Tuesday 14 January 2014

The Streisand Effect and Autotec Scotland

I recently had a bit of a close shave with a breakdown truck on my way home, and as I often do in situations like that, I posted a video. As the incident occurred with a commercially owned vehicle I also contacted the company in question, asking that they watch the video and ensure that their drivers be more considerate of cyclists in the future.

I never had any response back from them.

Usually if I have contacted a company and they haven't got back to me, I'll send a chaser e-mail, but I usually leave some time before I do that. On this occasion whilst waiting between these e-mails I received a message via YouTube.

The YouTube Community has flagged one or more of your videos as inappropriate. Once a video is flagged, it is reviewed by the YouTube Team against our Community Guidelines. Upon review, we have determined that the following video(s) contain content in violation of these guidelines, and have been disabled:
Self Doubt (Autotec Scotland - YX60FAU)

It would appear that either the driver, or the company (Autotec Scotland) requested that the video be removed as they felt my video was inappropriate. Hmm. The problem is that YouTube, in their wisdom do not tell you which guideline you have broken, so you are left in the dark.You can find YouTube's terms of use, here.

Hmmm. Can't see anything I broke there.

Looking specifically at the community guidelines, again, I can't see how the video could be deemed inappropriate. There is no pornography, animal abuse or bomb making. No acts of violence. I have copyright of the video, I have not said anything hateful, and I have not collected any personal information.....oh that is of course, assuming that the chaps face isn't counted as personal information.


So the only possible thing that the video was removed for, was the fact that the drivers face was in view.


Yes, but it was in full public view and so was his poor driving. In fact, in this particular video the driver was apologetic. he actually came across ok, so why he or his company would want it removed is a mystery. I say he or his company, as I am still totally unaware if it was he or his company that removed the video. Anyway, the fact remains that in the UK there is no expectation of privacy in a public place, otherwise no-one could take photographs except in their own homes.

After the video was removed I contacted Autotec Scotland again and asked them why they had removed it. I asked was it them, or was it the driver? Once again, they have failed to reply. So I do not know who is trying to cover this up. What is certain, is that the companies lack of reply is indicative of their approach to road safety. It suggests that they don't care. I could be wrong of course, but without a reply telling me how they dealt with the incident, how sorry they are, and if and why they had the video removed, then I have to draw my own conclusions.

Can we see the video?

Ah, yes, that's a good question. Of course you can, just not on YouTube. Here it is.

Autotec Scotland - YX60FAU from David Brennan on Vimeo.

Unfortunately I don't have a paid Vimeo account, so this won't play on all players (it won't play on mobile phones for instance). So if you want to download the video, for any reason, here it is here.

Do you think this is an inappropriate video? Do you think the video should have been removed?


  1. It plays fine on mobile.

  2. I went to submit a complaint to YouTube, wondering why they had thought to remove your video. I was directed to look at the Legal Issues, where it says the following:

    "If a video contains your personal information without consent, including your image, name or national identification number, please contact us through our Privacy Complaint Process."

    What a shocking piece of driving, and what a miserable response from Autotec.

  3. That was either deliberate intimidation or shockingly careless, incompetent driving.

  4. I wonder how many times it will pop back up on Youtube :)
    I'm sure anyone searching for Autotec Scotland will be finding it fairly high in the seach responses soon.