Pollywogs Redux

Back in 2006, I posted a digitized copy of a 1950s Coast Guard hazing ritual on YouTube. In July 2008, the video suddenly became unavailable, with no reason given as to why, other than “Violation of terms of service.” I suspected that the video may have angered veterans who felt that the video depicted the military in an unflattering light, and that they had flagged it enough times that it was removed. I blogged about the takedown here.

A few nights ago, the Knight Digital Media Center (where I work) had as a guest speaker YouTube’s news manager Olivia Ma, who delivered a fantastic presentation. I took the opportunity to talk to her and try to find out what was behind the takedown, and whether anything could be done. In my view, the video was far more tame than tons of stuff on YouTube, and had historical/documentary relevance as well.

Ma took up the issue with her team and today let me know that the video had been reinstated, noting that it “qualified as EDSA (educational, documentary, scientific or artistic).”

While the version I put up on Vimeo in the interim is of higher quality, I’m happy to again be able to embed the YouTube version:

I’m now trying to learn what I can about any official appeals process for this kind of situation.

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