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YouTube Censors Pro-Prop 19 Video from NORML

censored-youtube pot videoMore Interweb censorship of Prop 19 and marijuana advocates, this time from YouTube.

The preeminent marijuana legalization group NORML released a video last week with musician and comedian Steve Berke that was a brilliant pro-Prop 19 parody of Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie” music video titled, “Should Be Legalized.”

NORML says they had more than 100,000 views of the video in just two days – no easy feat. Then, of course, YouTube stepped in and “flagged” the video, requiring users to log in to view it.

The campaign, supported by NORML (National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws) was generating huge internet buzz, and had amassed 108,000 views within 2 days, when YouTube flagged it for being offensive, thus requiring users to login to view the video, killing the video’s chance at becoming viral.

“We were on pace to reach 1 million views within a week, and our video was rallying supporters of Prop 19 and decriminalization in every state that had it on the ballot. Then YouTube flagged us for being offensive and killed any chance we had at reaching our potential audience.”

A quick search of YouTube reveals that many, if not all, marijuana videos are flagged and require logging in to view – that includes videos explicitly identified as medical marijuana. Of course, if you want to find videos of people drinking alcohol (under age, or legal), you have no problem doing so without proving your age.

YouTube clearly has a strict censorship policy of all things involving marijuana consumption, but does not censor alcohol. But YouTube’s community guidelines are not clear on marijuana usage versus drinking. This is what it says:

Don’t post videos showing bad stuff like animal abuse, drug abuse, under-age drinking and smoking, or bomb making.

“Drug abuse” is a sneaky phrase, and I’d bet YouTube’s pot censorship falls under there. Note, though, that drinking is only banned “under-age drinking and smoking.”

Here’s the thing, though. NORML and Steve Berke clearly had a hit on their hands; while the video did show (a lot of) marijuana usage, it’s overall a political message in a clever format that more than 100,000 people watched. Since the weekend censorship, about 80,000 more people have watched it, but at the pace it was at, it should have easily crossed half a million views by now. Now it’s locked behind an Internet wall.

How can we fight to make something legal, when we’re censored from showing our issue because it’s illegal?

CommunityJust Say Now

YouTube Censors Pro-Prop 19 Video from NORML

censored-youtube pot videoMore Interweb censorship of Prop 19 and marijuana advocates, this time from YouTube.

The preeminent marijuana legalization group NORML released a video last week with musician and comedian Steve Berke that was a brilliant pro-Prop 19 parody of Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie” music video titled, “Should Be Legalized.”

NORML says they had more than 100,000 views of the video in just two days – no easy feat. Then, of course, YouTube stepped in and “flagged” the video, requiring users to log in to view it.

The campaign, supported by NORML (National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws) was generating huge internet buzz, and had amassed 108,000 views within 2 days, when YouTube flagged it for being offensive, thus requiring users to login to view the video, killing the video’s chance at becoming viral.

“We were on pace to reach 1 million views within a week, and our video was rallying supporters of Prop 19 and decriminalization in every state that had it on the ballot.  Then YouTube flagged us for being offensive and killed any chance we had at reaching our potential audience.”

A quick search of YouTube reveals that many, if not all, marijuana videos are flagged and require logging in to view – that includes videos explicitly identified as medical marijuana. Of course, if you want to find videos of people drinking alcohol (under age, or legal), you have no problem doing so without proving your age.

YouTube clearly has a strict censorship policy of all things involving marijuana consumption, but does not censor alcohol. But YouTube’s community guidelines are not clear on marijuana usage versus drinking. This is what it says:

Don’t post videos showing bad stuff like animal abuse, drug abuse, under-age drinking and smoking, or bomb making.

“Drug abuse” is a sneaky phrase, and I’d bet YouTube’s pot censorship falls under there. Note, though, that drinking is only banned “under-age drinking and smoking.”

Here’s the thing, though. NORML and Steve Berke clearly had a hit on their hands; while the video did show (a lot of) marijuana usage, it’s overall a political message in a clever format that more than 100,000 people watched.  Since the weekend censorship, about 80,000 more people have watched it, but at the pace it was at, it should have easily crossed half a million views by now. Now it’s locked behind an Internet wall.

How can we fight to make something legal, when we’re censored from showing our issue because it’s illegal?

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Jim White

Jim White

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