Welcome to the first entry in our new feature, CNET to the Rescue. In it, I'm going to look out for your rights as a consumer of technology, try to help you save money, keep advertisers honest, and in general do what I can to keep tech vendors from taking advantage of you. If you've got a consumer complaint, send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or join the CNET to the Rescue forum.
On March 3, Chris Christensen, author of the Amateur Traveler Web site, posted a worrisome entry on his blog: Did this video get me banned from YouTube... for life? He said three weeks ago all the video reports he'd posted to YouTube for embedding in his travel blog, plus his channel on YouTube itself, had been disabled. Three weeks after communicating with Google through what he thought were the proper channels, he finally received a terse response to his query that left him as confused as he was originally--and his 39 innocuous travel videos remained banned.
I've looked at Christensen's videos and see nothing untoward in them that would merit their removal from YouTube. On one video, he does discuss and show a topless beach, but even in that video there is no frontal nudity.
I've taken on this issue for CNET to the Rescue because it highlights things that need to change in the way Google polices the user-generated content that makes up YouTube. The good news is that after I talked with Google about this issue, the company said it would start the process of updating its appeals processes to prevent this confusion and hopefully to safeguard users like Christensen who rely on YouTube for their businesses. Also, I'm happy to report that YouTube finally put Christensen's videos back online. … Read more