YouTube; Samantha Lee/Business Insider
- YouTube is being sued by LGBTQ content creators alleging the company discriminated against LGBTQ creators on the platform and restricted their reach and ability to make money.
- The class-action lawsuit accuses YouTube of unfairly applying its policies in a way that deems queer content as "shocking" and "sexually explicit" while letting hate speech thrive.
- YouTube deploys "unlawful content regulation, distribution, and monetization practices that stigmatize, restrict, block, demonetize, and financially harm the LGBT Plaintiffs and the greater LGBT Community," the lawsuit says.
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LGBTQ creators are suing YouTube and its parent company Google alleging the video platform discriminated against them by unfairly applying its policies in a way that restricts queer content from making money and being seen by a wide audience.
The lawsuit alleges that YouTube’s policies are not applied evenly across content, allowing LGBTQ content to be marked as "shocking" and "sexually explicit" and hate speech to remain on the platform. YouTube deploys "unlawful content regulation, distribution, and monetization practices that stigmatize, restrict, block, demonetize, and financially harm the LGBT Plaintiffs and the greater LGBT Community," the lawsuit says.
The class action suit — meaning plaintiffs with similar complaints are included, and can join on — is being brought on by eight YouTubers who say they have been affected by the platform’s practices.
"So many people have demanded change, have been shut out, and have went on to pursue other careers," Bria Kam told Business Insider. "We want systematic change … We kind of feel hopeless at this point."
The lawsuit alleges that YouTube’s policies that determine which videos are eligible for ads and monetization unfairly target LGBTQ content. YouTube says that its artificial-intelligence system used to regulate content are "viewpoint-neutral," but the lawsuit says that the algorithms are applied to the identity of the video creator and not the content itself.
YouTube did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Watch the video from the lawsuit plaintiffs about why they’re suing YouTube:
You can read the entire class-action lawsuit against YouTube here:
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