I’m not usually that vocal online unless I’m bored or sick. In this case I’m getting ready for surgery next week, so I’ve been too wired to write or do too many readings, and guess what I stumbled onto in Twitter?
Carlos Maza, a reporter, LGBTQ activist, Gay, and Latino man has been having trouble with trolls for a couple of years. So the usual keeping of stiff upper lips and minding privacy advice was given. He’s no stranger to being on the receiving end of online bullying. It’s almost normal.
…but then it moved up to phone harassment and threats.
So he reported them to YouTube, who has a policy against hate speech, but one that has never actually been enforced. We weren’t expecting much, but then they were pretty brazen about their scoffing at Carlos and basically everyone on YouTube who wasn’t a “straight white male”.
So at this point, those of us watching understood that YouTube execs don’t care about us. They’ve joined the ranks of other social media who monetized hate, but unlike the others, haven’t yet learned the lesson that this will bite them in the ass. If people don’t feel safe someplace online, and understand the platform is just basically feeding them to haters for online and offline bullying, harassment, and possibly murder, they don’t need that bandwidth bad enough to pay with their lives.
The vast majority of us who were on YouTube were not making money from it at all. We were feeding them money collectively, while individually making nothing. So it was basically video storage to most of us. Overnight they lost all of us who saw this mess go down.
So the next day, they published a new anti extremist policy. The only problem was that unlike the cleanup that Facebook and Twitter did, they didn’t cut off the big guys. They just demonetized them (which means they will still get money selling their stuff and YouTube will get money from ads). They banned and deleted videos on the smaller channels that already made nothing from it, some of whom were not extremists, but just have unpopular views.
So Carlos, myself, and others understood that this was just a face saving exercise with no real teeth. They don’t respect the LGBTQ community, and once the haters feel like they’ve won, they’ll start going after the witches too. So I deleted most of my content there, and will gradually be moving everything to my own sites.
So I’ll have more work to do after the surgery. Great…but worth it.
This is one of those situations that just reminds us that if you’re going against the popular norms, you have to be the online version of strapped. Unfortunately, many people can’t afford hosting and have to rely on free or low cost services, but it’s okay to start small without so many bells and whistles. Your speech may not be as glossy or be delivered with the latest software and fancy code, but it’ll be free.
For the sake of showing what kind of people they really are compared to those of us who really are in marginalized groups, I suggested to the whining haters who somehow tried to make themselves the victims in this, that if YouTube shuts them off, they should learn to build their own websites. They thought I was calling their bluff, but I gave enough information on how to get started to show I was fully prepared to spoonfeed them tutorial links.
Of course, the lazy, entitled bratlings all declined. No surprises there. The reason they’re racist and/or homophobes is exactly because they think they are entitled for the world to suck their asshole with a smile. They don’t feel they should have to learn anything or invest time and resources into anything. Everything should be given to them for free. They also think someone owes them visibility, and it’s too hard to build a site and compete for views in the open market. Social media is a more captive audience. You can post stuff whether it’s wanted or not, and someone has to ask someone else to have it removed.
It’s scary for them to imagine having to actually form a reasoned argument and debate in a way that engages rather than alienates people.