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How YouTube Is Profiting From Tragedy And Transphobia

We all remember not too long ago when YouTube decided it would censor all of its LGBT+ content. The internet was rightly outraged. There was a half-hearted apology made by YouTube and everybody moved on, hoping that perhaps that would be the end to it, that maybe they would do better- but sadly, that was not the case.

YouTube claims their policy is not to run ads on videos of tragedies, which on the surface, seems an appropriate and acceptable policy. But what about videos Creators want to make where all of their Adsense goes to charity? Apparently, there is no exception. According to YouTube, there is no possible way they will allow profit to be made out of the tragic deaths of others…unless they choose the video.

Casey Neistat, a successful and popular YouTube content creator, wished to do exactly that. However, YouTube responded with their policy; that they do not run ads on videos of tragedies. It does not take long to find evidence that YouTube is perhaps selective of which videos are restricted and which are not. The hypocritical exception is clearly, ridiculously and obviously made clear when it comes to Jimmy Kimmel Live, whose channel has ads playing prior to a video about the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas. So where does this foolish selectivity end? Not with terrorism…

It looks as if YouTube is back at restricting LGBT+ content again, however, this time, specifically trans content. Not only are they refusing to allow trans voices to have a platform, for young transgender teens to have a safe place to discover more about how they want to define their identity, but they are also profiting from transphobia.

By restricting authentic trans voices for blatant and obvious hate speech and transphobia, YouTube is baring their true colours once and for all. How is it that we cannot raise money through an act of charity to help people recover from a brutal tragedy, but we can watch the ads that give YouTube money before videos about the event? How is it that we can be deprived of gender diversity, but have to watch anti-transgender ads before our videos? How is YouTube allowed to profit off other peoples hate, off other peoples pain?

How is YouTube allowed to profit off other peoples hate, off other peoples pain?

Perhaps this will be the final act that turns us away from YouTube once and for all, or perhaps we will keep harassing them until suitable changes are made, or perhaps this will be it, and we will have to sit by and watch as our charity and voices are resisted and slashed in half whilst a huge, massively rich company rakes in even more money by spreading a dangerous rhetoric that contributes to the LGBT+ hate crimes we see and hear about everyday. This is not YouTube’s first dalliance in to dangerous waters and from their poor responses to the outrage, claiming that they were attempting to ‘filter out mature content’, labelling members of the LGBT+ community as people unsafe and unsuitable and obscene, people that should be oppressed. YouTube have no time for us. Nor for our voices, opinions or visibility. It is time to make a change. It is time for all of us to choose which side we’re on.

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Eighteen year old student from England, passionate about poetry and making a change