back to article YouTube flooded with porn

YouTube has been hit with an avalanche of smut, uploaded by users of various messageboards apparently protesting at the site's removal of music videos. The video site has a zero-tolerance to nudity on the site - footage of doctors demonstrating breast examinations have famously been removed in the past, while footage of Saddam …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    we need more

    of this sort of digital disobedience.

    top job *chans.

  2. Greg

    Apparently the BBC...

    ...were reporting this as being the work of "hackers," once again showing the level of competence within the Beeb's tech reporting section.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If it's who I think it is...

    It wont be long before they have a clever script that edits innocent photographs into the video where the previews get generated.

  4. Steven Raith
    Thumb Up

    Ho ho

    Brilliant. I needed a laugh this morning!

    Steven R

  5. richard
    IT Angle

    how will they ever stop this?

    if you can add some smut into the middle of your uploaded video, how are they going to stop people doing this without having to watch every single uploaded video in it's entirety?

  6. Phil
    Thumb Down

    You Porn

    What form of protest is this?!? You're not showing the type of content I like so I'm going to make sure children see porn.

    Nice one, idiots.

  7. adnim

    Yeah but killing is OK

    "The video site has a zero-tolerance to nudity on the site - footage of doctors demonstrating breast examinations have famously been removed in the past, while footage of Saddam Hussein's death by hanging is still available."

    Would one expect anything else of a culture that thinks torture, mutilation, murder and gore in movies and on TV is perfectly acceptable but a hint of pubic hair, a flash of nipple(female) or a glimpse of penis is the work of Satan which corrupts the mind of the watcher and encourages masturbation or sex. And we all know what huge sins masturbation and sex are, especially when compared to murder.

  8. Anonymous Coward


    ...if someone posted "2 Girls, 1 Cup"

    ...Yeeesh!!! Just the thought turns the bacon, egg, and sausage sarnies over in the tumtum...

  9. DirkGently

    RE: how will they ever stop this?

    Because hopefully people like me will report it.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    @ Phil

    This form of protest is known as "terrorism".

  11. David Simpson

    @Phil whose children are delicate little flowers

    @ Phil

    Every remember childhood ? Collecting the rain destroyed porn mags disguarded by underage drinkers the night before.

    You kids already look at porn now they have the internet, and the sad but true answer is it won't do them any harm since in very few years they will be taking part themselves.

    Although I'm sure your kids are angels and would never do such things *wink wink*

  12. Andrew Halliwell
    Paris Hilton


    Wasn't there news several YEARS ago about algorithms used to find porn by analysing a picture for over abundance of flesh tones?

    Shirley that technology must've improved enough to be useful by now? OK, they'd need to pipe every single video through something that could strip it to frame-by-frame images and scan them individually, or perhaps scan only the ones where a sudden scene change occurs.

    It might not be 100% and might flag a lot of false positives but if they were then send on to a human reviewer, it could make it easier by eradicating the vast majority of new vids from the search.

    Paris, because she'd be flagged up every time.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ If it's who I think it is...

    Yes, it is, and a less automated version of that idea was deployed, whereby 10s or so of something innocuous (kittens, weather forecast, whatever the video actually purported to be) was spliced onto the porn, in an attempt to make the Youtube moderators actually scrutinise each video properly in order to remove any unwanted content, although I was rather under the impression that the Rickroll thing was done and over with, porn or no.

    @ Phil: it's not a protest of any sort. Just larks. Although the point has been raised that the Internet is not a babysitter, and children should be supervised.

    Rules 1 & 2, people

  14. Anonymous Coward

    re:You Porn

    Youporn is a real website..

    Also, wont someone think of the children. This could be used to distort their fragile minds causing them to grow up to be terrorists.

    The only way to combat this is to introduce ID cards and a global DNA database.

    Say no to terror, and yes to children!

  15. Sal


    Isn't deliberately showing porn to children a criminal offence?

    These horrible people should be tracked down and, at the very least, placed on the sex offenders register.

    I expect the police are, or should, already be involved.

