Check for flying pigs, 5 LGBTQ+ YouTube channels famous for bearded drag queens, progressive politics, and sex-ed are agreeing with conservatives on censorship.
No less than five channels have joined together for a lawsuit against YouTube and its parent company Google. According to Buzzfeed, they have accused the Big Tech platform of “hiding their videos, removing subscribers, and denying advertising.” They claim that certain keywords in the titles of their videos such as "gay," "transgender," or "bisexual," can get them penalized.
Browne George Ross, the law firm representing these creators, is also representing PragerU in its own lawsuit accusing the platform of mistreating conservative content creators.
Browne George Ross lawyer Peter Obstler told Buzzfeed that his legal case is based on the fact that YouTube is not upholding its four core values, which may constitute a breach of contract.
YouTube claims in its mission statement that it supports freedom of expression, freedom of information, freedom of opportunity, and freedom to belong. By cracking down on so many LGBTQ+ YouTube channels, Obstler thinks this may be a case of YouTube engaging in "discriminatory application of their guidelines.”
The exact words of the suit accuse the platform of using “their monopoly power over content regulation to selectively apply their rules and restrictions in a manner that allowed them to gain an unfair advantage to profit from their own content to the detriment of its consumers."
YouTuber Chrissy Chambers said of the lawsuit that "we knew we had been unfairly silenced and persecuted for all these years and we didn't know what we could do about it. Then this lawsuit came up and we knew this was the action we had to take."
YouTube as a platform has been widely criticized for pretending to be an open platform on the surface while actually squelching free speech. Their most recent annual Rewind, a yearly recap that celebrates its content creators and community, was widely panned as a sterile and corporate sell-out. It may have made surface level pandering to drag queens and gay politics but distanced itself from the actually edgy humor that makes the platform wildly popular.