It’s 2017. A year in which there are more than only 2 genders and people have finally started to appreciate the reality of that. Alas, when we take two steps forward, Internet superpowers might just take one step back.
In the past few days, many might have noticed that YouTube’s “restricted mode” was blocking certain videos that contained LGBTQ+ content. YouTube claims that they are proud to represent LGBTQ+ voices, and their “restricted mode” is only to filter out mature content for users who want a more “limited” experience. If you want to read their full statement, check out their twitter post.
Apparently, with this restricted mode, they are allowing users who have opinions against the LGBTQ+ to “safely” experience content in YouTube. However, there’s only so much that automated systems can do; and YouTube’s “restricted filter” blocked many videos that didn’t require it. Ergo, they had to manually unblock them. Many side YouTube’s decision in giving an equal experience to all users, since who are we to force you to believe something, right?
Alas, if Internet problems died so quickly, would there even be Internet problems to begin with? YouTube’s problems are not only limited to the LGBTQ+ community, but in a movement that started a short while ago, several popular brands (McDonalds, BBC, etc) feared that ads placed by Google on various websites and videos (including YT) are actually promoting “extremist views.”
In other words, on the same page where you saw McDonalds advertise their fancy new beef burger, you would also see an advertisement with hateful/extremist remarks.
“New tools” is what Google claims will give businesses more control over where and what ads appear, but it’s all been talk so far. AT&T and Verizon are both removing their ads from Google till this is sorted.
It makes sense though, doesn’t it? Sure, you will miss out on the thousands of people who could potentially access your website daily; but is that more important than appearing on the same page where ads related to terrorism and hate are promoted?
“Until Google can ensure that this won’t happen again, we are removing our ads from Google’s non-search platforms” – Verizon
If that wasn’t enough, even the United Kingdom government has pulled advertisements out of YouTube! “Google has been summoned for discussions at the Cabinet Office to explain how it will deliver the high quality of service government demands on behalf of the taxpayer“. Although this might have not caused a huge commotion, this month might not have been the best for social media outlets. “Fake news” has been the headline of most articles that directly attack websites such as Facebook and Twitter; and now with several companies putting a pause on their affiliation with Google advertisements, who knows which underdog will deem victorious.