    As for some of the comments already posted, how anyone with any degree of intelligence can condone or celebrate the act of showing porn to children, is way beyond my comprehension.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Phil, @David Simpson

    Unfortunately YouTube is already an extremely dodgy place to allow kids to roam.

    They might well have a stringent policy of removing nude images, and I'm sure it's very effective (until recently anyway), but they've never done much about the comments attached to the content.

    I'm constantly amazed by how even the most inoffensive material attracts a stream of racist, xenophobic and mysoginist ranting, posted by barely-literate haflwits. I don't know about your kids mate, but sometimes it even makes me wince.

  17. Tony


    On the surface this is kind of funny, but in reality this sort of shit just gives amunition to those that want to see the entire web controlled/filtered/moderated.

    Yes, there is already plenty or porn out there and if you let your kids roam free on the web they may well find it, but if idiots do this sort of moronic shit it just gives the 'wont somebody please think of the children' lobby evidence that a free an neutral net is 'dangerous' and 'must be controlled'.

    Great job fuckwits.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It was something awful.

  19. Phil

    @ All sorts....

    I haven't got any kids, and I certainly wouldn't let them use the Internet unsupervised if I did.

    And yes, I remember finding porn as one of the more pleasant nostalgic memories of childhood. Did I grow up all twisted? I'm probably not the best person to ask, but probably not.

    I'm not phycologist, but exposing young children to porn, (who, wrongly, do use the Internet unsupvised) whilst probably not generally doing any permanent harm may well be a bit confusing and distressing for them.

    Will they get over it? Of course, but it's still targetting porn at kids, which just aint on. Some things are illegal for a reason.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "This form of protest is known as 'terrorism'"

    Oh yes, because I see people running for cover whilst their loved ones die all over the place.


  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    as has been said, you let your children roam the internet unsupervised, then it's your own fault and you should be charge with negligence. the internet is not a safe, child-friendly place, despite the fact that it's very convienent for you to think so. it's like letting your children stay up and watch tv past 9pm. or playing on the motorway

  22. Paul


    Kids shouldn't be on youtube without some kind of filtering or monitoring anyway. There may not usually be porn on there but there is a lot of shit that isn't suitable. Just like the internet in general.

    The internet is not a babysitter.

  23. Jeremy
    Dead Vulture


    Did you really have to give those spotty, 13-year-old, attention seeking to**ers the publicity they're after?

  24. Bruce
    Thumb Up

    Makes me smile

    Maybe i am still a child at heart but everytime i see the deviants at 4Chan pull this kind of stunt it makes me warm and fuzzy inside. There is still hope for humanity when there are a bunch of fools with the balls to take on the machine from the inside just for the Lolz.

  25. David S

    Youtube unsupervised

    My own infant prodigy has been known to enjoy youtube sessions. There was a time when the only guaranteed way to keep him quiet was to plonk him down in front of an episode of Button Moon, Pingu or whatever. The nice thing about Youtube was that he quickly learnt (at two years old) how to click the links for related videos at the end...

    I'd recommend against unsupervised browsing, though, because sadly there are an awful lot of peurile jokers with that "snerk! He said bum!" sense of humour who will post a video of Postman Pat with... alternative dialogue.

    "Oh fuck. Where's me fuckin cat? Ah, there's the fucker. Get in the van you fuckstick."

    Laugh? I almost did.

    So yes. Unsupervised play is less safe that supervised play. But then we knew that, didn't we?

  26. Anonymous Coward

    How slow???

    This all went down on Monday night - why has it taken so long for people to find out about it???

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Sal

    Who has deliberately shown children porn here? Has someone been running around strapping kids down, Clockwork Orange stylee and forcing them to watch it? I don't think so, any more than your local newsagent does by having a stack of dirty mags on display. In any event, this stunt was not targeted at children: the use of such tags as Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers was a tactic to make it impossible for the Youtube moderators to block-delete all videos with a certain tag. Still, well done on absorbing and regurgitating the Daily Mail/Sun propaganda that all porn is intended to corrupt children and soften them up for paedophile attacks without stopping to read the article properly.

