Why Is YouTube Censoring David Bowie’s SFW New Music Video?

Why Is YouTube Censoring David Bowie’s SFW New Music Video?

Here we go again. After Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” video was pulled from YouTube last month, David Bowie’s latest video from his new album “The Next Day” has been pulled from YouTube for violating the site’s Terms of Service as pointed out by Billboard. But it’s unclear why.

While watching the video for the album’s title track, it’s hard to tell what exactly the video is violating. Unlike Thicke’s video, there’s no blatant nudity save for a couple nipple tassels, some pretty mild gyrating and, of course, a case of stigmata. In the instance of Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” fiasco, both the original and Vevo uploads were pulled from YouTube for violating community guidelines.

But while the official upload of “The Next Day” has been yanked fromYouTube altogether, the Vevo upload has been put behind an age gate. That the same video has gotten two different treatments is just really weird.

The process by which videos are taken down from YouTube or put behind an age gate goes a little something like this: Once a video has been flagged (for any number of reasons), a team of humans at YouTube determine whether or not the issue is in violation of the site’s community guidelines. If it isn’t, then the video stays up. If it is, then it’s either taken down or put behind an age gate. [clear]

As noted last month, it appeared as though the same video could not be tried for the same violation twice ala double jeopardy. Except that doesn’t appear to be true now. Sigur Rós’ “Fjögur píanó was initially put behind an age gate and sometime after our original story published, it had been pulled down. Will the same happen for the Vevo upload of “The Next Day”? Absolutely.

Again, it’s particularly hard to understand what Bowie’s video is in violation of: Is it nudity or just disgusting? It’s not even sexually explicit, unless you’re turned on by squirting blood, self mutilation and/or religious role playing. There actually isn’t even any nudity at all.

We’ve reached out to YouTube for comment.