- Google is facing backlash from the LGBTQ+ community in San Francisco following a controversial decision by YouTube this week.
- The Google-owned streaming video platform cited free speech concerns for not policing a YouTube channel run by Steven Crowder, a Conservative commentator with nearly 4 million subscribers.
- Vox journalist Carlos Maza was a target of Crowder’s channel, which repeatedly targeted Maza with homophobic slurs.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
In what would be a first for San Francisco’s annual Pride celebration, the event’s organizers could ban a major tech company from participating: Google.
In a board meeting on Thursday evening, members of the LGBTQ+ community — some of whom were former Google employees — petitioned San Francisco Pride to exclude Google, according to Hoodline.
That’s because Google owns YouTube, and YouTube is facing major criticism from the LGBTQ+ community in the wake of a controversial decision not to punish a channel for using homophobic slurs and targeting another channel.
A YouTube channel operated by conservative commentator Steven Crowder regularly featured homophobic slurs and racist statements directed at Vox journalist Carlos Maza, who stars in the "Strikethrough" video series.
Maza highlighted Crowder’s behavior in a video on Twitter this week:
In response to Maza, YouTube reviewed Crowder’s videos and initially determined he wasn’t violating the site’s terms of service.
The company later reversed that decision, and announced it would demonetize Crowder’s channel rather than banning it — effectively stopping Crowder from profiting directly from his YouTube channel, but allowing him to continue posting videos.
"We saw the widespread harm to the YouTube community resulting from the ongoing pattern of egregious behavior, took a deeper look, and made the decision to suspend monetization," wrote YouTube’s head of communications Chris Dale in a blog post published this week.
The board of San Francisco Pride has yet to make a decision whether or not it will allow Google to participate, and the group didn’t respond to a request for comment as of publishing.
- ‘Not everyone will agree with the calls we make’: YouTube explained its seemingly inconsistent policies on harassment after leaving up videos with homophobic slurs
- Google employees are speaking out using the hashtag ‘NoPrideInYT’ after YouTube was slow to punish a right-wing creator for using homophobic slurs
- YouTube is refusing to punish a star with millions of fans after he hurled homophobic slurs at a journalist