VIMEO PERMANENTLY TERMINATES CHURCH UNITED’S ACCOUNT, CLAIMING VIOLATION OF “COMMUNITY AGREEMENT”

December 8, 2018

Vimeo is an online organization that allows users to create accounts for hosting, sharing, and streaming videos.

NEWPORT BEACH, CA — At 5:45 a.m. on November 23, Church United Founder and Pastor Jim Domen received an email from Vimeo stating that Church United had 24 hours to download all of its videos before the account would be permanently closed.

Black Friday lived up to its name this year, as it was an especially dark day for Church United, a non-profit that helps pastors respond to the spiritual problems in their communities. At 5:42 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving, Vimeo sent an email to Jim Domen, informing him he had 24 hours to download two years’ worth of videos from the online account. Out of the 89 uploaded videos, the problem (according to Vimeo) was with five videos that spoke of SOCE (Sexual Orientation Change Efforts), with a primary focus on Assembly Bill (AB) 2943. 

Under Vimeo’s community guidelines, videos that support such efforts are in violation of the “Community Agreement” and subject to termination. In direct communication with Domen, Vimeo stated, “Your account has been removed by the Vimeo Staff for violating our Guidelines. Reason: Vimeo does not allow videos that harass, incite hatred, or include discriminatory or defamatory speech.” However, none of Church United’s videos do what Vimeo Staff claimed. They only happen to share a different opinion on such matters. 

Many pastors (including Domen) and Formers were included in these videos, which shared personal stories of transformation and/or content regarding California Assemblyman Evan Low’s AB 2943 (which was later withdrawn by Low on August 31, 2018). As many of you already know, AB 2943 would have banned any person, non-profit, or business from receiving funds for unwanted same-sex attraction therapy, books, materials, and/or counseling. 

All of the Church United videos were safely downloaded, but the Vimeo account has been permanently terminated. This has adversely affected Church United, and staff are now searching for a new host site, researching legal options with their attorneys, Tyler & Bursch, and looking into additional solutions.For more details on this matter, please contact Desaré Ferraro at desare@churchunited.com.

About Church United:Church United is a California non-profit organization whose vision is to change the moral culture of California by responding to spiritual problems threatening communities. www.churchunited.com.