YouTomb: where YouTube videos go when they die

Ever wondered where the videos that have fallen off YouTube – or been pushed – end up?

Enter YouTomb – the elephant’s graveyard of clips that have been removed from the video sharing site for copyright infringements and other offences.

Speaking to, YouTomb’s creators – a group of students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – say the site isn’t about reshowing illegal material, but is for tracking cases where remixed and satirical clips have been removed for alleged copyright infringements.

“MIT Free Culture became especially interested in the issue after YouTube announced that it would begin using filtering technology to scan users’ video and audio for near-matches with copyrighted material. While automating the takedown process may make enforcement easier, it also means that content falling under fair-use exceptions and even totally innocuous videos may receive some of the collateral damage,” a mission statement on the site reads.

As such the videos on YouTomb are represented by stills and are not available to play, but show stats on how many views they attracted before being pulled.

Despite YouTube’s recent efforts to step up copyright policing and create an automate removal process, removed videos live on in some form through YouTomb, which takes on the mantle of a video watchdog.

According to the site, it is currently monitoring 223834 videos and has identified 4428 videos taken down for alleged copyright violation and 13522 videos taken down for other reasons.

Leave a Reply