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May 9, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Internet is often thought of as an anarchic medium where content can be created and presented without restriction. That may well be the way David Bowie viewed it — before his latest music video, “The Next Day,” which also features Marion Cotillard and Gary Oldman, was yanked off YouTube on Wednesday. Bowie fans found in its place a screenshot saying that the video had been removed because it violated YouTube’s terms of service. Just which terms of service the video violated was anyone’s guess. Since there was no sex or violence evident in it, some viewers concluded, as the New York Daily News did, that “the graphic religious imagery apparently warranted enough concern for YouTube to temporarily pull the clip.” And then, just as quickly as it was pulled, the video was back. A YouTube spokesperson told Reuters: “With the massive volume of videos on our site, sometimes we make the wrong call. … When it’s brought to our attention that a video has been removed mistakenly, we act quickly to reinstate it.” But the to-do over the video prompted the Catholic League to take a look at it and condemn it. Referring to Bowie as “the switch-hitting, bisexual, senior citizen from London” Catholic League President Bill Donahue objected to the anti-Christian symbols prominent in the video, then concluded: “In short, the video reflects the artist — it is a mess.”