A lesbian couple from Vancouver, Washington, is part of a lawsuit that claims YouTube is discriminating against the LGBTQ community by changing its algorithms and rejecting ads. Bria Kam and Chrissy Chambers have more than 850,000 followers on YouTube. Their videos have generated 400 million views. But they claim the new algorithms have resulted in their income dropping from $3,500 a month to $500 a month. "Of course, we feel like we're being targeted specifically for our sexuality," said Chambers.
The lawsuit, with eight LGBTQ plaintiffs, maintains that YouTube and its parent company, Google, are engaged in discriminatory, anti-competitive and unlawful conduct. "There's a bunch of ways that YouTube is discriminating against us. YouTube is removing our thumbnails. They are not sending our video out to subscribers. They are unsubscribing people. If you search our names, certain videos just don't appear. They are age-restricting our video, demonetizing, age-gating our videos," said Kam.
As part of the lawsuit, attorneys included a conversation between YouTube personality Chris Knight, who is gay, and a Google employee after Knight's YouTube ads were rejected. The Google employee allegedly told Knight the ads were rejected because, "The video has the sexuality content about gays and everything."
In a statement to KIRO 7, YouTube spokesperson Alex Joseph said, "Our policies have no notion of sexual orientation or gender identity and our systems do not restrict or demonetize videos based on these factors or the inclusion of terms like 'gay' or 'transgender.'" "In addition, we have strong policies prohibiting hate speech, and we quickly remove content that violates our policies and terminate accounts that do so repeatedly."
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