.

It bothers me because the video was banned purely on the basis that the individual involved was different, and that is a sort of discrimination I was hoping was on the way out. To see a large company like YouTube support that sort of discriminatory behavior is disheartening to say the least.

A quick YouTube search brings up all sorts of videos showing bulling, harassment, racism and even death – often cited to illustrate a positive point , but also often not.

The video made someone feel uncomfortable. I can only hope that it felt wrong to hear the laughter, and not to see that individual. But in both instances, you are treating someone differently because they are different – unless you are flagging every video where someone is being rude. My major problem here is that instead of addressing the way they felt, and why, the person who flagged the video instead chose to try and wipe it from the Internet.

Why not address it? Why not educate yourself on what that person has? Why not think about what you are feeling and why? Why not take a moment to be better than the person laughing? Why not try and change it? How about not starting at the next person you encounter who is different. How about treating everyone like a person and not sweeping them under a rug.

Because you felt uncomfortable, you’ve deprived others from being exposed to the same situation and hopefully learning from it.

YouTube, removing that video was based solely on the fact that the man featured in it was differently abled and it made who censor ‘feel weird’. It did not specifically violate any guidelines; in fact no words were even spoken in the video. The fact that after my appeal you choose to uphold your decision to remove it is absolutely deplorable and you should absolutely be ashamed for discriminating against persons with disabilities.

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Last Update: June 27, 2024