LGBTQ Creators Sue YouTube for Discrimination

Is Google dancing the ole “Two Steps Forward, One Step Back” shuffle? As our Magic 8-Ball said just the other day, “Signs point to uh-oh.” (Yeah, ours is special.)

Here’s the situation.

by Jude Dry

LGBTQ YouTubers are suing the company, which is owned by Google, claiming YouTube suppresses their content. The suit alleges the site regularly culls subscriber lists for LGBTQ creators, affecting their ability to sell advertising, which is the primary way to monetize content on YouTube. With almost 2 billion monthly viewers, YouTube is by far the world’s largest video streaming site. The lawsuit was filed in federal court on Tuesday August 13, as originally reported by The Washington Post.

Led by five LGBTQ creators, the suit claims YouTube engages in “unlawful content regulation, distribution, and monetization practices that stigmatize, restrict, block, demonetize, and financially harm the LGBT Plaintiffs and the greater LGBT Community.”

YouTube spokesperson Alex Joseph responded to requests for comment with this emailed statement:

“We’re proud that so many LGBTQ creators have chosen YouTube as a place to share their stories and build community. All content on our site is subject to the same policies. Our policies have no notion of sexual orientation or gender identity and our systems do not restrict or demonetize videos based on these factors or the inclusion of terms like ‘gay’ or ‘transgender.’ In addition, we have strong policies prohibiting hate speech, and we quickly remove content that violates our policies and terminate accounts that do so repeatedly.”

The lawsuit alleges that YouTube regularly labels LGBTQ videos as offensive or sexually explicit because of the creators’ sexual orientation. It also claims that LGBTQ videos are regularly demonetized, that YouTube changes their thumbnail images, and excludes them from content recommendations, resulting in decreased viewing numbers….

Read it all at indiewire.com