Justin Timberlake, YouTube and artistic nudity


It would appear as though the people who oversee YouTube caved. Long has the video viewing site had a strict “no nudity” policy but when Justin Timberlake’s new single Tunnel Vision was released, lo and behold the video is wall-to-wall nudity. Women in the altogether are neatly interspersed with shots of Timberlake singing.

… lo and behold the video is wall-to-wall nudity

What was YouTube to do? On the one hand there was the no skin policy while on the other a new video from a singer who draws millions of viewers to the site. Viewers who not only watch the music videos but also see the advertisement that plays before the main feature (at least they see six or seven seconds of the ad before being able to skip it). Ouch, talk about the horns of a dilemma!

…  in a decision reminiscent of the ruling in Chris de Burgh’s Patricia the Stripper

YouTube
YouTube

But then, in a decision reminiscent of the ruling in Chris de Burgh’s Patricia the Stripper, whereby charges of public nudity against the stripper are thrown out because Patricia was deemed to be “in her working clothes”,  YouTube played the “Art Card”. All of a sudden, with the fear of diminished visits lurking all about, it was determined that nudity, with a warning, was okay if it was done artfully! Phew … As a Google spokesperson put it to ABC News:

While our Guidelines generally prohibit nudity, we make exceptions when it is presented in an educational, documentary or artistic context, and take care to add appropriate warnings and age-restrictions.

The nude women in Timberlake’s video aren’t particularly educational nor is the video a documentary so that leaves artistic

The nude women in Timberlake’s video aren’t particularly educational nor is the video a documentary so that leaves artistic. What makes them so? The superimposing of various geometric designs on their bodies of course.

I guess it’s just the greed and hypocrisy that irk me

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no prude, folks can walk down the street nude as far as I’m concerned (by the way, isn’t it time we had another nude student protest in Montreal?), in fact I’ve had to watch Tunnel Vision several times just to make sure I’ve got the facts straight. The YouTube brain trust could have stuck by its guns without bothering me. I guess it’s just the greed and hypocrisy that irk me.

Change the policy all you want, but don’t try to hide behind art!

If  T&A are what you’re looking for, there’s no shortage of sites that can provide a full range of nudity. YouTube chose to steer clear of that niche, but with the potential for millions of hits and dollars they bent the rules a wee bit and called it art. Change the policy all you want, but don’t try to hide behind art!

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