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Open Letter to YouTube

Stop it! What are you doing? What is all this censoring of birth videos and docuvideos about birth?


YouTube has been a leader in so many respects; what is happening now? Those of us who work in birth, advocate for civilized birth, crave natural birth information have (happily!) turned to YouTube for a validation of our unconventional ideas. To be able to fire up our computers and log-on to your wonderful site and see our birthing sisters around the world has been a welcome ritual for millions of women everywhere. Whereas most in our computerized culture never see another baby being born until we have our own, YouTube gave women a window into one of the most basic and universal experiences on earth.


Yet, here I sit today, scratching my head about why several of my friends’ videos have been removed. They aren’t using copyrighted songs, they aren’t showing pornography and they certainly are not showing horribly graphic violence. What they are showing is the beauty of a human being coming into this world. Sure, birth happens when a woman and baby are naked, but what is new about that? Has our culture become so vile that seeing any naked adult and child constitutes child pornography? Do images of a breastfeeding infant look like molestation?


Trying to contact anyone at YouTube for answers or to initiate dialog has been futile. Therefore I am writing on behalf of all my birthing friends, clients, sisters... midwives... families... and anyone hungry for information and knowledge about childbirth... please, please, PLEASE reconsider your censorship and re-instate the birth videos and the videos that discuss the wide range of pregnancy, birthing and postpartum experiences that occur all over the world. We need YouTube’s leadership in advocating free speech. Please be the leader we thought you were.

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Reader Comments (10)

Whoa, I didn't realize they were doing this! Ridiculous. Have they posted a policy change anywhere?

Thanks for the heads-up. YouTube has been a huge boon in the accessibility of examples of normal, natural births.

May 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

Bravo Barbara (clapping)!! Well said. Thank you.

May 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRosie

Oh man! Youtube helped to prepare my older kids (7 and 4) to watch the birth of their baby brother in Feb. (Not to mention providing hours of awe and entertainment for me!)

If you do find the proper contact person over there, will you post the info so that more people can write in?

May 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlpnmon

Whoa! I had to quickly go look and see if my birth video was still there! Thankfully it is. I can't believe they are removing videos again! Ugh! :(

May 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDawn

Dangit, Youtube! This really is madenning.

I wish there was something we could really DO about it... start our own birthing site? You could totally do that, Barb! It could be called "Birthtube". Go for it! :)

May 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRachel Clear

Ah, welcome to censorship American style.
The naked body!
Baby at a breast!
OMG ;)> what is our world coming to?

The people who own YouTube do not have any common sense. It's kids running those companies. They get one complaint from some religious fanatic and you have a full blown censorship campaign.

You Tube and Face book will never understand that photos of birth and breastfeeding are not promoting pornography.

May 16, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdewi

LOL at "Birthtube"....kind of appropriate, yes?

May 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

Good name!


My dh offers to set it up if someone thinks its a good idea!

Longtime reader & birth junkie

July 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDesiree

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November 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

I realize this is an old post, but have you tried Vimeo? Here is a link to their posting "rules" I believe anything you would post would fit well within the regulations.


It is also better quality video.

February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLexi

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