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YouTube is a well-known platform amongst many people worldwide. Many people use the site for a variety of reasons whether to build an audience, broadcast their talents, watch shows, learn something new, or listen to music. Lately YouTube has had some users concerned with the company creators being prejudice. As hate marks are constantly on the site, the platform has not found a way to fully protect its users from verbal abuse. YouTube creators have been questioned about racism due to their lack of promoting non-white individuals and their guidelines of banning hate remarks.
YouTube is not responsible for promoting everyone. When a user joins the platform, he or she must have somewhat of a following already. The site is designed to promote channels and users that are worthy of a worldwide audience. Moderators also help those that should get noticed by placing them on the home screen, or sharing them on Twitter. However, there are only a few darker skinned users that are shared on the shared sites. It was not until February 2015 when Akilah Hughes, Fusion contributor, and YouTube user took the initiative to question YouTube creators about their lack of promoting brown skin creators. Hughes generated a study of the amount of shares YouTube has on its Twitter and homepage, and kept a record of how many of the people were non-white out of all the shares in the month. Her results proved the creators of the platform might have racial animosity against those that are not white.
Once Hughes’ information was completely gathered, she presented her findings to a spokesperson and asked the creators about their racist behavior. The spokesperson said YouTube is available to anyone around the world to upload videos, gain a following and profit for their content. Since it is very open, it has accumulated a large diverse library reflecting a broad spectrum of cultures, beliefs, classes, sexualities, and races that are underrepresented elsewhere.
While Hughes is the first to do the study and question the creators about their lack of promotion, she is not the first user to question the creators about racism. CNN interviewed a famous user who was harassed about her race from viewers. When CNN asked YouTube creators about the harassment and why they have not created a better protection realm, they said the guidelines are clear that hate comments are not allowed and should be reported. Users have the ability to block, delete, and refuse comments altogether. This suggests that the site can not go further than what it already does to protect users from obscene comments if they do not do any of the following.
A researcher that focuses on social issues online stated that YouTube is a reflection of the culture people live in. The hate comments are visual proof that many people out there are very racist. Social media platforms are outlets for those people to convey their hate, because the only punishment they get is being blocked by the person that they dislike. The person is still allowed to see other videos of the YouTuber in question after being blocked from comments. Therefore, many users ignore the prejudice comments and continue their craft since there is no way to stop them altogether.
YouTube creators getting questioned about their racist behavior and acts on the hate crimes is only a stepping stone for what is to come. A new upgrade in the guidelines must take place to prevent further threats, and better ways to promote those that are not being recognized.
Opinion By Krystle Mitchell
Photo By Carlos Allevato – Flickr License