  28. Chika
    Paris Hilton


    > Kids shouldn't be on youtube without some kind of filtering or monitoring anyway. There may not usually be porn on there but there is a lot of shit that isn't suitable. Just like the internet in general.

    Quite so, But then...

    > The internet is not a babysitter.

    That's even more the case. Delegating your responsibility as a parent to a machine is questionable at best.

    Paris... clothed, of course!

  29. amanfromMars Silver badge

    The End of Innocence with the Introduction of Kernel Knowledge?

    If children were better educated, would they have been taught what may await them in an adulterated world, or are they ever to find out in trial and error with pain and suffering? And that is an IT Failing and IT Failing Man.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    @@ how will they ever stop this?

    Indeed this has already been done long ago. About 18 months I was watching, as it happens a music video, on YouTube and cut into the middle and end of it was very hard core porn. This im sure is happening A LOT and is being put also into content that likely will be viewed by children .

  31. Anonymous Coward

    If only

    If only we could apply Youtube rules to the rest of the media.

    Then we could get Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers removed from all media on the grounds that they are tits...

    <well someone had to>

  32. Dave
    Black Helicopters


    Kids these days see porn everywhere - the soft porn that passes for music videos these days is far more intense than the stuff that got me excited as a teenager.

    The birds and the bees are at it all around us, and often in quite extreme detail when Mr Attenborough is around. I simply do not see what possible harm it could do to a child of any age to watch a natural act.

    There is far worse stuff on the internet, and on mainstream TV for that matter - the glorification of violance, and the support of anorexia should be where the clean up is concentrated.

    And by the way, yes I am a father myself.

  33. Scott

    It's not the videos you should be worried about..

    ... it's the comments left by what are laughbly called 'humans'..

    Is it something to do with the proximity to a keyboard that makes people type like they're strapped to a chair in the nearest mental institution - anger wing?

  34. DR

    @phil +1 @@phil, what are you stupid?

    What form of protest is this?!? You're not showing the type of content I like so I'm going to make sure children see porn.

    Nice one, idiots.

    +1 to that.

    "@ Phil

    Every remember childhood ? Collecting the rain destroyed porn mags disguarded by underage drinkers the night before."

    yes, remember it fondly, but I also believe that I was at an age then when I wouldn't have likely been searching for things like hannah montanna as well, (though that didn't exist, but the age suitability of porn, even your first look at "rain" soaked, pre-used porn is somewhat older than the hannah montana audience

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Am I the only one finding this strange? In most countries sex between consenting adults is legal, murder, torture, theft , other crimes are illegal. Showing sex on tv, even simulated one, is considered by large number of people very bad and showing it to kids is practically a capital crime. Showing murder and other crimes is "entertainment", it is the main part of everyday tv. If seeing sex will cause men to go rape women, seeing murder why does not cause them to murder people? Where is the logic?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Forget Rules 1 and 2

    @AC 10:17

    Rule 34, surely?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Whilst I agree with your general sentiments it all depends on what you consider to be a natural act doesn't it. Personnally I don't want my 3 year old to see a bottle blonde, artificially top heavy porn star being spitroast!

  38. Maty
    Gates Halo

    oh no!

    People have sex, you say? That's disgusting. And there's visual proof on youtube? Horrible, horrible.

    Someone should think of the children. And how they got here in the first place. Since they are also visual proof that this loathsome conduct has been going on, lock them up as well.

    Bill, master of the immaculate conception.

  39. Bounty

    If it was up to nature we'd all get screwed ASAP.

    ... but it's ok if it's a nearsighted girl giving a stick shifter a blowjob... or an asian girl going down on a bowl of noodles.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When will this filth be banned?

    I caught my kid watching Youtube once. It seemed innocent enough but then all of a sudden there were people doing adult things on the screen. That's right - someone was driving a car. My son is dead now, and so is the old lady he ran over.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Anonymous Coward 22nd May 2009 10:09 GMT

    "This form of protest is known as "terrorism"." no it isn't it's known as funny, and your and idiot.

    Lets face it the only thing that's going to "explode" is fairly unlikely to kill anyone

  42. Dick Emery
    Paris Hilton

    I wish...

