Tuesday June 25, 2019
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YouTube Decides that Homophobic Harassment Does Not Violate its Policies

The decision came formally as a response to an ongoing controversy about YouTuber Steven Crowder

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Google-owned video sharing app YouTube has decided that homophobic comments do not violate its policies. Pixabay

Google-owned video sharing app YouTube has decided that homophobic comments do not violate its policies.

The decision came formally as a response to an ongoing controversy about YouTuber Steven Crowder making homophobic and racist comments about a Vox publications writer Carlos Maza, saying things like “lispy queer” and “gay Mexican”.

“Our teams spent the last few days conducting an in-depth review of the videos flagged to us, and while we found language that was clearly hurtful, the videos as posted don’t violate our policies,” TeamYouTube tweeted on Tuesday.

“As an open platform, it’s crucial for us to allow everyone – from creators to journalists to late-night TV hosts – to express their opinions within the scope of our policies. Opinions can be deeply offensive, but if they don’t violate our policies, they’ll remain on our site,” it added.

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

The YouTuber, who describes his YouTube channel as the “number one conservative late night comedy show” has gathered nearly four million subscribers since 2006.

Earlier this week, Crowder claimed that his seemingly derogatory remarks were merely jokes and called them “harmless ribbing”.

Currently, YouTube is celebrating LGBT Pride Month by changing its Twitter avatar photos to ones referencing the rainbow flag and also promoting a YouTube-financed original documentary “State of Pride”, which Maza has called total hypocrisy.

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. (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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YouTube, Google, google services
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)