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