YouTube shuts down New York City subway voyeur’s channel

A New York City man has spent much of 2012 recording videos of women riding the subway, and he’s likely to get off scot-free.

According to a Sunday report in the New York Post, anonymous snooper “John Zippy” maintained a YouTube channel called “New York City Subway Girls,” one that he’s filled with short video clips of women doing such benign activities as sitting, standing, and sleeping on subway cars around the city.

The channel, which YouTube has disabled, carried 35 videos broadcasting over 100 NYC women. Zippy would add his own context to the videos, giving each a title like “Glamor Girl Short Skirt Bare Legs” or “New York Subway Girls Sleepy Japanese Girls.” Most of the videos lasted between seven seconds and 40 seconds, according to information still available via Google search.

Zippy, who claims to be a 42-year-old man, wrote to the New York Post that he does not consider what he does a form of pornography.

“I totally understand that many people consider it sorta creepy. It is,” he wrote. “I have over the years had conversations with people… about how they saw the ‘most beautiful, the hottest,’ ‘most amazing,’ ‘the finest’ woman on the Subway followed by a vivid description worthy of a sonnet.

“I decided to try and capture this common occurrence in one place where people could share and comment in an open and nonjudgmental manner.”

YouTube had other ideas after learning about the page’s presence and removed the channel on Thursday, though it’s unlikely that Zippy will face any sort of legal repercussions.

Technically, videotaping strangers in public is not against the law, though an arrest could be made if law enforcement officials screen the videos and deem one to be “intimate.”

Photo via Half Alive

Chase Hoffberger

Chase Hoffberger

Chase Hoffberger reported on YouTube, web culture, and crime for the Daily Dot until 2013, when he joined the Austin Chronicle. Until late 2018, he served as that paper’s news editor and reported on criminal justice and politics.