YouTube Pride Video Angers The Internet

A Pride video released by YouTube to celebrate the contributions made to its platform by its LGBT+ members has encountered considerable controversy since being released last night.

A screengrab from the YouTube Pride video featuring three LGBT+ YouTubers

A video starring a range of overly confident LGBT YouTubers who collectively promote the idea that their video contributions to YouTube are part of a wider process of “building a better world” has been released on the video sharing site. So far it has been viewed more than 1.25 million times and has generated over 123,000 dislikes and 1000’s of negative comments.

While much of the negativity can be attributed to the usual suspects like homophobes and professional trolls, a significant portion of the negative commentary is coming from members of the LGBT+ community who accuse the company of hypocrisy by celebrating its LGBT+ content creators whilst simultaneously applying restrictive classifications and running homophobic ads alongside LGBT+ content.

Many queer content creators have criticised the company for reflexively putting an age filter on any video which touches on any aspect of LGBT+ issues no matter how innocuous. Others point out that Youtube is engaged in a process of demonetising queer content – which essentially means that YouTube won’t run any ads on the video thereby depriving its creator of revenue.

Just last week the company had to apologise after it was revealed that it was attaching advertisements to LGBT+ content from a group called The Alliance Defending Freedom –   which the Southern Poverty Law centre has classified as a hate group.

The group has at various points called for the re-criminalisation of homosexuality, the forced sterilisation of trans people, equated homosexuality with paedophilia and has consistently promoted the idea of a gay agenda which intends to destroy Christianity. It’s current mission is legal advocacy where it hopes to develop a body of case law which would allow discrimination against gay people by people of faith.

In response to some of the concerns raised, YouTube replied stating it is “an open platform and we support the free expression of creators with a wide range of views. But we don’t allow paid advertising that disparages people based on who they are and we remove ads that violate this basic principle.”

While on the surface that may be true in that The Alliance Defending Freedom advertisement does not openly disparage gay people, a wider view of the organisation, given its history and positions, might lead reasonable people to conclude that it would be inappropriate to allow an extremist group to piggyback on queer content in order to seek funding for a radical anti-LGBT+ agenda.

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