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YouTube CEO Apologises to LGBTQ Community

The platform is looking to re-evaluate its harassment policies in the wake of the ongoing situation

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FILE - Signage is seen inside the YouTube Space LA offices in Los Angeles, California, Oct. 21, 2015. VOA

After the LGBTQ community called out to YouTube for not considering homophobic remarks as violation of its platform’s policies, company CEO Susan Wojcicki apologised to the community.

“I know that the decisions we made were very hurtful to the LGBTQ community and that wasn’t our intention at all. That was not our intention, and we are really sorry about that,” The Verge quoted Wojcicki as saying at the Code Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday.

Wojcicki’s apology comes in the wake of the company’s failure to take more definitive action against conservative pundit Steven Crowder who made homophobic and racist comments about Vox publications writer Carlos Maza, calling him “lispy queer” and “gay Mexican”.

The decision led to mass outcry from YouTube creators, critics and even Google employees who signed a petition against YouTube’s decision.

Apologising and defending the decision, the YouTube CEO said: “I’m really, personally very sorry. As a company we really want to support this community. It’s just from a policy standpoint we need to be consistent – if we took down that content, there would be so much other content that we need to take down.”

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Pride Month kicked off on June 1 and honours the LGBTQ community while commemorating New York’s Stonewall riots in June 1969. Pixabay

Even though YouTube left Crowder’s channel up, it did remove advertisements from his channel, the report added.

This is not the first time that Google has been pulled up for its anti-LGBTQ community stand.

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In March, US-based LGBTQ civil rights advocacy group — Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation — suspended Google from its 2019 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for failing to remove a “conversation therapy” app from its PlayStore.

The platform is looking to re-evaluate its harassment policies in the wake of the ongoing situation. (IANS)

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YouTube Experimenting with Hiding Comments on Videos in India

For now, it remains unclear if YouTube would expand the experiment from Android to iOS or not

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The YouTube Music app is displayed on a mobile phone in Los Angeles. VOA

In a bid to curb the spread of hateful and racist comments on its platform, Google-owned YouTube is experimenting with hiding comments on videos by default and the test has gone live in India.

The new feature, being experimented on Android for now, hides the comments that are displayed below the video unless a viewer taps the “Comments” button.

“We are testing a few different options on how to display comments on the watch page. This is one of many small experiments we run all the time on YouTube and we’ll consider rolling features out more broadly based on feedback on these experiments,” a YouTube spokesperson told IANS on Friday.

Even though the test feature is on by default currently, creators have the choice of turning the feature off which would traditionally display comments under their videos like the usual format.

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FILE – Silhouettes are seen in front of a Youtube logo, in this picture illustration taken in Zenica, Oct. 29, 2014. VOA

For now, it remains unclear if YouTube would expand the experiment from Android to iOS or not.

For those who visit YouTube for videos and not to comment could easily keep themselves out of any hate, misinformation, toxicity or controversy that may have come up in the “Comments” section.

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In February, YouTube announced that it would no longer recommend videos that “come close” to violating its community guidelines, such as conspiracy or medically inaccurate videos like those claiming the earth is flat or making false claims about historic events.

In a similar attempt and to channelise user-focus on sharing and viewing better and sensible content on its platform, Facebook-owned photo-messaging app Instagram is also planning on hiding the ‘Like’ counts for posts on its app. (IANS)