Vaguely Dirty Video: OK On YouTube, Blip; Banned On Vimeo, Flickr

Nearly all online video sites (except those purpose-built for porn) have policies in place against uploading “adult” content. So what exactly qualifies as “adult”?

Based on Rachel Kramer Bussel’s experiences, that depends on what site you’re visiting.

Last week, the Penthouse Variations editor uploaded a promotional video for “Spanked“, an upcoming book of erotica she’s edited, to four different sites: Flickr (YHOO), Vimeo, Blip.TV, and YouTube (GOOG). The video is mildly racy, but there’s little in the way of naughty language. And unlike some of the advertiser-supported clips on Hulu, there’s nary a naked body in it.

It may be NSFW, but that depends on where you work. In Rachel’s mind this is clear cut: “I wanted the video to appeal to as many people as possible, I wasn’t making pornography.”

Two of the sites disagreed. Within two hours, she got a note from Flickr:

As per our Community Guidelines, “restricted” video content is not allowed on Flickr . We’ve removed your video.

Vimeo followed a few hours later:

Your video ‘Spanked: Red-Cheeked Erotica Book Trailer (1353209)’ has been removed from Vimeo because it violates our policies.

Vimeo does not allow porn, commercial videos, videos that incite hatred, or videos that you did not make yourself (“I have permission from the creator” does not count as making it).

But the video remains up at Blip.TV (Mission and principles: “We will not traffic in pornography”) and at YouTube (Community Guidelines: “YouTube is not for pornography or sexually explicit content”).

Bussel said she was expecting to get turned down by Flickr, which has a reputation for zealous enforcement of its anti-porn policy. But she was surprised by the takedown at Vimeo — since there are both book promotions and racy material at the site.

It’s tempting to draw conclusions about the more permissive posting policies at Blip and YouTube, but we’re not ready to draw those yet. For all we know, YouTube simply hasn’t gotten around to screening Rachel’s video yet. In any case, you can judge the clip for yourself here — and if you want more of that kind of stuff, you can stay clear of Vimeo and Flickr.

See also:
Meet YouPorn: The X-Rated YouTube
Why Dudes Love Hulu: Free Porn

Photo: Stacie Joy / Courtesy of Rachel Kramer Bussel

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