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Cockfight Video Censured by YouTube

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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

At the Cockfight

Cockfight in Honduras Photographs

————–
Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Upstate New York, USA- September 22, 2008
Travelogue Travel Photos
————–

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.

Thank You,

Wade Shepard

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

Cockfight Video Censured by YouTube
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Filed under: Central America, Honduras

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3054 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

Support Wade Shepard’s travels:

Wade Shepard is currently in: Cincinnati, Ohio, USAMap

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