Noodelation Controversy

Within 24 hours of creating a Noodelation YouTube account and uploading six demonstration videos, an anonymous YouTube user flagged one of the videos, and YouTube removed the video stating that the content violated their "Community Guidelines" standards. Such decisions can be appealed. YouTube gives users a very short one line text box within which to write an appeal. Normally internet forms will have a larger "text area" for writing a paragraph or more of text in a submission form. Users can write or paste in a longer comment into YouTube's appeal text box, but it is difficult to compose a paragraph in a one-line text box, and from a web design point of view, we conclude that YouTube does not want to read a lengthy appeal. Nonetheless, we felt our case required at least one paragraph. We sent the following text:

Our massage video was removed for a "sexual content violation." The entire purpose of the video and accompanying philosophy is to reduce a sexual association from gluteal massage. There is no nudity, and the issues involved are intended to enlighten people about societal inhibition, in a humorous manner. It is sadly ironic that the concept in our video has been directly endorsed by Paul Krassner (see his comments in the video's "info"), and that Paul Krassner is one of America's most famous activists known for challenging content censorship in the media. We believe suppression of this content establishes an inappropriate level of censorship. A website and book have been published on the concept, in an effort to broaden the public's thinking on inhibition, and the benefits of addressing gluteal tension. We believe the censors at YouTube should look more deeply into the subject. Please see the Noodelation website:, for more information. We would be happy to send you a copy of the book.

The "YouTube Team" responded by denying our appeal.

Here is their response:

Dear Noodelation,

Thank you for submitting your video appeal to YouTube.

After further review of the content, we've determined that your video does violate our Community Guidelines and have upheld our original decision. We appreciate your understanding.


— The YouTube Team

Within that one day that the videos were available, we did a Google search for "Noodelation" and discovered several massage and yoga websites had already embedded one or more of our videos on their websites. This was an indication to us that our intention was understood by others on the internet.

We then received another email from The YouTube Team notifying us that our Noodelation account had been discontinued.

Hi noodelation,

Thanks for your email. Your "noodelation" account has been found to have
violated our Community Guidelines. Your account has now been terminated.
Please be aware that you are prohibited from accessing, possessing or
creating any other YouTube accounts.

Penalty 1:
"Noodelation - Client: Female #2" formerly at
Removed for violating our Terms of Use on 12/19/2010.
Please see and

YouTube staff review flagged videos 24 hours a day, seven days a week to
determine whether they violate our Community Guidelines. When a video or
account is brought to our attention we investigate and take action if

We are unable to provide specific detail regarding your account suspension
or your video's removal. For more information on our what we consider
inappropriate content or conduct while using YouTube, please visit our
Community Guidelines and Tips at and our Help Center article


The YouTube Team

Original Message Follows:

AutoDetectedBrowser: Firefox 3
AutoDetectedOS: Intel Macintosh OS X
IssueType: suspended
Language: en
Username: noodelation
field_with_p_value: youtube

We found the notation at the end of the email indicating that YouTube was aware of our Browser and Computer Operating System an odd addition to the email. We leave it up to readers to make their own assumptions as to why that information was included.

When navigating to our now disabled Noodelation YouTube account, we found a link that allowed us to submit another email to The YouTube Team. YouTube is the main conduit of non-corporate video content on the internet, and our desire to promote the concept of Noodelation has suffered greatly by The YouTube Team's censorship decision.

Our thinking on the subject became the subject of the following letter to The YouTube Team, as of yet unanswered.

Hi YouTube Team,

Thanks for getting back to me. I have read the pages you note in your letter, and I am really trying to understand why you have determined that our videos fall into one of the unacceptable categories. I am completely serious about this, and in no way am trying to excuse unacceptable actions. I have no intention of creating another YouTube account in an attempt to escape your due diligence in what I am sure is a challenging struggle over defending community standards. In fact, I very strongly feel that the simulated sex common on television and other media, particularly music videos, and horrendous violence in movies and computer games is symptomatic of a society in desperate need of better examples, and an open and honest examination of proper boundaries.

You say our videos were flagged for inappropriate sexual context. I understand the concept, however in your description you mention "intention" as part of the criteria, and that videos may not be gratuitously graphic. We have been working intently for the past year with massage therapists, and with a relatively new school of therapy that comes out of Mumbai, India called Laughter Yoga, or Laughter Therapy. We have combined these two fields in what has been heralded by practitioners in both professions as an innovative and useful new modality - what we have called "noodelation," purposely applying a humorous appellation in order to help to diffuse repressed fears. We certainly have no intention to excite any kind of sexual response, and in fact, the book we have just published warns at length about the dangers of any kind of unprofessional conduct in this new massage technique. We have interviewed many massage professionals who have assured us that therapists across America continually encounter difficulties in applying gluteal massage precisely because the public is too inexperienced with the technique, largely because our history of Puritan ethics and sexual repression causes clients to overreact to any touching of the gluteal muscles. Therapist after therapist has described this as a tragedy because of the importance of gluteal muscles in all aspects of movement and posture, and the amount of tension stored in those muscles that is seldom addressed. We are striving, in our humble way, to help overcome that fear and psychological programming.

