- YouTube is facing criticism for its stuttered steps in taking action against a popular YouTuber who has a history of making homophobic and racist comments about Vox journalist Carlos Maza.
- In response, Google employees are posting to social media using the hashtag “NoPrideinYT” to express their disappointment in the company’s inaction and lack of protection for LGBTQ+ YouTube creators.
- A Google engineer told Business Insider that morale is low among LGBTQ+ employees and allies, and that “it’s hard to put my shoes on every day and go to work when I don’t think the company I work for supports my identity.”
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Google employees are taking to social media to protest their company’s lack of action against a YouTuber who has used his channel to hurl homophobic slurs at a journalist.
Using the hashtag #NoPrideInYT, Google employees have been criticising the company – which owns YouTube – for failing to curb harassment and abusive language, and adhering to policies that fail to protect members of the LGBTQ+ community.
“It’s hard to put my shoes on everyday and go to work when I don’t think the company I work for supports my identity,” a Google engineer, who wished to remain anonymous, told Business Insider.
The internal outrage comes days after a Vox journalist named Carlos Maza shared in a viral Twitter thread that he was facing a slew of harassment at the hands of a YouTuber with almost 4 million subscribers, Steven Crowder. Crowder, a notable right-wing personality, has posted several videos over the years referring to Maza as a “lispy queer” and a “gay Mexican,” among other racist and homophobic language.
YouTube said Crowder’s language didn’t violate any policies,although it acknowledged what was said was “clearly hurtful.” The video-sharing platform updated its response Wednesday to say it had suspended Crowder’s ability to make money from ads on his videos, but said that the action would be reversed as long as Crowder removed links to official t-shirts he sells through his channel that say, “socialism is for f—.”
But YouTube’s efforts to respond to the debacle – which the company acknowledged had “harmed the broader community” – did little to curb the deluge of backlash. Some on social media pledged to boycott YouTube and the rest ofGoogle’s family of toolsand services. At least one LGBTQ+ advocacy organisation – the Pride Foundation of Maryland – has removed its content from YouTube in protest, while other nonprofits are being encouraged to follow suit.
A coordinated group of activist Google workers, called “Googlers Against Hate,” posted to Twitter accusing YouTube of harming the LGBTQ+ community with its decisions even as the company continued to promote its rainbow-adorned marketing campaign for Pride Month.
Offline, the effects of Google’s decisions are palpable internally at the company, the Google engineer told Business Insider. He said that instead of June being a month to celebrate pride, LGBTQ+ employees and allies are disheartened, and morale is low.
“This isn’t the first case of YouTube basically masquerading hate speech as ‘healthy debate,'” the engineer said. “It just continues this narrative that Google executives are completely disconnected from Google employees’ wants, needs, and identities.”
The past few years for Google have been marked by a flurry of internal employee pushback to decisions by its executives. Google has seen its employees protest the company’s handling of sexual misconduct, the building of a censored search engine for China, and, most recently, the appointment of a member of Google’s artificial intelligence ethics board who has a history of transphobic comments.