    ...humanity (cough) would not put so much importance on sex. Yes I know it's the most important act a human can make in regards to reproduction but FFS all the moral zealots should be shot. Seriously. Sex is NOT wrong or immoral as long as it is between consenting adults. Children should NOT be shielded from it but educated properly. The trouble is there are too many PC parents (Read brainwashed) who don't have a clue about how to deal with broaching the subject with their little 'uns and expect the state to take care of everything for them (Read: {arents are lazy fuckwits).

    Paris knows all about those.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Its really a subversive plot by Hulu...

    This is a way to drive all those parents to ban YouTube and to force the kiddies to look only at Hulu for their online content.

    Then as those kiddies grow up, they'll instinctively look at Hulu first for their choice in online content.

    Evil, no?

    But then again, YouTube is owned by the evil google empire so what does that tell you?

  44. Daniel B.

    Hannah Montana?

    Oh, that's easy then; just delete EVERYTHING with "Hannah Montana" references. You're doing your kids a favor.

  45. Franklin


    "As for some of the comments already posted, how anyone with any degree of intelligence can condone or celebrate the act of showing porn to children, is way beyond my comprehension."

    How anyone with any degree of intelligence can let children use YouTube without supervision is beyond my intelligence.

    Seriously, how dumb does someone have to be in order to believe that YouTube is a child-friendly space? Seriously? Boggled, I am.

  46. Munkey


    Who are the majority of people who will be searching youtube for Hannah Montana? ...... I guess that would be kids.

    Superb, so now not only can my kids find porn when they are looking for cartoons, all the technologically ignorant wankers will lobby for tighter internet regulation (and possibly rightly so under the circumstances) because some arseholes will abuse the facilities

    If kids are searching for porn, and happen to find porn then the internet is only doing what it is expected to do. If porn was found when searching for say 'fishing' or 'fighting', then not many children would be likely to find it. The names here though are clearly targetted at children, and this is deceitful and sick - whoever done it should be locked up and registered as sex offenders.


  47. Oninoshiko

    On amfm

    anyone else creeped out when you can actually follow one of amfm's posts?

  48. James Butler

    @Andrew Halliwell

    IF the flesh-seeking algorithm were viable, it would be child's play to simply pick a few random frames in the middle of a video file as it is being uploaded, and pipe them through the test. The file upload could simply fail if the flesh-toned threshold were crossed by those frame samples.

    However it's easy to see that such an algorithm would produce far too many false positives.

    For example, to an algorithm that analyzes the ratio between flesh-toned pixels (caucasian? tanned? negro? asian? what IS "flesh-toned", anyway?) and non-flesh-toned pixels within any given file, what's the difference between a girl in a bikini on the beach and a nude girl lying on a bed? Definitely not enough to determine whether one was porn and the other was not. Similarly, its pretty easy to fool such an algorithm by simply reducing the size of the nude element so that the ratio shifts toward non-flesh-color pixels.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The BBC could have done it

    you know to show off all the insecurities, that plague the internet, of course what they do is all legal and beyond reproach.

    So no more Music Videos, yes it was a bit confusing, were they ever legal? I thought YouTube was Google and they kept in the law. It is so hard to tell nowadays where everyone is just making up the law themselves.

  50. Throatwobbler Mangrove


    "I'm constantly amazed by how even the most inoffensive material attracts a stream of racist, xenophobic and mysoginist ranting, posted by barely-literate haflwits."

    It's the kids that are writing those messages!

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @James Butler

    Google already has a face seeking algorithm, surely they could make other body part identifying algorithms as well.

  52. Anonymous Coward

    What about paedos?

    Aren't any of you concerned about the paedophiles lurking on YouTube? I mean they are probably the only significant demographic besides kids who would be looking for Hannah Montana videos. How do you think they feel being confronted with hardcore adult porn? It's liable to put them off adults forever (if they weren't already).

  53. Andrew Halliwell


    yes, remember it fondly, but I also believe that I was at an age then when I wouldn't have likely been searching for things like hannah montanna as well, (though that didn't exist, but the age suitability of porn, even your first look at "rain" soaked, pre-used porn is somewhat older than the hannah montana audience

    -- - - -

    Um... That wasn't rain...

