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Illuminating the Obscure
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  • Writer's pictureRejected Religion

Announcement - Moving Spotlight to Vimeo


Hi Friends,

Recently, the powers-at-be at YouTube have removed podcast content from my YouTube channel (E13 Pt.2 with Dr. Jonathon O'Donnell) and have given my channel a strike. Even though I did attempt to appeal the decision, I received the answer that the decision will be upheld and that the strike remains in place. I have also lost channel privileges because of this action. YouTube did not allow me to argue my case in writing when filing the appeal, but obviously allowed a bot to "review it again" as I received an answer to my appeal within 15 minutes (the interview is much longer than that). Due to this action, along with other issues that I have with my channel, such as frequent bogus copyright claims on music that I have created myself, as well as the growing issue of censoring particular "trigger" words, I have decided to no longer upload my podcast episodes to YouTube. Instead, I have created a new channel on Vimeo and will be uploading the 'Rejected Religion Spotlight' video interviews to this new channel. The content on the YouTube channel will remain as it is, but I will not be adding anything new from now on. Podcast episodes will still be provided as usual through my podcasting host platform, and you will still be able to access those as normal. I find the censorship culture, as it has been developing on YouTube, to be concerning. While YouTube accused me of uploading content that "promotes, glorifies, or incites acts of violence through harmful conspiracy theories which have been linked to direct threats or violent acts," they did not provide me with any examples of how I might have done this when they removed my content and gave me a strike. My content was giving a commentary or critique on current discourses as found in contemporary religious phenomena in the U.S.A., and did not promote, glorify, or incite any such threat or violent act whatsoever. Indeed, my guest Dr. Jonathon O'Donnell was sharing their research into certain conspiracy theories and the impact that such ideologies have on society. The fact that YouTube bots cannot distinguish a commentary/critique on a subject in its broader context (for educational purposes) is something I find disturbing, as there are actually numerous real examples of channels that do promote content that actually does go against YouTube's terms of service and community guidelines, yet these channels somehow remain on the platform.


My content falls under what YouTube cites as "exceptions" within their policies, as the content is educational in nature, discusses academic research regarding religion as found in political debates as well as particular figures involved in said debates. It is, as academic discourse, an explanation of the current situation and the critique on it. However, the YouTube "reviewers" (whatever or whomever they may be) did not agree. Therefore, I will be gradually uploading to Vimeo in the coming months, and hope that you will join me there. My thanks to you all for supporting my platform and the work that I am doing. Find me on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/user220298192

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