La Carmina’s Report on Japanese Goth Party Pulled From YouTube

Beware YouTube: La Carmina Is Going To Haunt You

 6/19 /2010  

UPDATE:   Four days ago, DJ Taiki uploaded a video of the Black Veil Goth Party on YouTube.  It contains the same “offending” content as in the La Carmina video.  Perhaps even more.  And yet, it has not been pulled.  You can’t get more arbitrary than this YouTube.  Absurd. 

6/15/2010

Siouxsie is a big fan of La Carmina (Goth Girl/Yale Law Grad/ Author/Fashion Designer/TV Host/CNNGO Correspondent/etc.) 

Yesterday, La Carmina posted a video on YouTube showcasing Black Veil’s 10th Anniversary Ball (the Black Veil is a monthly Goth/EBM party in Osaka, Japan (it is said to be one of the best Goth/EBM events in the world)).  The gathering is put on by DJ Taiki who,  according to La Carmina, is known to mix “obscure cyber-rave with Abba, 80s Goth and Mylene Farmer.” 

It sounds like an amazing event.  But YouTube immediately pulled the video because YouTube decided that La Carmina’s video was counter to its decency policies.  [source

YouTube sent only the following notice to La Carmina: 

The following video(s) from your account have been disabled for violation of the YouTube Community Guidelines: 

BLACK VEIL Goth party in Osaka, DJ Taiki, Kozi of Malice Mizer, Gothic Lolita Cyber nightclub – (lacarmina) 

Your account has received one Community Guidelines warning strike, which will expire in six months. Additional violations may result in the temporary disabling of your ability to post content to YouTube and/or the termination of your account. 

Sincerely, 

The YouTube Team 

The email provides no further explanation.  YouTube does not allow for any reconsideration of their ruling.  One more misstep and La Carmina could lose her entire YouTube account, which has over 3000 subscribers.  This is a potentially huge penalty.  The mere threat of this severe sanction stifles free speech and expression. 

So what was the big deal about the video?  La Carmina has since uploaded the video to Metacafe, so you can still see the entire video there.  The video is 2:39 in length.  The final scene features a 20-second clip from a stage performance.  In that clip, there is a scantily clad woman who submits to being whipped in front of the audience.  The lighting is poor, but it looks like there could possibly be some nudity, maybe.  It is difficult to tell.  It is clear that the whipping is simulated.  The whole thing is an act, a performance.  This is art, not pornography. 

YouTube doesn’t see it that way.  La Carmina’s reporting on this party has been flagged for indecent or pornographic material.  And YouTube has pulled the clip. 

Whether or not you approve of the video, the real problem here is that YouTube’s application of its so-called community decency standards is completely arbitrary.  There are hundreds of videos on YouTube that have content just as edgy (or offensive depending on your view point) but have not been removed. 

YouTube’s censorship is especially troubling because there is no process by which to challenge the removal of videos.   It is totally evil for YouTube not to provide its users with some process through which to seek recourse when they feel their work has been wrongfully pulled.  There needs to be some mechanism to appeal these decisions. 

Putting all that aside, is this video really beneath our community standards?  Women with whips have been around for decades (or longer).  Check out this clip from the Avengers.  This episode titled A Touch of Brimstone, which aired in the U.K. in 1966 (more than forty years ago).  You can watch the entire uncut version of this episode on YouTube right now.  This clip is Part III of the episode.  The whipping scene takes place at the six minute mark.
 

Robert Mapplethorpe’s Self Portrait with Whip caused an uproar back in 1978.  Now, you can get a print for $26,000 at Christie’s. 

DEVO’s video for Whip It is purposefully and intentionally outrageous and offensive.  Try and count the number of offensive things in the video.  Yet, you can watch this video on YouTube all day long. 

Siouxsie actually prefers this mash-up of Indiana Jones whipping scenes set to the song instead. 

It is completely unclear as to what pushed YouTube over the edge here.  Pulling the video was wrong.  YouTube should reconsider its position on La Carmina’s video.  And YouTube needs to reconsider its policies and the way in which they are applied. 

Bonus Video:  The Dazz Band — Let It Whip 

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~ by siouxsielaw on June 15, 2010.

17 Responses to “La Carmina’s Report on Japanese Goth Party Pulled From YouTube”

  1. Wow, what a fantastic post!! Beautifully stated, and I love the examples you gave. Thanks so much for the support — I really appreciate it. xoxo

  2. 1. Removing the video was just plain bullshit, but we know that already.

    2. This reminds me I find the whole web 2.0 thing bullshit and the biggest threat to freedom of expression since the middle age.

    3. This reminds me in turn I don’t even like the web 1.0

    4. Devo rock. Dear Siouxsie, given that you enjoy both Devo and Siouxsie, I suspect that either you are a fan of Oingo Boingo (two fifths of which – Elfman and Bartek – cowrote/produced Face to Face – oh, well, there’s whipping there too) or you will be one soon.

    “A million years of evolution… we get Danny Quayle”.
    Immortal lines.

    Do you fancy Wall of Voodoo, too?

    5. The Avengers are awesome

  3. When a problem comes along, YOU MUST WHIP IT! This whole thing is crazy. YouTube needs to get a grip.

  4. I thought that pulling her video was rather odd considering some of the things I’ve seen on youtube. I, however, have gotten used to the website’s very odd, often inexplicable, way of working. Sometimes I think they do things just because they can.

  5. You know that metacafe has now pulled the video as well!

  6. Did anyone realize that a new Devo album came out this month?

    • Did anyone realize that Devo held a listening party for cats to promote their new album? I can has Whipit? http://blogs.laweekly.com/westcoastsound/b-side-stories/devo-cat-listening-party/

      I can’t believe Metacafe took the video down. Our freedom of speech is slowly eroding. Big Brother gets bigger everyday.

      • > Did anyone realize that Devo held a listening party for cats to
        > promote their new album?

        I can honestly say, WTF?!?

        > Our freedom of speech is slowly eroding. Big Brother gets
        > bigger everyday.

        If you are into Devo, this shouldn’t come as a surprise 🙂
        For my standards, that’s good anyway.
        Something is gonna happen, and the sooner it happens the sooner the lesson is learned.
        Just hope there won’t bee too many casualties in the process.

  7. I think this is the exact sort of thing that Vimeo is trying to muscle in on and capitalize on, except of course that it’s only a matter of time before they have their own arbitrary community standards.

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