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← YouTube has banned the James Randi Educational Foundation!?!?

YouTube has banned the James Randi Educational Foundation!?!? - Comments

dazzjazz's Avatar Comment 1 by dazzjazz

This is probably their usual knee-jerk reaction, and they'll reinstate JREF as soon as someone higher up checks it out properly. Much as Pat Condell was.

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 12:49:00 UTC | #341623

lozzer's Avatar Comment 2 by lozzer

(XTube? RedTube? No, I know…GodTube! (seriously, don't go to any of those, they're awful)).

I beg to differ!

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 12:54:00 UTC | #341625

JackR's Avatar Comment 3 by JackR

Insane. I would love to know their reason.

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 13:06:00 UTC | #341628

NewEnglandBob's Avatar Comment 4 by NewEnglandBob

Google video can be used

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 13:08:00 UTC | #341630

MikeStorm's Avatar Comment 5 by MikeStorm

I would like to know two things:

1. Why was the JREF youtube site suspended? (There might be a very valid reason, we just don't know it yet)

2. Why is the skeptic/atheist/freethinker community not asking the same question before running around screaming at youtube/google?

I find it very conspicuous that this quickly-made video is telling us we need to boycott or complain to youtube without any explanation. I thought the vast majority of us were supposed to be skeptics and reasonable people that don't run around half-cocked like this without a damn good explanation.

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 13:24:00 UTC | #341641

Dr. Strangegod's Avatar Comment 6 by Dr. Strangegod

...and the point goes to MikeStorm.

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 13:27:00 UTC | #341643

Rhysz's Avatar Comment 7 by Rhysz

Let's just get the word out people! Youtube, whatever flaws it may have, is our best bet for a global Vlog and we need to defend it. If Randi gets taken off, who's next? RDnet? PZMeyers? Thunderf00t? We need to make a stand and this is as good a place as any. Please join us in resisting creationist badgering, even if you don't care about youtube or James Randi, we need to draw a line in the sand against blocking free speech.


Mon, 30 Mar 2009 13:39:00 UTC | #341650

Riviera's Avatar Comment 8 by Riviera

MikeStorm is right. This smells like either one of:

1) An automatic false alarm triggered by many theist fanatics flagging JREF's videos as inappropriate.

2) An organized campaign to produce the effect of 1)

Either one should be reverted shortly.

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 13:40:00 UTC | #341652

Sean's Avatar Comment 10 by Sean

Yep, the sensible thing is to wait for information. This page will likely be the place to find it.

Seems that the JREF are investigating. Could be anything really. I believe DMCA takedown notices require content to be removed pretty sharpish. I saw another user who had this happen, and the onus was then on him to prove that he had legal permission to post his video.

In the meantime, his video was offline.

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 13:42:00 UTC | #341654

SpEcImEn128's Avatar Comment 9 by SpEcImEn128

Response to Comment #357836

Muhaha NewEnglandBob, youtube belongs to google video!

Shame on youtube...

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 13:42:00 UTC | #341653

bitbutter's Avatar Comment 11 by bitbutter

Although YouTube is well known for suspending accounts first and figuring out that there was no legitimate reason for suspending the account later, I agree with MikeStorm: let's hear the reason before the outpouring of outrage begins.

The JREF are looking into it themselves also. It's probably prudent to wait for more information from them at least.

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 13:44:00 UTC | #341655

rsharvey's Avatar Comment 12 by rsharvey

Does anyone know if the account that was banned actually belonged to James Randi?
The account which claims to be the official JREF youtube account goes by the name "the friendly skeptic" and is run by an intern at the JREF. Maybe it was suspended for being an imposter account?... Or if not maybe this contrary claim to officiality may be the source of the confusion

Edit: sorry I didn't check Randi's website. It is their account, but the counter claim could still be the source of confusion... or Youtube could actually just be a bunch of cowardly pricks! haha

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 13:49:00 UTC | #341657

Jamie Walton's Avatar Comment 13 by Jamie Walton

Yeah, I agree with the general consensus so far, wait for the reason before we go nuts. They did used to post a hell of a lot of videos from TV shows (chat shows, documentaries, etc) maybe a copyright owner took exception? Hard to believe it would be due to skeptical content since Google themselves have had Randi as a guest speaker on atgoogletalks.

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 13:51:00 UTC | #341658

Luthien's Avatar Comment 15 by Luthien

I'm starting to get a little tired of Myers screaming for boycotts of this and that. Yes, lets get less people buying science magazines, and stop using technology that allows people to instantly share ideas. That'll make the world a better place!

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 13:56:00 UTC | #341663

Sean's Avatar Comment 14 by Sean

The user account appears to be "JamesRandiFoundation"

It's really not hard to get a video taken down, or a user blocked. Depends on if you're willing to risk perjury.

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 13:56:00 UTC | #341662

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 16 by Cartomancer

I'll be looking for alternatives (XTube? RedTube? No, I know…GodTube! (seriously, don't go to any of those, they're awful)).
Am I going to have to look out for PZ Myers videos on my embarrassingly frequent visits to Boyztube now? Well, that'll be one less stop on my daily internet procrastination cycle at least...

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 13:57:00 UTC | #341664

decius's Avatar Comment 17 by decius

<!-- -->Look, Youtube has a history of allowing harassment against rationalists, siding with quacks and creotards, and caring for nothing that doesn't directly affect their profits.
Now they will eventually back-paddle, but the trend is pretty clear.

Time to punish them, if you ask me.

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 13:59:00 UTC | #341666

Ohnhai's Avatar Comment 18 by Ohnhai

I agree...

Wait for the FULL info to appear first...

Heck until i waddled over to the JREF site itself I was even skeptical if their account HAD been pulled.

