Kat Blaque says she may be leaving YouTube for good, after one of her videos was mysteriously removed from the site without explanation.
Over the weekend, YouTube personality & trans rights activist Kat Blaque shared her frustrations on Twitter. She posted a screenshot that her video from 2014 had suddenly been removed on January 3rd.
The video, titled “Jean Paul Goude & The Hottentot Venus," was about the controversy that followed Kim Kardashian’s nude photos in PAPER magazine.
In her video, Kat told the story of a black woman who was exhibited as a "freak show" attraction during the 1800s due to her large buttocks. After her death, the woman’s body was dissected and put on display in a museum, where it stayed until the 1970s.
Kat tweeted: "@YouTube I just received this message that you've, not demonetized, but removed a video that I did YEARS ago about Sarah Baartman, a black woman who was hypersexualized and exploited across Europe in the 19th Century. This video was educational and you removed it.
So, why did YouTube suddenly decide this video was a problem?
According to the screenshot Kat posted, the video was removed because it was flagged for “violating community guidelines.” She even received a strike.
Kat went on to reveal her feelings of being exploited by YouTube as a token example of a minority creator.
Kat tweeted: "To Youtube, I am not really valuable or important. To @YouTube , i am nothing more than a sales pitch. To @YouTube , I am nothing more than a black woman who's trans whomarks off diversity points with little to no effort. They get to feel so empowered and look so good by inviting me to things. By including me in things."
Kat returned to Twitter the next morning and said she’d now place YouTube at a “lower priority” in her life.
She said she’s going to keep creating the content she believes in, even if that means not uploading to YouTube.
YouTube replied to Kat's initial tweet later that day. They wrote from the @TeamYouTube account: "Appreciate you reaching out and letting us know about the video removal, this was an error on our side and we confirmed the video is now back up. Our apologies."
Many, however, thought the explanation wasn’t good enough.
YouTube has been under fire for the last year or so. Top creators like PewDiePie, DaddyOFive, and Logan Paul have all been at the center of controversies for offensive content — alienating a creator like Kat Blaque is not helping things.
YouTube needs to be encouraging more people of color, more women, and more trans people to contribute to the community. One thing that YouTube could do is to be much clearer about their process.
Even assuming that YouTube’s removal of Kat’s video was simply an accident, it makes you wonder… why can’t the world’s most popular video-sharing service be more competent?
What do you think? Did YouTube remove Kat’s video by mistake, or did it violate guidelines? Let us know in the comments.
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