Cassandra, a 30-year-old from New Orleans, was angered after seeing an anti-trans ad on YouTube. So, she took to the internet to voice her concern and was met with a positive response.
On 4 October, Cassandra was working and had a Comedy Central Key & Peele video playlist on in the background. Suddenly, she heard something along the lines of, ‘it’s okay for men to hit women.’
She paused, to make sure she heard it right, and saw the statement was coming from an anti-trans advertisement playing before her video.
‘I turned to my TV, and watched for a few moments in disgusted disbelief as the speaker conflated a MMA match between Fallon Fox and Ronda Rousey with domestic abuse,’ she recalls.
‘The ad only got worse from there, telling the viewer that while accepting people and their gender identities might seem good, it’s actually bad and “anti-scientific”,’ Cassandra says.
Going viral for a good cause
Cassandra took to Twitter to share her disgust. Soon, she noticed her Tweet, which included a short recording of the ad, was retweeted hundreds of times.
— Wolfatha Cassie the Fourth (@cassie_complex) October 4, 2017
Because of how widespread the Tweet became, even being retweeted by prominent journalist Katelyn Burns, YouTube’s Twitter account eventually took notice.
— Katelyn Burns (@transscribe) October 4, 2017
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. This ad violates our policies and has been disapproved.
— TeamYouTube (@TeamYouTube) October 5, 2017
So who created this ad anyway?
‘It’s amazing that they can create videos for the sole purpose of encouraging discrimination then claim they’re the victims,’ Cassandra says in response to their petition.
‘Hatred and demonization and ostracism of trans people is hardly new or uncommon, but I was astounded that [PragerU] went through such lengths to produce a professional-looking video for the exclusive purpose of encouraging others to do the same,’ she states.
YouTube has been in trouble with the LGBTI community before
This comes just a few months after YouTube’s ‘family filter’ blocked LGBTI content. After backlash, the website fixed its filter to not block all LGBTI content, just things that were overtly sexual or profane.
Because of these recent incidents, Cassandra was surprised that YouTube took her complaint seriously.
‘It’s been very disheartening to watch from the sidelines and hearing that YouTube has been declaring LGBTQIA content as not “family friendly” or “suitable for kids” or whatever their precise language is, as there the dearth of LGBTQIA content available when I was young made being one of the very few LGBTQIA kids in the area I grew up and the only trans kid as far as I know,’ Cassandra explains.
‘The internet has been a lifeline for so many LGBTQIA kids (and adults) in recent years, especially those isolated in rural areas, and I hope the removal of this is a sign YouTube will acknowledge the harm that comes from restricting access to LGBTQIA content while tolerating discriminatory content.’