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YouTube takes down giraffe birth for nudity

Commentary: A New York state animal adventure park says its giraffe baby birth was flagged for sexual content.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


April is expecting. The world awaits.

Animal Adventure Park/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

So this, children, is how animals have babies.

No! No! Don't show that! It's dirty!

This was the sequence of events on Wednesday night when the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York began to livestream what was scheduled to be a giraffe birth on YouTube.

It was supposed to be educational. It seems that someone -- or some machine -- at YouTube didn't agree. The livestream was taken down, before April the giraffe had given birth.

The park's Facebook page reported that the "live giraffe cam" saw as many as 30 million views in about 12 hours. This online popularity, however, may have brought with it opposing factions.

"There's a handful of extremists and animal rights activists that may not agree with us," he wrote, adding they had "unfortunately reported our YouTube cam as a sexually or nude content."

The park didn't immediately respond to a request for information as to how it knows the complaints were made by extremists. YouTube, however, acknowledged it had taken the livestream down.

"With the massive volume of content on our site -- 400 hours uploaded every minute -- sometimes we make the wrong call," a YouTube spokesman told me. "When it's brought to our attention that content has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it."

And so the livestream is again up and running.

That's fortunate because at the time of this writing, 15-year-old April still hasn't given birth.

One can only hope that the media controversy hasn't affected her equilibrium.