Showing posts with label YouTube. Show all posts
Showing posts with label YouTube. Show all posts

June 10, 2019

YouTube Seems Confused of What Anti Gay Slurs Mean for The Gay Community

 Carlos Maza
 YouTube is one of many companies that has given its logo a rainbow-themed makeover to show support for LGBT rights - but, underneath the colorful veneer, a row has erupted over how the video-sharing site enforces its own hate-speech policies.

At the center of the dispute is journalist Carlos Maza, who presents a popular series called Strikethrough for the news site Vox. 
He says he has faced persistent abuse from rival video-maker Steven Crowder, who has more than 3.8 million subscribers on YouTube. 
Whenever Maza publishes a video for Vox, Crowder will post his own "debunking" video, peppered with insulting language attacking Maza's sexual orientation and ethnicity.
So, last week, Maza posted a video compilation of the abuse. 
In the clips, Crowder imitates Maza's accent and calls him, among other things, a "lispy queer", a "gay Vox sprite" and a "gay Mexican". 
Maza asked YouTube to step in.

Steven CrowderImage copyright 
Image captionVideo-maker Steven Crowder hosts a popular show on YouTube

"These videos get millions of views on YouTube. Every time one gets posted, I wake up to a wall of homophobic/racist abuse on Instagram and Twitter," he said in a tweet. 
"These videos make me a target of ridiculous harassment."
YouTube said it would investigate. 
It conducted an "in-depth review" and on Tuesday it came back with an answer.
"While we found language that was clearly hurtful, the videos as posted don't violate our policies," it said in a statement.
However, after receiving further criticism, YouTube announced on Wednesday that it would demonetize Crowder's channel due to "continued egregious actions." This means he will no longer make money from advertising revenues on his videos. 
But Maza said this was still not enough, pointing out that most political content is already demonetized and that Crowder would still be able to sell merchandise via his channel. 
YouTube attempted to clarify its decision stating that Crowder would need to remove links to his t-shirts in order to reinstate monetization of his channel. 
It then reaffirmed that Crowder "would need to address all the issues with his channel" for monetization to be reinstated, adding it was "sorry for the confusion."

'Friendly ribbing'

YouTube's response has been met with a mixed reaction.
Many people want to frame the dispute as a battle over free speech. 
Crowder himself claimed the row was not about abuse but "an example of a giant corporate media entity [Vox] trying to silence voices they do not like". 
He said the language he used to mock Maza was "friendly ribbing".
"It's funny and this is a comedy show. 'Lispy queer' is harmless and I enjoy saying it," he said in a video.
But others have said if YouTube itself accepted the videos were "hurtful", it was failing to enforce its own policies.
Its rules prohibit content that:
  • is deliberately posted in order to humiliate someone
  • makes hurtful and negative personal comments about another person
But YouTube said Crowder's comments did not violate the policies because they were sandwiched between "debate".
In notes provided by Google and published by news site Gizmodo, the company said: "We take into consideration whether criticism is focused primarily on debating the opinions expressed or is solely malicious."
YouTube's social media pages are currently decorated with rainbow-themed graphics, in support of LGBT rights.
But Maza said the video-sharing site was "exploiting" LGBT people.
"It's going to get so much worse now. YouTube has publicly stated that racist and homophobic abuse doesn't violate their anti-bullying policies," he said.

Presentational grey line


by Ben Hunte, LGBT correspondent
Many professional LGBT video-makers will be familiar with uploading material online and instantly being tormented by certain audiences, solely because of their sexuality. 
YouTube's take on this will disappoint the LGBT community. 
It will surprise them that hurtful things considered hate speech and punishable by law in real life can simply be labeled "debate" online, and not require any repercussions. 
With LGBT Pride Month just kicking off, it will be interesting to see how many other organizations will adopt rainbows across their brands, without necessarily backing the queer communities they are desperately marketing themselves to. 

Presentational grey line

Updated policy

Unrelated to Mr Maza's dispute with Mr Crowder, YouTube published a blog on Wednesday saying it had updated its hate speech policy. 
The changes include:
  • explicitly banning videos alleging that one group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities such as age, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation
  • an explicit ban on videos that "glorify Nazi ideology"
  • removing content that "denies well-documented events" such as the Holocaust and Sandy Hook school shooting
  • stopping channels that "repeatedly brush up against our hate speech policies" from earning advertising revenue

October 14, 2016

Gifted and Beautiful Out YouTuber Troye Sivan

 The Blue Neighbourhood trilogy of songs—“Wild,” “Fools,” and “Talk Me. 
Troye Sivan with Millions of followers 

This is not only true of, say, videos where YouTubers eat “weird” British candy, play word or music games, or take questions from their audience. YouTubing, as I’ve previously written, has become an important outlet for young gay men, and yet the way YouTubers talk about being gay is often terribly vague and clichéd. In part, this is because the form relies on meme and mimicry (with coming out videos adhering to set formats), but since the dominant audience for these videos is teenage girls, there is also a tendency to translate gay stories into something universal, and by extension optimistic and bromidic, stripping them of their essential queerness. 

