These LGBTQ+ YouTubers say the company has repeatedly restricted their content—now they're suing for alleged discrimination.
The content creators filed a class action lawsuit on August 13, 2019 against YouTube and parent company Google alleging repeated restriction of monetization, viewership, and visibility of their content.
One o f the creators, Celso Dulay, is the co-creator of the channel GlitterBombTV and weekly LGBTQ+ news and entertainment show GNews! Dulay says YouTube has repeatedly flagged and demonetized his content, deeming it a violation of YouTube’s community guidelines. Dulay disputed the content flags multiple times with YouTube reps and later recorded one of those conversations.
“He told us verbatim, ‘your show is not being approved for advertising because of the gay thing,’” he said.
Dulay says YouTube later apologized for the comments made during the recorded conversation but says the miscalculated content flagging still persisted. He began reaching out to other LGBTQ+ content creators experiencing similar problems. These creators have now joined together in a class action lawsuit.
Youtube has repeatedly pointed to this “Advertiser-Friendly Content Guidelines” and encourages users to continue its appeals process to dispute any mislabeled content.
Dulay and others also say YouTube’s treatment affects the access that LGBTQ+ people have to potentially “life-saving” content.
“It’s extremely important to have a seat at the table like anybody else, like another minority, disenfranchised group,” Dulay said.