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An editorial column from the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation

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701 South Country Club Drive, Jefferson City, MO 65102 · Voice (573) 893-1468 · Fax (573) 893-1855 · www.mofb.org

This column may also be used as an op/ed piece or letter to the editor.

YouTube ‘Protecting’ Our Youth

By Denny Banister

When I heard one of our Farm Bureau members created a video for YouTube showing their hog operation, I hurried online to watch it.  In spite of the ‘secretly taped videos of livestock abuse’ we see on television, I know the vast majority of farmers do not abuse their animals and I was anxious to see a positive story on livestock production.

So I went to YouTube and entered the title of the video, “Truth about Modern Pork Production,” and bingo – there it was ready to be clicked on to watch, but when I clicked on it instead of opening the video it made me verify I was 18 years old or older – if I were younger I could not watch it.

I thought it strange the video could contain anything objectionable for young viewers, so I verified I was over 18 (in spades) and started the video.  Just as I thought, there was no reason the video could not be viewed by all ages – it would receive a G rating in movie theaters, so why the age verification?

There were links to other videos alongside the selection I viewed, and several of them were not only detrimental to farmers, but showed unspeakable violence and cruelty – and guess what?  When I clicked on them, they opened without making me verify I was 18 or older.  I could watch all the animal abuse and brutality I wanted without any age requirement.

Reading the comments section on the farmer’s YouTube page, she responded to the strange requirement of age verification for viewing her video.  She said she contacted YouTube to see why her video was flagged as offensive, but was only told that “…members of the YouTube community deemed my video as having inappropriate content.”

Hmmm, a positive, truthful story depicting how animals are treated in a modern hog operation is considered inappropriate, but videos showing cruel mistreatment of animals are considered appropriate.  Something’s rotten in Denmark – and it’s not much better on YouTube.

One other thing I noticed – the links alongside the positive story about livestock production included some that were very negative to the industry.  The links alongside the stories negative to livestock production, however, were all negative to livestock production – there were no links at the time to “Truth about Modern Pork Production” or any other positive stories about livestock production.

Doesn’t it make you feel good to know our youth are being protected from hearing both sides of the story?

(30)

(Denny Banister, of Jefferson City, Mo., is the assistant director of public affairs for the Missouri Farm Bureau, the state’s largest farm organization.)

 
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First Posting 25-03-2010 06:51:39 RoyRogers59