‘Save SpongeBob Anime’ trends after YouTuber Narmak’s video removed for violating child safety policy

YouTuber Narmak uploaded the first episode of 'SpongeBob Anime' a week ago. But on August 1, YouTube removed it under its child safety community guidelines

                            ‘Save SpongeBob Anime’ trends after YouTuber Narmak’s video removed for violating child safety policy
SpongeBob Anime (Screengrab/YouTube)

YouTuber Narmak, who has 1.54 million subscribers on the video streaming website, shared some unfortunate news on Twitter on August 1. He wrote, "My 'SpongeBob Anime' Episode 1 was taken down from YouTube. They tell me it was because I violated their 'child safety policy'. It was marked as not for children. I now have 2 strikes on my channel. One more strike and my YouTube channel is gone. @TeamYouTube what the hell."


Hours later Narmak shared an update, “So @YouTube rejected my appeal to get the ‘SpongeBob Anime’ episode back up. No support, nobody to talk to me: just an automated email. I'm tired and frustrated, but I won't give up. Thank you, everyone, for your support; we NEED someone at YouTube to help,” along with the hashtag #SaveSpongeBobAnime.


So, what is ‘SpongeBob Anime’?

Narmak is an animator whose videos on YouTube have been largely popular because it employs typical anime aesthetics on non-anime content. They've made anime versions of ‘Shrek’ and ‘The Avengers’, and more. Their videos often have telltale anime features with respect to the art style, the over-dramatization, and of course, Japanese audio. The most memetic and popular videos there are the anime-style pastiches of the Nickelodeon cartoon series 'SpongeBob SquarePants'.

Narmak has been teasing fans with ‘SpongeBob Anime’ for almost two years, releasing intros, teasers, and short videos. But on July 24, they finally released the first episode of this long-awaited project. On August 1, however, YouTube removed the video under its “misleading family content” rule in its community guidelines meant for child safety.

Per the guidelines, “Content that targets young minors and families, but contains sexual themes, violence, obscenity or other mature themes not suitable for young audiences,” are removed.

“Family-friendly cartoons that target young minors and contain adult or age-inappropriate themes such as violence, sex, death, drugs, etc. Make sure your titles, descriptions, and tags match the audience you are targeting. You can also age restrict your content upon upload if it’s intended for mature audiences,” says YouTube in its guidelines. 

Strangely enough, Narmak's other 'SpongeBob Anime' content, including a new trailer for it, still remains on YouTube.

While Narmak has now uploaded ‘SpongeBob Anime Ep1: Bubble Bass Arc’ to the website called NewGrounds, fans of their work are outraged and have been tweeting about it under #SaveSpongeBobAnime. 

A Twitter user wrote, “I truly feel bad for you. Six months of such dedication, determination, and so much hard work has led to this moment... all to be blasted away because of the 'community guidelines' stuff. Trust me when I say, you deserve a lot of support and respect.”


Others sang praises of the episode, writing things like, “This beautiful 13 minutes of animation must live on for generations to come,” and “I won't sit idly by as something that I genuinely appreciated with all of my heart is unwillfully removed from the man who gave it life in the first place (sic).”


Another fan wrote, Unbelievable that @YouTube continues to persecute its users like this. An original animation with millions of views and fans was removed for being targeted towards kids, even though it was marked 'not for kids'. @TeamYouTube he should have won his appeal."



Narmak later informed fans that "I have contacted YouTube creator support, and I'll be getting a response sometime soon. We might be able to fix this." No other updates had been issued at the time of writing this report.

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