A group of queer video producers has filed a lawsuit against YouTube alleging that the video hosting site discriminates against LGBTQ people.
Singer Bria Kam, actor Chrissy Chambers, sex educator Amp Somers, transgender activist Chase Ross and LGBTQ culture student Lindsay Amer all joined forces against the streaming giant. Among their charges: that YouTube removes videos for featuring the words “gay” and “lesbian;” that queer-themed videos hosted by the site are often labeled mature content and not included in searches, and that YouTube does not do enough to monitor hate speech in the comments sections.
YouTube has denied any allegations of discrimination.”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’,” YouTube spokesman Alex Joseph said in a statement. “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 company also claims to have removed 220 million hateful comments in the first quarter of 2019 alone. YouTube also does not remove LGBTQ-themed videos for content, though videos that discuss sex and fetishism are not allowed to carry advertisers.
The plaintiffs in the suit hope to mandate changes to the YouTube policies to allow them to better share and monetize their videos. YouTube, which is owned by Google, has also endured similar charges from anti-queer groups who have had videos removed or flagged for hate speech.