My initial reaction to your determination that our videos are offensive inspired an incredulous disbelief on my part, and I apologize if I appeared overzealous in my claim that we are in some way on the same level as the heroic efforts of free speech activists like Paul Krassner, who decades ago, through what at the time appeared to be offensive actions, paved the way for much of the freedoms of speech we today take for granted. In presenting our new technique, we were honored to have Paul endorse our efforts, but no less than the professional therapists who assisted in guiding our research. I will include a Wikipedia entry about Paul written by Kurt Vonnegut that profoundly describes one of his early experiences.

I have seen a lot of videos on YouTube. I have seen videos that seem extremely sexually suggestive. I have seen teens and young adults acting extremely irresponsibly in many fashions, on drugs, in vehicles, at parties, etc. I have seen adults delighting in killing as sport. I have listened to political and religious dogma that appears to me to be far more offensive than even the crude sexual behavior that appears nearly non-stop on MTV and other mainstream media outlets. I am distressed by much of this content, but I firmly believe, as a decades long supporter of the ACLU, that citizens have the right to express their extreme ideas within certain limits, but that responsibility for extreme behavior should never be ignored.

We are honestly trying to create positive change in our society. We recognize the power of well intended humor in this respect, and have no intention to cause harm through any kind of exploitation or gratuitous expression. Our videos are simple with detailed written explanations, as well as encouragement to read further about our new massage technique, and not simply think that the touching of the buttocks, in itself, is inherently improper. There are scholarly works that have described these issues in great detail, and those works are mostly ignored by a public that has become increasingly under-educated. It is sadly true that our society often needs to be entertained before it can begin to accept challenging new ideas. We are attempting to simultaneously entertain and educate. We could easily encode our videos ourselves for placement on our website, and avoid the use of YouTube, but we have a strong optimistic hope that social media can be used intelligently in examining all subjects, even those that may at first have an appearance of impropriety. Again, we believe intention is the key aspect of determining the social value of our videos. We could present the image of a bunny rabbit hopping through a garden, and some YouTube viewers would instantly get the idea that killing the bunny with a rifle is appropriate. We believe the images in any video can, and apparently will, bring out the worst reaction in some viewers. We believe the images in our videos may likely illicit equally offensive reactions, but only because we believe the values of some viewers have been so greatly lowered, and largely because they have not been educated to perceive these images in a better light. We believe you can not educate in the darkness, and some period of transition in presenting a new context will undoubtedly be challenging. We really like YouTube. We would really like to use YouTube to present our ideas. We hope that you can see that our intentions demonstrate that we have not violated your Community Guidelines. We admit we like to be irreverent, but not disrespectful.

Thank you for reconsidering your previous decision.


The Noodelation Team


YouTube Community Guidelines:
Most nudity is not allowed, particularly if it is in a sexual context. Generally if a video is intended to be sexually provocative, it is less likely to be acceptable for YouTube. There are exceptions for some educational, documentary, scientific, and artistic content, but only if that is the sole purpose of the video and it is not gratuitously graphic. For example, a documentary on breast cancer would be appropriate, but posting clips out of context from the documentary might not be.

Kurt Vonnegut on Paul Krassner (from Wikipedia):
In 1963, he created what Kurt Vonnegut described as "a miracle of compressed intelligence nearly as admirable for potent simplicity, in my opinion, as Einstein's e=mc2." Vonnegut explained: "With the Vietnam War going on, and with its critics discounted and scorned by the government and the mass media, Krassner put on sale a red, white and blue poster that said FUCK COMMUNISM. At the beginning of the 1960s, FUCK was believed to be so full of bad magic as to be unprintable. [...] By having FUCK and COMMUNISM fight it out in a single sentence, Krassner wasn't merely being funny as heck. He was demonstrating how preposterous it was for so many people to be responding to both words with such cockamamie Pavlovian fear and alarm."


When that letter remained unanswered, we sent them another letter, further stating our case, and asking them why a video that seemed to us could be easily called "gratuitously graphic" was allowed to stay on YouTube, while our videos were not. The video we noted was a parody sex video of Sarah Palin: which had been on YouTube since October 01, 2008, and at the time we looked, had been seen by 3,083,283 viewers. We don't think this video should be censored, even though we think it's pretty dumb. We just note that there is a lot on YouTube of questionable value, and we wonder about who is doing the questioning.

YouTube apparently responded to this letter by changing the notice that appeared on the first of our videos they censored. If you were to go to a website where that video is still embedded and clicked on the video, you would now see this notice:

The above is only a picture of the original embedded video.

We wonder why, only after our repeated attempts to resolve our dispute, they chose to make this spurious accusation against us. We would like to assume that YouTube has simply made a mistake. We would still like YouTube to reply, and reinstate our account.

So far, that hasn't happened.

Noo-del oo-del oo-del oo-del, oo-del oo-del oo-del oo-del

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