UPDATE: Since this video was recorded, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop’s Jack Phillips 7-2, who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in Colorado.
Several LGBT content creators are upset with YouTube after seeing anti-LGBT ads appear before their videos.
This started with a tweet from Shannon Taylor, who posts videos to her YouTube channel “Hey There I’m Shannon” and is the vocalist for the band New Pollution. She wrote:
Hey @TeamYouTube do you mind explaining why I’m receiving LITERAL ANTI-LGBT organization advertisements now? (Yep, with a donation link)
I thought the whole point was to keep the site “non-political” & the videos “advertised friendly”.
What even is this garbage? pic.twitter.com/uJLoOjaxrw
— Shannon Taylor ⱽᵉⁿᶦ ⱽᶦᵈᶦ ⱽᶦᶜᶦ (@HeyThereImShan) May 29, 2018
The ad is from the Alliance Defending Freedom and the title of the video is “Should The Government Force People To Create Art That Violates Their Beliefs?” The ad features florist Barronelle Stutzman, who was sued by Washington’s attorney general for refusing to prepare floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding, in violation of the state’s anti-discrimination law. In 2017, the state’s Supreme Court ruled unanimously against Stutzman, arguing that floral arrangements are not a protected form of speech under the first amendment. And, since she agreed in the case that making floral arrangements for an atheist couple wouldn’t be an endorsement of atheist, she shouldn’t consider flowers for a gay couple to be an endorsement of homosexuality.
Stutzman’s lawyers want the federal Supreme Court to weigh in, and they might be doing that pretty soon. In the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Baker Jack Phillips was ordered by the state of Colorado to make a cake for a same-sex couple, and he believes he has the right to refuse. That case is going to be decided by the Supreme Court in the next few weeks.
Now, back to the ad with Stutzman. It’s asking for donations to the Alliance Defending Freedom, which fights in court, depending on your point of view, for religious freedom, or against equality for same-sex couples. The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled the ADF a hate group for linking homosexuality to pedophilia and arguing that members of the LGBT community will lead to the destruction of American society.
And an ad called “Can You Be Gay And Christian” appears before a video from transgender YouTuber Chase Ross.
There are a couple different ways to look at this. It could be that YouTube’s algorithm is screwed up, or it’s just hateful content — period. It shouldn’t be anywhere on YouTube, especially when far less objectionable content has been demonetized or deleted. In fact, Chase Ross has good evidence that his videos have been demonetized just for using the word ‘transgender’. And he’s even afraid that his channel will be deleted at some point if his videos keep getting flagged.
Again, whichever side of the issue you come down on, it definitely seems that YouTube, at the moment, is promoting anti-LGBT advertisements at the expense of its LGBT creators. YouTube’s ad requirements, however, only prohibit “adult content” and “shocking content” — and it doesn’t say anything about hate speech or if YouTube would even consider what these ads are saying hate speech. In the meantime, LGBT creators and allies are not happy. Dodie tweeted:
how the actual fuck is YouTube automatically branding anything LGBTQ+ not suitable for advertising
and yet allowing anti-gay (ANTI GAY?!! what is this the 1940s?!) adverts on our videos?!
i mean that’s just plain and simple homophobia right?! the platform we use is homophobic? https://t.co/4W5jYJ0dLP
— dodie (@doddleoddle) June 1, 2018
Calum McSwiggan tweeted:
I’m gonna give YouTube the benefit of the doubt and assume the anti-gay adverts I’m seeing are a mistake. Please correct this @TeamYouTube, your LGBT+ content creators don’t want these adverts on our videos, especially not in pride month. Thanks 👍🏼🏳️🌈
— Calum McSwiggan (@CalumMcSwiggan) June 1, 2018
What do you guys think? Should these ads be considered hate speech and removed? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.