In the latest escalation of the class action lawsuit against YouTube and Google, the service’s parent company, a Saturday Night Live associate producer and an independent filmmaker have joined to make bring the complainant number to 12. The lawsuit stems from the way the YouTube algorithm promotes, restricts, or outright blocks content for its users. Much of the content made by LGBT people is being automatically restricted or blocked, even though they don’t contain any of the offending content that YouTube outlines it won’t allow on the service.
Some of the problem must lie in the algorithm, as the restrictions and demonetization happen much faster than it would be possible for a human being to make determinations on content. Many times, it’s as quickly as moments after a video has completed the upload. There are also instances of this bias and discrimination being driven by YouTube and Google’s desire to appease advertisers who wish to disassociate from anything that be considered controversial, even at the cost of free speech and expression.
This kind of restriction is a major blow to many vloggers, like Stephanie Frosch, who has 400,000 subscribers, when it comes to their ability to earn income. Many LGBT YouTubers has felt their channels and content has been unjustly demonetized by the service’s algorithm. YouTube and Google have not responded to the lawsuits that were filed in August, but we hope to see some sort of reaction from the service or the company, as they tout being LGBT friendly when it comes to their business practices.