YouTube’s moderation process is failing the LGBT community. Can we fix this?

Yay!!! This time, it only took me a little under two weeks to get the Transthetics channel re-instated, rather than the three months it took last time.

This time I knew which strings needed to be pulled, so I’d like to share what I learned.

Unfortunately, the standard moderation process at YouTube has pretty much completely broken down. Once a video is flagged, it is extremely unlikely to be re-instated my a moderator upon appeal due to their review process now generally taking around ten seconds per video. This started happening to my channel about two years ago, when videos that had previously been flagged and fully re-instated, were being flagged again and the appeal denied, which results in a permanent strike on the channel.

The problem is that after three strikes, the channel is deleted. And as it’s no longer possible to appeal a strike with competent moderators, the only avenue one has to get unwarranted strikes removed, is to start a social media shit storm, and that’s just not something that most of us have the desire, time and energy or even ability to do. It’s certainly not my idea of fun.

For me, it took reaching out to my email subscribers and other LGBT content creators to put pressure on YouTube via social media, so thank you SO much to everyone that helped in this push. It’s only due to your pressure that this was finally escalated.

I do understand and appreciate that it is quite a thankless task to try to accurately and fairly moderate the astronomical amount of content that is uploaded to YouTube on a daily basis and that it makes sense to employ bots and algorithms as the first line of defence. The problem with this, is that it does inadvertently leave the LGBT and especially the trans community in the first line of fire, due to the nature of the kinds of things that we need to be able to talk about. We need to be able to talk about prosthetics, testosterone treatment, surgery, mental health, our exponentially higher risk of suicide and other topics which the YouTube algorithm deems as “risky”.

And it seems the Electronic Frontier Foundation agrees. This article on how YouTube and other social media platforms inadvertently targets LGBT content echo many of my own concerns.

My appeal to YouTube would be a) Spend a little more time training your moderators in the nuances of your community guidelines. b) Have some kind of a history system so that channels that ARE being unfairly targeted are marked for more considered moderation, so it doesn’t continue to happen. c) Have more transparency around what your moderation processes actually are. d) Allow for a more effective escalation process than having to start a social media shit storm.

Seeing that I am now fairly well versed in how to get YouTube’s attention, I’d like to hear from you if you feel your channel or any of your videos have been unfairly removed. Just email me at transthetics@gmail.com with the details. I won’t be able to guarantee getting it re-instated but will certainly do my best and would also like to get a more accurate gauge on exactly how wide spread this issue really is.

2018-10-31T02:13:54+00:00October 27th, 2018|All, Media/Social/Politics, Soapbox|0 Comments

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