Last month, American rapper Mykki Blanco shared the music video for "Loner." The steamy visual, a collaboration with pornography website PornHub, was taken down by YouTube earlier today for its sexual content, PAPER Magazine reports.
The video shows a group of people, all immersed in their own virtual reality porn experience. Though commenters who voiced their dislike of the video are unspecific in their complaints, a screenshot sent by Blanco's manager to Blanco indicates that the ban has something to do with one specific moment in the video, when the image of a man's (covered) bulge is present for a fraction of a second.
As the article notes, YouTube operates on a user-driven flag system, which means that users can flag a video they feel violates YouTube's Community Guidelines. YouTube notes that videos aren't automatically taken down once flagged, though staff review flagged videos and determine if the video will remain on the site.
YouTube's Nudity and Sexual Content section of the Guidelines states: "If a video is intended to be sexually provocative, it is less likely to be acceptable for YouTube." They specifically prohibit "sexually explicit content like pornography," though will allow nudity and sexual content if it's primarily for "educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic" reasons and isn't "gratuitously" graphic. They also state that videos that contain sexual content but don't "cross the line" will simply have an age-restriction applied, and "videos featuring individuals in minimal or revealing clothing may also be age-restricted if they're intended to be sexually provocative, but don't show explicit content."
Blanco speculated that the video was removed due to its display of queer sexuality. "This is not a penis or an exposed scrotum, it's a bulge… Why is this policed but not cleavage or ass?" Blanco wrote on Twitter. "Our society grants hetero privilege to parade overly sexualized images of women for a cis male gaze yet Queer imagery is policed, demeaned…"
The video has since been reinstated with an age-restriction "This has confused all parties who worked tirelessly to create the video from the producer to the team of directors who are both Queer," Blanco wrote on Twitter. "I am deeply saddened that YouTube have engaged in this kind of homophobic double standard censorship."
Watch "Loner" below.