Okay, internet, breathe easy. You can still watch your Recon videos on YouTube.
Recon is kind of like Grindr, but the conversations have more than one syllable and the sex is never vanilla. Bondage, WS, leather, latex, ABDL — you name it, Recon has it. They’ve also got a YouTube channel with a million views, and lots of saucy footage. There are interviews, promo shoots, ads for merch, and lots of man flesh.
But YouTube didn’t particularly care for that, and recently started taking the videos down with little to no explanation. The best that YouTube could offer: “YouTube isn’t the place for sexually provocative content.” Wait, what? What a weird policy, since obviously there is tons of sexually provocative content on the site. Search for “breasts” and you’re off to the races.
In fact, heterosexual sexy videos seem to have no problem remaining up on YouTube. So what’s with the double standard? Recon just woke up one day to discover that not only had some of their videos been eliminated, but the entire channel had been taken down. Cue the massive freakout from the internet’s normally-happy fetish community.
And then Buzzfeed came to the rescue. One day after the site started poking around and contacting PR people, YouTube admitted, “sometimes we make the wrong call.” Hooray! The internet is saved!
Recon is now back up, though now with some age restrictions in place.
Here’s one of the videos that was taken down only to be reinstated. Is it provocative? Maybe, a little. Is it inappropriate? Not in the slightest:
In an email from YouTube, the company was told: “After further review, we’ve determined that while your video does not violate our Community Guidelines, it may not be appropriate for a general audience. We have therefore age-restricted your video. This does not negatively impact your account standing.”
But while their account standing my be intact, those aforementioned million views remain lost at sea.
A Recon spokesperson told Buzzfeed: “we are disappointed that our total channel views in excess of 1 million have been removed. This obviously puts restrictions on our content being more widely seen by the YouTube community. A lot of time and effort was put into building our presence as it can be difficult to reach the likeminded people who most connect with what we do.”
And it’s still kind of unclear what sort of content YouTube is willing to tolerate when it comes to sexuality. Hopefully there can be some guidance in the future, though if we’ve learned anything about internet media gatekeepers, it’s that their policies seem to change with the wind.