YouTube Age-gates Offensive Video; More Steps May Follow

On October 15, Catholic League president Bill Donohue spoke with an official from YouTube’s headquarters about his news release of October 7 objecting to 40-plus videos depicting the desecration of the Eucharist. He explains what happened today:

“The conversation I had was productive, and the official with whom I spoke was reasonable and professional. She fully understood the gravity of our concerns and admitted that many Catholics have contacted YouTube registering their outrage. Here is where we’re at.

“The videos, posted by a young man, Dominique (he goes by ‘fsmdude’), have been ‘age-gated.’ What this means is that the videos are not available to the general public-age confirmation is required. Moreover, the viewer is informed that the material may not be appropriate. The YouTube official stressed that this was a ‘preliminary step,’ part of an ongoing review process. In other words, they are taking the complaints made by the Catholic League seriously, and may yet decide to implement stronger strictures.

“In the course of the conversation, I made it clear that we do not object to making fun of Catholics, or for that matter Catholic beliefs and practices, just so long as they are made in good taste. Nor do we object to those who might vigorously reject the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. What we object to are situations where it is obvious that the whole purpose of the communication is to deliberately insult Catholics. It is one thing for an avowed atheist to lecture Catholics about their beliefs, quite another for someone to throw the Eucharist down the toilet, put it in a blender, etc. The latter represents malice, having nothing to do with discourse.

“As part of the Catholic League response to this issue, we are posting a video on YouTube that further explains our position. We appreciate the seriousness that YouTube has shown to our concerns and hope they conclude that these videos violate their guidelines.”

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  • momof11

    I don’t understand how you can check someone’s age online. Any second or third grader is able to do the math to figure out what year you need to be born to be 18 or 21. And Privacy act would bar being able to check online records of birth, etc…. SO an age-gate helps how?

  • Lucky Mom of 7

    Mom of four more than me– 🙂

    I for one don’t have a membership on youtube. It’s really just a convenience thing. I don’t want to take the time to register, nor do I want to share my information with youtube. For that reason I can’t access age-gated material. I’d need a membership.

    The net result is that these offensive videos aren’t readily available to anybody who’s just on youtube browsing. I would venture to guess that most of youtube’s users don’t have memberships. You’re presumably correct that anybody could falsify a membership and access the videos. However, getting the videos age-gated is significant progress.


  • c-kingsley

    “The Onion”, a comic, spoof “news” site, had a hilarious article about the first time that someone EVER clicked the “I am under 18” button. Enjoy it:

  • James

    My friends clued me in, and we have been flagging these videos. Thanks to Mr. Donahue and YouTube, this inquiry is taking place and the age-gate has been placed. YouTube is a great resource for free communication. It adds to the diversity of discourse. Obviously, that discourse must be respectful if it will be of any use.