YouTube’s on Notice to do Better About Trans Harassment on Platform

YouTube’s on Notice to do Better About Trans Harassment on Platform

08.31.21
Photo: Christian Wiediger via Unsplash
08.31.21

Twenty organizations are calling on YouTube to help protect trans people against harassment on its popular video platform. 

In a recent letter addressed to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, the organizations are demanding specific policies to “mitigate targeted harassment” aimed at trans people. 

“If YouTube is serious about being a safe place for LGBTQ people, it is incumbent upon the platform to protect trans people from harmful misgendering and deadnaming,” the letter reads.

A few of the organizations included the National Black Justice Coalition, GLAAD, PFLAG National, the Equality Federation and more. 

A report from Media Matters showed that several powerful right-wing media figures, including Ben Shapiro and Joe Rogan, frequently deadname — call a transgender person by their birth name although they have changed their name — and misgender trans people in their videos. 

The videos are “some of the most extreme examples” of the anti-trans speech on YouTube, and together they have more than 9 million views, according to Media Matters.

YouTube’s guidelines work to protect LGBTQ+ people, but the report alleges that in practice, these protections do little to support trans people. 

“As recommended in GLAAD’s Social Media Safety Index, YouTube should ‘follow the lead of Twitter’s Policy on Hateful Conduct, which includes a specific prohibition against misgendering and deadnaming,’” the letter reads.