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YouTube apologizes to LGBTQ creators over issues with its ad and monetization policies

YouTube apologizes to LGBTQ creators over issues with its ad and monetization policies


‘We’re sorry and we want to do better’

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Illustration by William Joel / The Verge

Following complaints from users, YouTube has apologized for some of the problems that its LGBTQ creators have faced regarding its monetization and ad policies in recent months. The apology comes at the end of Pride month, and the video platform says that it will do better by its creators.

In a series of tweets yesterday, YouTube says that it “let the LGBTQ community down — inappropriate ads and concerns about how we’re enforcing our monetization policy,” and that “that we hear concerns about how we’re implementing our monetization policy, we take them seriously and make improvements if needed.”

Creators have complained for months about having to deal with strikes, age and content restrictions, anti-LGBT ads, and have had their videos demonetized or stripped of ads altogether, allegedly because words like “trans” or “transgender” are in their titles. At the time, YouTube told The Verge that that language doesn’t trigger demonetization, but that it uses machine learning to try to figure out what videos violate its policies, saying that sometimes their “systems get it wrong,” and encouraged channels to appeal. However, this puts the onus on creators to ensure that their videos are being treated properly.

But while YouTube has acknowledged that it’s made mistakes and is pledging to do better, its tweets don’t outline any specific measures, other than that it’s taken unspecified “action on ads that violate our policies,” “tightening [its] enforcement,” and making improvements to its monetization policies. It’s a familiar apology, and the platform will need to do more than just provide short statements to reassure creators that it’s serious about its support for the community.