Cockfight Video Censured by YouTube
As a part of my research on writing an article on Cockfighting in Honduras for Cafe Abroad Magazine I published a video of a cockfight on YouTube. For six months this video stood embedded on on the Song of the Open Road Travel Blog to illustrate to readers the reality of a cockfight. I just received an email from YouTube today stating that the video was disabled for a violation of the community guidelines.
My seemingly benign anthropological research was deemed offensive enough by YouTube to be censured.
To read the article go to, Of Cocks and Men: Notes on a Honduran Cockfight
or read the blog post at
Email reply that I sent to YouTube:
The video was a part of an anthropological research project on Cockfighting in Honduras that accumulated in the publication of an article in Cafe Abroad InPrint.
In addition to publishing articles in numerous magazines I run a variety of travel related websites and use YouTube to show my videos. I link very often to your site. If my content is going to be edited for minor moral issues that are tantamount to someone’s personal opinion then I think that I may need to find another way to display my videos.
My video was of a cockfight. My job is to show the world as it it through writing, photos, and videos.
I cannot allow for my videos to be edited.
Please reinstate my Cockfight video.
It is not my impression that this video was offensive. The cockfight is a normal part of many cultures around the world. It never ceases to amaze me how people in western countries think that they own a standard of morality that should be imposed upon the entire planet. In Latin America, Spain, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, and many other large regions of planet earth the Cockfight is a community celebration; there is nothing inherently violent, offensive, or wrong about it. For YouTube to censure and delete a video of this celebration on moral grounds is to essential say that these culture are morally defunct.
This is ethnocentric.
My job is to show the world as it is. I try not to edit my work through a lens of western holier than thou mentality. If Cockfighting is a part of the cultures that I visit, then I will write about cockfighting. For YouTube to attempt to edit and stomp out certain major cultural practices on the planet is not only ignorant but culturally insensitive.
I do understand that YouTube is not my website and that they should have complete control of what content is displayed on their pages. But the fact remains that they offer a public service which thousands of people employ, and that deeming the cultural practices of some of these people as being morally superior to others is incredulously 19th century. I must remember here how many cultures have been wiped off of the planet through the moral spring-cleaning of dominant societies.
The cockfight video that I published showed no pornography, no profanity, and nothing that can pan-culturally be called violent. I only showed a video of a cultural practice that the Honduran people have been engaging in for hundreds of years.
In a world in which the long honed traditions of minority cultures are rapidly disappearing it is a slap in the face for my documentation – my attempt at cultural preservation – to be censured.
This is how cultures and traditions disappear.
Links to previous travelogue entries:
- Wisdom of China
- Enlightenment at Ryoanji Rock Garden
- Bicycle Luke in Istanbul Turkey
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