Has YouTube Had a Change of Heart on This Animal Cruelty Video Ban?

    May 2, 2011
    Chris Crum

Update 2: Vimeo gave us the following statement:

Vimeo cares deeply about the issue of animal cruelty and has specifically banned content that contains “gratuitous animal cruelty.” We removed this particular video because of its depiction of excessive violence against animals. While we understand that the point of the video is to protest cruel practices against cattle and we are sympathetic to that cause, it nonetheless violates our Terms of Service.

Update: YouTube tells WebProNews that it does not comment on specific videos, but did give us the following statement:

With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call. When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it.

A spokesperson for Mercy for Animals tells us, “Nathan [Runkle – Executive Director} says that it appears that YouTube is once again hosting the video, while it appears Vimeo has removed it. They will be communicating with Vimeo, as they did with YouTube, urging them to repost the video.”

The other day, we reported that YouTube had banned an animal cruelty investigation video put together by the group Mercy for Animals. The video shows disturbing hidden camera footage of calves being mistreated by workers of the Texas-based E6 Cattle Company.

In the article, we had included an embed from YouTube competitor Vimeo, which had not blocked the video, though the tides appear to have turned now. The Vimeo embed now says, “Sorry…this video does not exist”.

Vimeo Video Pulled?

Meanwhile, the video is up now on YouTube, and it is hosted on Mercy For Animals’ own YouTube channel. Warning: It does contain disturbing content.

It comes with the following disclaimer from YouTube, which appears before the video is able to be viewed from the site:

This content may contain material flagged by YouTube’s user community that may be inappropriate for some users.

To view this video or group, please verify you are 18 or older by signing in or signing up. If you would instead prefer to avoid potentially inappropriate content, consider activating YouTube’s Safety Mode.

It’s worth noting, that if you do a search for “no mercy calf farm” on YouTube, the top result is the video described above, and the second result is the same video posted by a different user, with no disclaimer or mandatory sign-in.

Video in YouTube Search Results

We’ve contacted Mercy for Animals, YouTube, and Vimeo about the whole thing, and will update as we get new word. So far, Vimeo has been the only one to respond, simply asking for the broken link so that they can “investigate from there”.

As far as I can tell, Mercy for Animals has not censored the video in any way to get it back on YouTube.


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.