That turns out to be true, so let's wait for JREF to come back with the reasons for the take down.

only then will we know if we have reason to spit the dummy...

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 14:01:00 UTC | #341667

zaardvark's Avatar Comment 19 by zaardvark

To everyone suggesting we remain calm and rational about this: NO. I say we flip out and start randomly torching heritage trees.



Okay, maybe it's best to give it a few hours.

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 14:08:00 UTC | #341669

MelM's Avatar Comment 20 by MelM

10. Comment #357860 by Sean,

I agree. I'll let them check. Meanwhile, I'll keep my keyboard dry.

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 14:10:00 UTC | #341670

Sean's Avatar Comment 21 by Sean

Time to punish them, if you ask me.

If this is indeed a DMCA take-down, and it's demonstrably false, the best thing US citizens can do is apply pressure for the claimant to face perjury charges. That's up to 5 years in a Federal prison.

That might make people less willing to abuse an already insanely poorly conceived law. I'm not aware of anyone having been charged with perjury in relation to a false claim.

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 14:11:00 UTC | #341671

rsharvey's Avatar Comment 22 by rsharvey

I'm not sure a shoddy audio file, (complete with low-res background image) from a random youtube user is the best way to get this issue noticed. To be honest it made me suspicious of the claim in the first place! A written note from PZ would have done a better job. Plus something tells me it won't catch on as a viral...

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 14:18:00 UTC | #341672

Rhysz's Avatar Comment 23 by Rhysz


I'll agree we're not sure what is going on, but why not make a mail and voice your concerns/questions? Are we so obsessesd with being right that we won't act untill we're sure, one way or another? I'm not asking that you people blame anybody, I'm just asking that you ask Google; "Why? What are the reasons?". "Let's just wait untill we have all the information " is a major piece of 'fence-sitting', either you ask a question or you don't. I think we can all agree that voicing a concern is not irrational even if the basis of that question turns out to be wrong.


Mon, 30 Mar 2009 14:35:00 UTC | #341678

Cluebot's Avatar Comment 24 by Cluebot

It's the official JREF channel that's been suspended, confirmed on the JREF website here:

Misuse of YouTube's feedback systems (e.g. flagging campaigns, false DMCA claims and rating 'bots) to suppress contentious opinions is sadly a common occurrence, though this has to be one of the most respectable and high profile victims yet.

I say we should not place all - or even most - of the blame on YouTube, though. They're the one group of people we need on our side to get the misuse issues fixed, and we can both benefit from achieving that goal. No, blame the jerks who are gaming YouTube's system to remove that annoying cognitive dissonance from their little fantasy world. I doubt any of them ever thought of the trouble they cause for YouTube's staff when they indulge in this pathetic activity.

I suspect their chilling effects go much further than the victims who are silenced. YouTube's community moderators must surely be in despair for having to arbitrate over this nonsense; I can easily imagine all such content pushed out of public view simply because the chaos created by these malcontents is too costly to control.

Don't boycott YouTube. Help it become a better place for us. For a start, we need to persuade them that something as subjective as personal offence is an unworkable criterion for censorship. Just getting that established will help cut through a lot of the unwarranted flagging.

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 14:39:00 UTC | #341680

decius's Avatar Comment 25 by decius

Comment #357886 by Cluebot

YouTube's community moderators must surely be in despair for having to arbitrate over this nonsense;

Not a chance.
Check those links I posted, they are from reputable long-term youtube broadcasters who have been unjustly penalised in many ways and are familiar with the system.

Also, after many years that the system has been thus abused, anybody with half a brain would have worked out a solution that could prevent this sort of outcomes, IF they wanted to.

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 14:44:00 UTC | #341681

Dean's Avatar Comment 26 by Dean

Does anyone know how we can contact Youtube to register a complaint about the removal of the videos?

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 14:55:00 UTC | #341683

Cluebot's Avatar Comment 27 by Cluebot

Re: Comment #357887 by decius
Decius, I think you're rather missing my point: The abusers' unreasonable behaviour may be forcing the moderators to be unreasonable just to process all the reports (which, I'll remind you, is the job they're being paid for.)

I'm saying let's not get confused about who the real enemy is, and who you need as an ally to defeat them. Above I've made one proposal that might help make this a reality.

If, as you claim, anyone with "half a brain" could've solved this mess by now, let's hear your solution, in sufficient detail to implement.

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 15:06:00 UTC | #341687

decius's Avatar Comment 28 by decius

Comment #357893 by Cluebot

There's direct evidence that the administrators don't care about some abuse (for instance abuse carried out by creationist votebots), as detailed by Thunderf00t in the links I provided, which I suppose you haven't been watching.
There is also indirect evidence that they aren't concerned about solving the issue of abuse of DMCA takedowns, for it has been allowed to go on for years unabated.

I'm not a server administrator and it isn't for me to find a solution or to do their effing job, I was merely stating facts.
However, if you want me to state the glaringly obvious, then they should arbitrate litigations and look into claims BEFORE taking down anyone's channel in such a punishing and high-handed way.

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 15:17:00 UTC | #341694

Rhysz's Avatar Comment 29 by Rhysz

@ #26
The vid should make it clear, godspeed.


Mon, 30 Mar 2009 15:19:00 UTC | #341695

Cluebot's Avatar Comment 30 by Cluebot

Re: Comment #357900 by decius
Decius, FYI I have all Thunderf00t's videos saved to disk for referral and have long been doing so; please stop pretending you know anything about me.

For the last time, I am speculating about the reason for the moderators' behaviour and how we should act accordingly. I am not disputing that they make disingenuous or inapt decisions and in fact have stated that they do. For goodness' sake, stop erecting a straw man in my place.

Mon, 30 Mar 2009 15:27:00 UTC | #341697