YouTube CEO says it “does not automatically demonetise LGBTQ content”

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YouTube is coming under the spotlight once again when it comes to the rights of LGBTQ creators, with several members of the community alleging that the platform demonetises their content as it falls under the “queer” category.

Immediately going on the defensive YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has explained that it’s definitely not the case. The head of the platform addressed this area, among several other issues plaguing YouTube in a recent interview with creator Alfie Deyes (pasted below), where Wojcicki stated that it “does not automatically demonetise LGBTQ content.”

Said video is currently sitting at 3.7k likes to 2.3k dislikes, so it’s needless to say that the YouTube community is split when it comes to Wojcicki’s comments on the matter.

“There’s no policies that say ‘If you put certain words in a title that will be demonetised,’” Wojcicki explained to Deyes, “We work incredibly hard to make sure that when our machines learn something — because a lot of our decisions are made algorithmically — that our machines are fair.”

And that may be the crux of the problem, with a potential inherent bias in the algorithm that assesses videos in terms of whether they are appropriate, resulting in a disproportionate number of LGBTQ creator videos being demonetised.

If that were indeed the case, it’s easy to see why, especially as YouTube as an organisation has struggled to address the needs and concerns of LGBTQ employees in the workplace. Such a culture filters into the work done at the firm, and could consequently lead to algorithms and services being unintentionally skewed towards a certain bias.

While Wojcicki has stated unequivocally YouTube’s stance on handling the monetisation of LGBTQ creator content, it’c clear that there is a larger discussion to be had around the platform’s algorithms and how effective they are.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.