Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

YouTube's algorithm suppresses LGBTQ content more than usual which is something that most people agree shouldn't be suppressed. At the same time, I don't think it's because advertisers want to suppress the content. I just think it's a bug with YouTube's algorithm.





Could it be that it’s just not as popular as one might think?

No. Keeping out LGBT related keywords was shown to increase their performance.

Yeah but is it the algorithm suppressing such content, or is that outside of a vocal minority, similar tags reduce interest in the content, on average?

So a thing that you should know about YouTube is that if a video is demonetized, it loses ranking in search engines. Since videos seem to be automatically demonetized if they have LGBT related tags, it is much more likely that the lose in ranking is due to the demonetization that is due to the LGBT content.

It might be the case that advertisers aren’t interested in such content at all. I think similar things happened with PewDiePie a lot before he started censoring himself.

Instead of trying to derive the reason for the suppression of LGBT content on YouTube from first principles or hunches, maybe you should dig into the evidence first.

https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2018/6/4/17424472/yout...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/08/14/youtube...

https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/lgbtq-...


In that last story did the suit go anywhere? It was 2017.

The washingtonpost story can be proven false. Whenever I add the word lesbian to a video title traffic goes up 4x the average.

The everage article was interesting. Keywords trans or transgender could put the video into a more mature sexualized context. Most searches with that term probably have a mature/porn intent. It's one of the more popular sexual preferences by keyword search volume so the context of other words matter more.


First of all, are you certain YouTube is blocking content? I am not so convinced. Also, define "most people". I, personally am pro civil liberties and am pro LGBTQ+ rights, however there are vast swaths of the world where LGBTQ+ is not only frowned upon by society but actually illegal at the nation state level.

> YouTube's algorithm suppresses LGBTQ content more than usual

Similar story with Tumblr. I had been using Tumblr for a good many years, for non-pornographic use/material (I shoot landscapes and buildings, and I liked the way I could post/group my photos). It pissed me off though when they (Tumblr) clamped down on sexual content, because it really hurt the LGBTQIA+ communities. A similar clamp down on Pinterest also made me drop them equally fast.

I don't know what conservative agenda they took on, but there were other ways to "protect the sensitive eyes" of their conservative users, without shutting down freedom of expression.


I don't get how you can come so close to hitting the nail on the head and still miss it?

Content that is specifically about LGBT issues is almost always going to involve sexuality at some point or another. Advertisers are skittish about their ads running next to such content. Tumblr wanted to become more attractive to advertisers, so they clamped down on sexual content. By clamping down on sexual content, they also incidentally clamped down on LGBT content. They probably also clamped down on people talking about straight sexuality as well, but that doesn't raise censorship alarms because the explanation for "censorship" is just plain typical American prudishness that is generally accepted.

This is almost certainly the same dynamic at play on youtube.

You can call this a "conservative agenda" if you want, but IMHO you are twisting the debate to frame it as a political wedge issue when it really isn't.


I don't think you could have proved their point any harder.

The equating of sexuality (an identity) to sex (an action) and specifically targeting identities that are not straight _is_ the problem. Under Yahoo (and in a bumbling attempt to adhere to App Store guidelines), completely safe for work content (from discussions to screenshots from media to even teenagers venting or asking for advice) that happened to contain words like "lesbian" got censored/marked as NSFW - meanwhile content that was much more sex-related than that (e.g. a gif from a movie showing two straight characters kissing or getting handsy) would pass just fine. But of course, it's "twisting the debate" to find it absurd and obviously homophobic that a girl _typing_ about wanting to marry another girl someday is considered pornographic in comparison.


As you say, not understanding the difference between sexuality and sex is exactly the problem.

Where we disagree is I do not believe this is any kind of moral judgement biased against LGBT content. It's just that content explicitly designed to be LGBT is going to trip stupid automated moderating systems, just like content explicitly designed to be about BDSM or any other kind of sex related topic, whether it is LGBT or not.

Images are a different kind of problem entirely. Again, computers don't understand context. Recognizing a boob or a penis is hard, but still relatively easy compared to understanding that images can be highly sexual without any overt images of sex.

Yes, these sites don't understand the context you want them to understand. But no, I don't think it's a politically conservative motivated judgement (in all likelihood of course, I can't say for certain... and likely neither can you).


>to trip stupid automated moderating systems

Sex/Sexuality/Gender/etc.

There is some confusion on these. One has to do with identity, the other has to do with sexual partner choice. I.e. I was born a man, I feel like a woman. In an unrelated (to identity) note, I prefer X-Y-Z as my sexual partner.

The conservative/conservatism bit has to do with the hypocrisy that man, woman should be the only available choices of gender, and that "man + woman" should be the only allowed sexual partnership. I will not bring religion to the discussion, it only makes things shittier.

This (imho) is the founding stone of fascism, you are different than me (postpartum gender change not allowed), and your choices are different than mine (man + woman, and no other combo allowed).

When a company suppresses and eventually kicks out these communities, they may be doing it for the $$$$, but in the end of the day they ostracize people only because of their identity and choices. As for the “stupid automated moderating..” I call bullcrap. It is a mix of hate and incompetency. But driven by hate and conservatism.

If Tumblr wanted, they could have created an tagging mechanism that could facilitate people to find their own groups/fandoms.


> But no, I don't think it's a politically conservative motivated judgement

Censoring the literal word "lesbian" is not a politically/socially conservative judgment to you?

Okay.


Since when did conservatives use Tumblr?

Same reason as Facebook: advertisers don't want their ads shown next to controversial content. As a matter of fact, the LGBTQIA+ communities aren't all about sex, and it's homophobic to say they are.


The whole point is that non-sexual content (Eg: references to being gay) got banned as sexual.



Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: