This story about the new YouTube Pride video is part of Hornet’s focus on LGBTQ Pride. Head here to check out our Pride 2018 digital destination, where you’ll find international Pride Guides, the latest on style and trends for Pride season, breaking Pride news and more.
Ubiquitous video-sharing platform YouTube unintentionally served up a lesson in online queerphobia when it posted its very own, admittedly impressive, Pride month video, “#ProudToCreate.” While the video features a wide array of famous LGBTQ creative influencers — people like Drag Race winner Sasha Velour, Olympian Adam Rippon, pansexual singer Janelle Monáe and hilarious comedian Machaizelli Kahey — the YouTube Pride video isn’t without controversy.
Currently the video’s 40,000 “likes” are dwarfed by over 100,000 dislikes (and growing by the minute), and the YouTube Pride video has a long thread of hateful anti-LGBT comments underneath it, showcasing the persistent power of queerphobic sentiment that thrives on the platform.
The YouTube Pride video also comes at a time when YouTube itself is being criticized for displaying anti-LGBTQ advertisements before the videos of LGBTQ-identified creators (which allows the platform to profit off of queer people and their haters) as well as de-monetizing the videos of LGBTQ creators who the platform claims to support.
In short, the YouTube Pride video comes at a time when the platform has revealed itself to be not-so-friendly to LGBTQ users after all.
Here is the YouTube Pride video, #ProudToCreate:
LGBTQ-identified content creators on YouTube have pointed out the platform is displaying anti-LGBTQ advertisements — including some from Alliance Defending Freedom, the extremist anti-LGBT hate group that defended the anti-gay Masterpiece Cakeshop baker, and the FIRE School of Ministry, a pastor of which calls homosexuality an abomination — before their videos and other popular content from non-LGBTQ-identified creators.
Trans YouTube content creator Chase Ross also recently pointed out (via Twitter, below) that YouTube treats the word “transgender” as a dirty word, not allowing videos with the word in the title to opt-in to its monetization service that pays video creators for video views.
DO NOT LET YOUTUBE GET AWAY WITH THIS.
I uploaded my video TWICE to see if the word "transgender" would trigger the algorithm… and every step of the way was fine UNTIL I added the word Transgender. RIGHT away, the video was demonetized.
Literally. RIGHT. AWAY. pic.twitter.com/mvCucFPyZP
— Chase Ross 🐝 (@ChaseRoss) May 30, 2018
And this isn’t the first time YouTube has been accused of being anti-LGBTQ. In March 2017, LGBT users discovered that YouTube was blocking LGBT content in its child-friendly Restricted Mode while allowing kids to view white supremacist content.
In short, if YouTube wants to prove its commitment to the LGBTQ community, it has to do a lot more than publish a star-studded video. It needs to stop censoring our content and cease the pushback against anti-LGBTQ voices on its platform in a meaningful way — perhaps by funding more LGBTQ content creators and banning commenters who use hate speech.