Black creators have brought a lawsuit against African American video makers and viewers accusing YouTube of racial discrimination when it comes to screening or monetizing videos.
The lawsuit filed in a courthouse in San Jose’s Silicon Valley city seeks the status and names of class action defendants YouTube and their parent companies Google and Alphabet.
“Under the pretext of finding that videos violate some vague, ambiguous, and non- specific video content rule, defendants use computer-driven racial, identity and viewpoint profiling and filtering tools to restrict, censor, and denigrate” blacks, the suit argued.
YouTube uses metadata and other “signals” from videos to make decisions about filtering content or placing race-based advertising based on money-making according to the suit.
“Defendants continue to knowingly, intentionally, and systematically block, demonetize, and deny plaintiffs and other persons similarly situated, their contractual and other legal rights to access YouTube based on the color of their skin or other protected racial traits, rather than the material in their videos,” the suit contended.
Triggers for YouTube filtering software include tags on videos referencing white supremacy, police brutality, and “Black Lives Matter,” according to the suit.
YouTube did not react immediately to the allegations.
Google on Thursday raised a sum of $1 billion for free ads it will offer this year to non-profits taking particular interest in groups battling racism and coronavirus pandemic damage.
Google has pledged $275 million on YouTube to support black musicians, finance small African American companies, and other initiatives.
Earlier, a statue of Christopher Columbus in Boston had been decapitated ahead of anti-racism protests which intensified George Floyd ‘s demand for justice.
The Christopher Columbus statue was also vandalized in downtown Miami, according to reports, and another was dragged into a lake in Virginia earlier in the week.
The events come after major protests over Floyd’s killing as momentum builds in the United States to rid the nation of symbols synonymous with racism.