Channel 4's fledgling animation site has been offline since Tuesday while the broadcaster struggles with various "editorial and procedural issues" that have allowed controversial content onto the user-generated animation site.

Sensitive to post-"Sachsgate" criticism, the broadcaster is understood to have pulled the site to remove a handful of clips designed for adult viewers, including a shoot 'em up game called "Mr Mucky" set in a crack den that included S&M imagery and sex dolls.

Despite the often edgy nature of online animation and a requirement for all users on the adult section of the site to register as 18 or over, it is understood the broadcaster is responding to heightened sensitivity in the wake of the BBC's Sachsgate crisis.

The technology behind the site did not allow individual videos to be removed and meant the whole site had to be taken down, although the Thanksgiving break in the US, where the technology provider is based, has caused a delay in relaunching the site.

"4mations is an experimental website. We have had some concerns about it that are being reviewed as we believe there may be areas for improvement. We anticipate the site will be back up soon," Channel 4 said.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman added that the site should be back up later today.

Since launching in August, the 4mations site has attracted 1,500 original pieces of content and is designed to be a home for the UK animation community, reinforcing the Channel 4 tradition in the genre that stretches back to the broadcaster's launch in 1982.

4mations took two years to develop in collaboration with Wallace & Gromit producer Aardman, Reality Digital and Lupus Films.

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