The luridly titled Midwest Teen Sex Show is a podcast aimed at young adults with the intent to educate. While the title may be salacious, the content is more or less tame, or at least as tame as can be expected from a non FCC-regulated sex-education program run by occasionally foul-tongued creators.
According to a report from Tilzy today, though, the show has been on the receiving end of a disproportionate amount of takedowns from the likes of MySpace, YouTube, and Facebook.
The ‘Fetishes‘ episode of MTSS was deleted on 12.28.08 by YouTube. KoldCast emailed YouTube and the company’s only response was a form letter that said the video was in violation of YouTube’s Community Guidelines. YouTube ignored additional inquiry.
Earlier last year, the same Fetishes’ episode was removed from MySpace after being viewed over 33,000 times. MySpace unilaterally deleted the video and provided no explanation as to why. Meanwhile, faux pornographer James Gunn and actual pornographersJenna Haze and Sasha Grey have active profiles.
The episode in question:
Even more puzzling was the removal of the 2,000+ member fan group on Facebook for the show.
On the one hand, the material is hard to monetize (even the show’s official site lists one of their sponsors as “brave”), and it’s understandable that large social networks might be reticent to host the content.
But the show is clearly well-intentioned as well as very clearly segmented in terms of the audience demographics. The deletions expose a fault in maintaining these large social networking destinations – most of the censorship is handled by algorithms, and as such they’re unable to make proper judgments that are obvious to humans, but confusing to machines.
There isn’t an easy answer here on how to solve the problem. It’s obviously not limited to one particular social network, and it’s doubtful it’s a conspiracy against the show itself.
It is, however, a weakness common to more than one destination social network, and something that ought to have rendered to it some thought on it’s solution.