After a controversial campaign in which the Warwick Rowers “bared all” in the name of fundraising, YouTube banned the team from using the video-sharing platform.
The Rowers posed naked for the campaign shots, just barely obscuring their private parts. They were banned on the offense of pornography, even though the purpose of their effort was to raise money for LGBT equality.
“The Warwick Rowers have been banned for YouTube despite achieving worldwide recognition after fundraising for equality,” PinkNews reported. “The naked athletes have been long standing supportive figures for the LGBT community.”
The Warwick Rowers won the PinkNews Community Group of the Year Award in 2014.
YouTube's decision to ban the Rowers followed a similar decision by Google Checkout — Google’s payment processing service — which also banned the team from using the service based on pornographic grounds.
“Several years ago, the plucky Warwick Rowers were thrown off Google Checkout’s payment processing service without notice — a decision that was upheld on appeal, on the grounds that the Warwick Rowers are pornographers,” Angus Malcom, photographer for the Rowers, said in a statement. “Today, in a similar vein, YouTube has decided that the rowers’ public awareness campaign aimed at promoting greater tolerance among young people is unsuitable for, uh, young people. Way to go, Google!”
The Warwick Rowers’ video campaign is no longer available on YouTube, but can be viewed here.