  54. Charley

    Much ado

    Without declaring myself on either side of this arguement I give you, courtesy of the Urban Dictionary:

    7. Rule 34

    If it exists, there is or will be porn of it... also responible for creating pedophiles

    Ten year old:*(Google) Rule 34*


    Ten year old: OH MY GOD!!!

  55. Josh Fisher

    Old Story

    When I was a teenager in 1976, pornographer Larry Flint of Hustler magazine fame, was being tried in my city on obscenity and organized crime charges. As part of his defense, I suppose, he sent pamphlets to thousands of homes containing the most sickening photos of horribly wounded American and Vietnamese soldiers as well as civilians. The title of the pamphlet was something like "War...the Real Obscenity", the idea being that it was perfectly legal for him to send the disgusting war photos, but a photo of a naked girl would land him in court. That this sort of thing happens on You Tube does not surprise me in the least. The format and technology is the only thing that has changed. Really, it's the same old conundrum. Who gets to decide what is or is not obscene.

    Nevertheless, I find some of the subject lines of these posting amusing. "The End of Innocence with the Introduction of Kernel Knowledge? "....hmmm....does that insinuate that Linux author Linus Torvalds is not innocent?

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So its totally fine for your kids to see a man being hanged but not a little of nudity? I suspect a lot of you need to reassess your priorities, I know which one I find more disturbing.

  57. Jodo Kast

    @Phil et al

    Kids about 12, use these forums to rebel. Now they are protesting on youtube. Like teabaggers protesting in traffic, only more juvenile and less dangerous.

    Adults just get over music videos. Kids take them a little more seriously.

  58. Inachu
    IT Angle

    No such thing as porn.

    Sex is part of the human condition

    If the human condition offends you then you have a psychological problem.

    Also the flip side if you spend more than 10 minutes a day with you face in nudity either on paper or the internet then you are also suffering a psychological problem.

    Nudity is clean and fine and rated G.

    Nudity only offends those who have it better than them.

    Germans and Japanese do not mind nudity until the USA invaded those countries.

    By covering up you make a normal issue into a hidden issue which normaly stresses people.

    There is no shame about nudity. those who are shamed need their eyes removed.

  59. Will

    @@ how will they ever stop this?

    As has been pointed out, fleshtone scanners mixed with other heuristic scanning techniques would provide youtube with a subset of videos that could be moderated by a human. However if someone were to want to upload their footage to youtube and bypass this, I'd suggest the following (this isn't particularly expert advice, but these things always made things trickier for me when I was playing with image recognition - except for the hairy pornstars):

    Film the porn in inverted colours

    Use very hairy pornstars

    Film against a background that is a diagonal gradient from reddish pink to tan brown

    Avoid repetitive motions ;) perhaps utilise constant panning and zoom such that the motion on the 2d image appears random.

    include other bright coloured objects in the shot such as bowls of fruit or modern art.

    Hopefully that would get people started, and more importantly this will hopefully lead to some really surreal porn.

  60. James


    But it says something of our times when beatings and hangings are considered normal but sex is horrific and EVIL.

    Especially on films, killing can be frequent and it can be a 12A or somesuch but a (relatively) soft sex scene is WOAH 18.

  61. Steve Roper


    going by the number of comments on here complaining about sex being taboo while violence is ok, a fair number of people have not actually read, have forgotten, or simply not understood, George Orwell's 1984. In any totalitarian police state, sex is suppressed while violence is glorified, because a) acceptance of violence promotes patriotic fervour and war fever against "the enemy", while b) suppressing sex constricts a powerful primal instinct within defined bounds, such that the emotional energy thus harnessed can be psychologically re-channeled to more state-serving ends. As the character Julia expresses in in the book, "All this cheering and waving flags and marching up and down is simply sex gone sour".

    That this situation has become so prevalent in Western societies is just one more indicator of how far totalitarianism has progressed in our once-free nations.

