Category Archives: tagging

American Sniper and Bug Fixes

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We have had more requests for American Sniper than any other movie. We had it tagged in advance for the May 19th DVD/Blu-Ray release but the content publishing process for VidAngel is surprisingly time-consuming (took 12 hours for the first pass, which had mistakes).

We test the movies on Android, iOS, Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, and desktop before allowing them to go live.

Because yesterday our hosting provider moved us to faster server infrastructure, but also changed our version of PHP without letting us know. These changes introduced bugs into our system.

We ended up having to make three passes to get it right (we found an issue on Chromecast, one missed profanity and a handful of partial profanities). We have a high standard of quality for new movies published on VidAngel. If we find a single missed profanity, we do not publish the movie.

As you can tell by the publish time of this post (2am), we worked around the clock to get this blockbuster to you properly reviewed and bug free.

There is a silver lining in the slightly tardy publishing of American Sniper. We also discovered through the process a bug that has been plaguing many users recently. It is the bug where only the VidAngel bumper shows up, but the movie never plays. We fixed the elusive bug.

Watch American Sniper in HD for $2 (with sell-back) now.

Why did VidAngel Publish Fifty Shades of Gray, Wolf of Wall Street and Game of Thrones?

UPDATE [9/29/2015]: We’ve just released a new feature that allows you to hide any movie on the VidAngel website. We will soon be extending this feature out to apps. This gives you and me more control over our VidAngel experience.

ORIGINAL: This is a question we’re commonly asked and that we were forced to ask ourselves before we decided to build VidAngel. In the beginning, as we grappled with this issue, we decided not to make VidAngel a moral authority for other people, but to create a community that empowers a broad range of people, cultures, moralities to be able to make better media decisions.

Personally, based on what I’ve heard, these movies seem like pornography with a story line. And the research about pornography and its impact on society is very well documented at Fight the New Drug. I don’t know if these have any story line left after being filtered, but the community seems to think so.

Even though VidAngel can cut out graphic sex, violence and profanity, that does not make a movie worth watching.

Check the tags of these movies and you’ll be able to quickly see if it matches your own personal standards. They absolutely don’t match mine. As a founder of VidAngel, I do not recommend these movies to families, even with a filter.

In fact, personally, I choose not to watch much of the content on VidAngel due to the nature of the movies. I’m kind of simple, but I really like movies that uplift me.

Here’s a reminder about VidAngel’s principles:

VidAngel Stands Against:

Justification To Watch More Bad Content:
If the content of the movie as a whole is against your standards, don’t use VidAngel to justify watching it.

Forced Censorship:
What you watch should be your choice in your home. Your neighbor will likely have different standards than you, and that is okay as long as you and your family don’t have to watch what everyone else watches.

No “Taking One For The Team”:
As a member of the VidAngel community, you agree to only participate in tagging movies/videos you would already watch without filtering. There are always other people who have different standards willing to filter the harder content. The ends don’t justify the means.

VidAngel Stands For:

More Choice:
VidAngel gives families a larger library of good content to choose from without compromising your family standards.

Watching More Good Content:
There are lots of films that have great messages, but often the filmmakers might have a different set of standards than you do. That’s okay. VidAngel allows you to enjoy the parts of their content you agree with, not worrying about breaking your own family rules.

To Summarize:
Members of the VidAngel community decided they wanted to tag these movies. They had already chosen to watch the movies in theaters or on HBO before they choose to tag them.

If a movie is released that no one in our community is willing to watch before tagging, then that movie will never be published on VidAngel. There’s no taking one for the team, period.

But I personally will never let my own family near this content and lots of other content. A lot of people would say I’m over the top. And for many, I am. But because I want the right to choose to watch both what and how I want, I also want to afford that right to others. Others will choose for themselves.

VidAngel is about empowering families and individuals to be able to make better content decisions, even if that means choosing not to watch movies with a filter.

Of course, we’re open to improving our policies based on community feedback.

Best regards,
– Neal Harmon, VidAngel Founder

SOLVED – “Video embedding disabled by request”

Great news every one – we’ve solved a HUGE technical hurdle at VidAngel.

“Video embedding disabled by request”

We all hate seeing that message at VidAngel. For example, many have complained that the new Hobbit movie is not yet available on VidAngel due to this same message. This message means that the content owner only wants the video to be seen on YouTube (not embedded into other websites).

In the past, movies with this message were impossible to tag at VidAngel because our tagging tool resides on VidAngel.com. No more. After nine months of research and work on our tagging tool, we’ve engineered a way to tag movies right inside of YouTube. See the screen shot below…

The Hobbit  The Desolation of Smaug   YouTube With this announcement, we’re pleased to release the availability of two highly requested movies:

The YouTube.com tagging tool is in alpha stage and we plan to release it to our top tagging community within the next week or so.  This means that many of your favorite missing movies will become available for tagging.

Eventually, after getting our tagging community’s feedback, the tool will become user-friendly enough that it will be made available to anyone with the VidAngel plugin (even subscribers). Then, if we don’t tag your favorite movies, shows or videos that you want to share with your family, you can tag them yourselves! Or, if a movie is not tagged as well as you would like it to be, you can take care of that problem as well 🙂

WATCH: How VidAngel works for movies.

A lot of people ask us if we have to go through each VidAngel movie ourselves to edit them.  The answer is no. VidAngel filters are crowd-sourced.  We have over 3000 trained taggers who go through movies and YouTube videos tagging them for content.

We also have a “no taking one for the team” rule. Everyone who tags VidAngel videos is required to agree to never tag any content they would not already watch if they were not doing it for VidAngel. There are plenty of people in the world who will watch all movies, leave the tagging of content you don’t feel comfortable watching to others.