Thursday, May 28, 2009

ATTN Reviewers - Beware of Vimeo

Attn Sex Toy Reviewers:
Please carefully consider whether to continue to host your videos at Vimeo. Here are the emails I received/sent to Vimeo regarding my account:

Dear sxy chikadee:

Your account has been removed by the Vimeo Staff for violating the Rules of

Reason: Uploading videos that contain pornography or sexually explicit material.

We hope you find a video host more suited to your needs. If you believe this was an error, please reply to this email in a civil manner with your reasoning ("I see other people do it" is not a valid reason).

To which I promptly responded (in my oh-so-legal-mind way:

Dear Sir or Madam:

I uploaded 3 videos to Vimeo, 1 of which was simply a slide show of pictures of my eyes, the other 2 were of reviews of vibrators. There was absolutely NO pornography in any of the videos I uploaded.

The 2 vibrator review videos had technical language referring to female anatomy, but otherwise would have been rated PG by any third-party evaluator concerning the words used during the reviews. The 2 review videos did not show the vibrators being used on a person, animal or thing.

You state the reason my account was deleted was for "Uploading videos that contain pornography or sexually explicit material."

As of the moment I send this message, your guidelines state:
"No sexually illicit material or porn. Non-sexual nudity is okay."

I'll address both "explicit" and "illicit" as they are not the same thing.

1. Per your published guidelines: "No sexually illicit material"
The definition of "illicit", as provided by Merriam-Webster, is "unlawful". None of the material I uploaded was sexually unlawful in any manner, even in the ultra-conservative state of Tennessee in which I live.

2. Per your email to me "...contain...sexually explicit material"
The definitions of "explicit" as provided by Merriam-Webster:
1 a. fully revealed or expressed without vagueness, implication, or ambiguity leaving no question as to meaning or intent in the depiction of nudity or sexuality, explicit books and films
2 fully developed or formulated explicit notion of our objective
3 unambiguous in expression explicit on how we are to behave, defined by an expression containing only independent variable

I believe the definition you are searching to apply to my videos is "open in the depiction of nudity or sexuality". None of my videos had nudity of ANY kind, nor did they contain verbal or visual depictions of sexuality.

Although you said not to say "other people are doing it" - I find your particular censorship of MY videos somewhat amusing as a simple search for "sex toy reviews" on your site brings up 82 videos, most of which are even more "descriptive" than the videos I posted.

Seriously? I'm guessing you have some sort of automated system for these decisions, but maybe a person should actually LOOK at the videos before these actions are taken.

And they said:


I have reviewed your account and I agree that the videos you uploaded were not sexually explicit. However, it is apparent that you are both reviewing products from and featuring them as a sponsor on your blog, with an affiliate link, therefore these videos are commercial use, which is not allowed on Vimeo.

I have restored your account and the video of your eyes. You are welcome to upload reviews of products that you do not profit from.

Best wishes,
(Name of person - email me if you want it)
Community Director -

And I asked:

Just to clarify:

If I had not placed a link to my personal blog in the description those videos would NOT have been considered commercials?

The reason I ask is because I do see many sex toy reviewers using Vimeo and listing their personal blogs within the video (as part of the credits, etc.), but not within the written description. All of those bloggers have affiliate banners for various companies on their personal blogs.

The response:

Vimeo is for noncommercial use only, so you may not use your videos in a commercial manner. Posting reviews of products that you make money from as an affiliate is commercial activity. Do not base your use of Vimeo on other users who may be breaking the rules themselves. We have a small staff, over 1.5 million users, and we address as many policy violations as time allows.
Best wishes,
(Same Name of person)
Community Director -

I actually can understand the reasoning to some extent, but really? First my material is too "explicit", and then when I pointed out it isn't, it's too "commercial"??

I only have ONE affiliate link on this blog at this time. For those of you that have more than one and multiple Vimeo uploads: watch out.

Thoughts on where to go next. Youtube maybe?


Carrie Ann

Youtube actually deleted one of my videos - the one of the Boss, which is the only penis shaped toy I've video reviewed - along with a warning that next time they'll delete my account.

Vimeo, however, still has it up as of right now.

Go figure.


Honestly, I think that they only called you on the commercial aspect because you called them on using their 'sexually explicit material' TOS. So they had to give you a reason, right? Also, I think it's BS to call affiliate links commercial because, then, wouldn't any site with advertisement be considered commercial?

Essin' is what we used when I worked at EF :)

Horny Toads

Ugh! Thanks for posting about your troubles. This is why I haven't done any video reviews yet. Just too much BS. I'm with adriana though, wouldn't any site with advertisement be considered commercial? They seem to "flex" the rules to their benefit frequently...

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