    The main differences between our world and that depicted by Orwell are a) the lesser extent of poverty and privation compared to Orwell's world, and b) that we do have a fairly unrestrained right to criticise the government. This is safely allowable, however, because the reality is that no matter how many people piss and moan about police states nothing will ever really be done to change it. After all, most of us are just 'proles' and the government doesn't care what we think. But watch what happens when a 'Party member' (ie a politician, corporate executive, or celebrity) criticises the wrong people; a public apology (aka 'confession') soon follows...

  62. regadpellagru
    Thumb Down

    Really really sick protest

    At contrary to some, I don't have any problem with sex or porn, but I have a 10 years old, which is doing the same thing as all other girls in her classroom, once she's back home: browse for songs on youtube.

    Yes, she's unsupervised and that's bad, but since both parents work 40 km away, we don't really have any alternatives.

    Now, I understand why youtube has been put 2-3 weeks back on the "light_sex" list of sites, on a black list I download each week for squid.

    The kind of behaviour of the morons that did that is beyond me. If that's their form of protest, that's a very sick one.

    On the topic of "don't worry, she'll discover it" or "I've seen nude/porn when I was 14", I understand this, did the same at, what, 12-13 ... But there's a HUGE difference when you actually go to see something "forbidden" as we've all done, and have the darn thing pop up unexpectedly when you actually expected something else !

    Now, again, a big thanks to those sick morons, as I'll have to check youtube tonight, as I've done the mistake of putting it in the white list, thinking of a false positive in the black list.

    PS: Also, on the good side, this black list is good, it banned youtube 3 weeks before the story broke in El Reg :-)

  63. TeeCee Gold badge


    "If porn was found when searching for say 'fishing'......"

    What? You mean as in:


    Did you mean: <i>fisting</i>?


    The long and extremely dirty mac please.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Andrew Halliwell

    Don't call me Shirley...

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    get out

    You lot ought to get out and enjoy yourselves porn whingers. Thanks to our pathetic sex education system we have somewhere near the highest pregnancy rate in the world. I'd like to think that due to my exposure to internet porn as a youngster/teenager, I am now a stallion in the bed & know how to keep her entertained.

    If you are willing to allow a child free unmoderated use of you tube, then you sunny jim, are guilty of the bad parenting skills that you probably accuse everyone else of. Like it has been said on earlier posts, you can't watch a breast cancer awareness video on youtube, but you can watch Saddam being hung? And this is acceptable for children because...? So there's you sat there watching the telly, probably fobbed the kids off with the computer for the night, in the misguided belief that youtube moderate their videos with a modicum of common sense and that your children will be safe from seeing a penis enter a vagina. But thats ok cos they're watching clip of a tiger rip a man to bits or something of that order.

  66. EdwardP

    FFS, How many times people?

    Don't want your kids to see inappropriate material? Get them off the fucking internet, IT ISN'T SUITABLE.

    It really IS that simple. The net is unmoderated and therefore EXTREMELY unpredicatable, it really isn't a place for your children to be browsing without adult supervision.

    This really shouldn't be an alien concept. There are plenty of things that small children shouldn't do without supervision, things like walking down the street or taking a bath.

    The real issue here is a lot of people see the computer like they see the TV; a convenient way of keeping the children occupied, thereby allowing you to engage with them as little as is possible.

    The strong reactions to this almost all originate from people who I suspect DO leave their children using the Internet unattended. They may have felt a pang of guilt (if not, they should have) when reading this article and, as is the custom, instinctively looked to shift the blame to a 3rd party. This is pathetic, stand up and take responsibility for your own inadequacies as a parent.

    Ultimately, your child's well being is your responsibility. Not the state's, not the school's, and certainly not the internet's.

  67. Trevor


    What I find really funny?

    No-one is talking about the songs being removed. Everyone is going "Think of the children".

    They went for Hannah Montana and stuff to get that level of exposure. Thing is they chose a target too large in the public conscious at the moment.

    No one is remembering the cause of the protest.

    At risk of being nailed up and crucified myself, they would have been better off going after other groups, like religions, or disabled people, or something.

    I wrote this a while back about kids vs the internet:

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