After media coverage and numerous protests for removing a pro-life video report critical of a Planned Parenthood advertisement, the video-sharing site YouTube.com has apologized and restored the video to its site.
In its apology, YouTube blamed the video’s removal on a “technical malfunction.”
The video in question criticized Planned Parenthood’s “Mile High” advertisement that used an airplane setting to encourage recreational sex and contraceptive use. The American Life League (ALL) video displayed clips of the risqué advertisement, which is also posted on YouTube.
On Monday morning, the ALL received an e-mail from YouTube saying their video had been removed. "After being flagged by members of the YouTube community and reviewed by YouTube staff, the video below has been removed due to its inappropriate nature," the e-mail said.
Michael Hichborn, the director of media relations for ALL, told Catholic News Agency that more than 64 news sources and weblogs covered the banning, including Yahoo News, EWTN, News Busters, and the Inside Catholic blog.
"Once word got out that YouTube had allowed the Planned Parenthood ads our report was based on to remain on their site, while at the same time censoring our report, a flurry of e-mails, blog posts, and complaints from the pro-life community pressured YouTube into reversing their decision," said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League.
Three days after the video was banned, the American Life League received a second e-mail that read:
"This email is to inform you that a video was recently removed from your account due to a technical malfunction. The issue has since been remedied and we appologize[sic] for any inconvenience or distress this may have caused. The following video(s) have been reinstated and your account has not been penalized."
According to the YouTube user guide, flagged videos are not automatically taken down by the web site. “If we remove your video after reviewing it, you can assume that we removed it purposefully, and you should take our warning notification seriously,” it reads.
Sedlak welcomed YouTube’s restoration of the video to the site, saying, “We are pleased that YouTube has reversed their decision to remove our video. Our ALL News Report was neither objectionable nor inappropriate. While it is unfortunate that YouTube chose this tactic in the first place, it is encouraging to note that they corrected their poor decision in a timely fashion.”