YouTube Pulls Apple Employee Video for “Depicting Harmful Activities”[UPDT]

[Update: YouTube has restored the video, and it is once again viewable. Note that neither YouTube nor It Gets Better responded to our request for comment. Readers in the comments below noted that videos automatically get pulled on YouTube if enough complaints are registered, where it is then reviewed by YouTube staff. Whatever the case, it is once against available. - Editor]

YouTube has pulled a video made by Apple employees for the “It Gets Better” project, replacing it with a still image that said the video violated “YouTube’s policy on depiction of harmful activities.” The video included testimonials and stories from gay, lesbian, and transgender Apple employees with the theme that though they were bullied when they were young, things got better, which is what the It Gets Better project is about.

It’s not yet clear how the stories told in the video violate YouTube’s policies on depicting harmful activities. YouTube’s community guideline tips offer some very general suggestions on the kinds of videos that might be rejected, including categories labeled “Sex and Nudity,” “Hate Speech,” “Shocking and Disgusting,” “Dangerous Illegal Acts,” “Children,” “Copyright,” “Privacy,” “Harrassment,” “Impersonation,” and “Threats.”

Those categories don’t, however, offer many specifics on what its users can and can’t post. In that way, they’re similar to Apple’s own App Store approval guidelines.

The video made by Apple employees is similar to many other videos that It Gets Better has posted to YouTube, and a random check of on the project’s video page didn’t find any other videos that have been pulled.

One difference between the Apple employee video and some of the others we watched, however, is that the Apple employee video includes detailed stories of harassment perpetrated upon them in their youth, as well as accounts of contemplated and attempted suicide. It could be that those accounts caused this video to be pulled.

As it is, neither YouTube nor It Gets Better has yet responsded to our request for comment.

YouTube Policy Violation Still

The still image on shown on any third party site that had embedded the video

YouTube Policy Violation Still

The still on YouTube’s own site. The blue text is a link to YouTube’s guidelines on what it’s permissibile to post.