 It is with this in mind that Troye Sivan’s emergence as a singer and songwriterbeyond the world of YouTubing is so significant. Born in South Africa but raised in the suburbs of Perth, Australia, Sivan began YouTubing in earnest four years ago, building up an audience of more than 4 million subscribers. Sivan came out as gay three years ago, in a video that has thus far attracted more than 7 million views. Over the course of the past 12 months, however, his creative attention has moved away from YouTube, where his account is largely inactive.

His debut album, Blue Neighbourhood, was released in December 2015. It received generous critical notices and sold rather well in the English-speaking world, reaching the top 10 of the Billboard 200. He’s appeared on The Tonight Show, sung at the Billboard Music Awards, and been nominated for a MTV Video Music Award. This weekend, Sivan begins a North American tour on the heels of another tour that took him to Europe, Asia, and Australasia. All this while his fellow (or perhaps that should be former fellow) YouTubers are doing such important things as going through their old iPhones.
What’s so wonderfully refreshing about Sivan, in contrast to the confected, cotton candy breeziness of YouTube, where all gay narratives must have sunny, uplifting endings, is that there is an identifiable honesty and grittiness to his music. Especially in the Blue Neighbourhood trilogy of songs—“WILD,” “FOOLS,” and “TALK ME DOWN”—there is beauty and loveliness to be found but also trepidation, marginalization, and the disappointment of unfulfilled dreams. His portrayal of what it is like to be a young gay man on the cusp of adulthood works precisely because it rings true.
This trilogy is, depending how you read it, a tale of forbidden love in stultifying suburbia or a fantasia of unrequited lust. It begins with “WILD”—“You make my heart shake/ Bend and break/ But I can’t turn away/ And it’s driving me wild.” The blue neighborhood is a geographical space (“Trying hard not to fall/ On the way home … Kissing up on fences/ And up on walls”), but it must also refer to the idea that young gay love—concealed from others, sometimes even from the object of one’s affection—can be both transcendent and punishing: “Never knew loving could hurt this good … I’ve never ever wanted to be so bad.”
In the pattern of other queer stories, “FOOLS” articulates the desire to break out of suburbia (“I am tired of this place, I hope people change”) and the pain that comes with unrealized romantic fantasies: “I see swimming pools and living rooms and aeroplanes/ I see a little house on the hill and children’s names … But everything is shattering and it’s my mistake/ Only fools fall for you.” “TALK ME DOWN”—the most beautiful song of the trilogy and indeed the album—then further develops the sense of disillusionment and longing:
I wanna sleep next to you
But that’s all I wanna do right now
And I wanna come home to you
But home is just a room full of my safest sounds
Cause you know that I can't trust myself with my 3AM shadow
I'd rather fuel a fantasy than deal with this alone
I wanna sleep next to you
But that's all I wanna do right now
So come over now and talk me down
Now, of course, this arc is far from unique to Sivan’s music, and on a 16-track album, there’s a case to be made for the contrast of light and shade. (If YouTube is cotton candy, the melancholic electropop of Blue Neighbourhood is a morphine tango.) But the moodier youthful outbursts (who hasn’t said, in their own way, “I’m just a lost boy”?) should be ignored or forgiven when Sivan writes with such an appealing candor, including on “HEAVEN” about the intersection between his sexual and religious identity.
So much of what is ostensibly “good for the gays” in pop music is, oftentimes, nothing of the sort. It’s Sam Smith eating his pronouns on “How Will I Know?” and Nick Jonas shamelessly baiting his newly acquired fans, flaunting his fetishes, and offering tantalizing tales of “technical” gay sex. But with Blue Neighbourhood, freed from the restrictions of YouTube, Sivan has made music that boasts an unashamed queer sensibility: It is about gay lives and gay love, gay happiness, and gay sadness, too.

Liam Hoare 
Liam Hoare is a freelance writer whose work on politics and literature features in the Forward and the Tower. He is a graduate of University College London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies

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