YouTube has stopped serving ads to two videos from anti-LGBTQ+ author Jordan Peterson in which he deliberately misgenders actor Elliot Page and compares gender-affirming health care for trans people to Nazi-like medical experiments, Axios reports.
High-profile YouTubers generate revenue through ads that accompany their videos. By stopping ads on these videos, the video platform has effectively prevented Peterson, who has a history of extreme queerphobia and transphobia, from profiting off his anti-trans rhetoric.
The first video was posted on July 1, just after Twitter banned him for deadnaming and misgendering Page. The video, entitled “Twitter Ban,” recounted his side of the story after being removed from the microblogging platform over a tweet saying, “Remember when pride was a sin?” during LGBTQ+ Pride Month. That tweet went on to say that Page had his “breasts removed by a criminal physician.” In the video reacting to his ban, Peterson calls Page an “actress” and uses his dead name. Them will not link to or embed either video.
In a second video posted on July 15 entitled “Butchers & Liars Reprise,” Peterson sets his sights on gender-affirming care, which is endorsed by every major medical association and has been confirmed as life-saving. “It’s Auschwitz and Gulag-level wrong,” Peterson says. “It’s Nazi medical experiment-level wrong.”
Though YouTube demonetized the videos, it did allow them to stay on the website (boo!) and has not stopped Peterson from making revenue off his other videos (double boo!).
“We set a high bar for what videos can make money on YouTube,” YouTube said in a statement to Axios. “Many videos that are allowed on YouTube are not eligible to monetize because they do not meet our ad-friendly guidelines.” The video hosting site said that Peterson’s videos “violate our advertising policies around hateful and derogatory content, and have been demonetized.”
“In demonetizing these two videos, YouTube is confirming that Jordan Peterson’s hate-driven anti-trans rhetoric is in violation of the platform’s community guidelines,” a spokesperson for LGBTQ+ media advocacy organization GLAAD said in a statement. “However, in only demonetizing rather than removing the videos YouTube is failing to truly enforce its own Hate speech policy.” YouTube’s own hate speech policy says that it removed “content promoting violence or hatred against individuals or groups based on any of the following attributes,” among which are gender identity and expression.
“At a time when such rhetoric on YouTube and elsewhere is leading to real-world increases in anti-trans harassment, discrimination, and laws that harm trans people, YouTube’s small action to merely demonetize these two videos, rather than remove them, just shows how much more the company needs to do to protect trans lives,” the spokesperson added.
In July, GLAAD released its annual Social Media Safety Index, which scores major social media sites — YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok — on how well they serve LGBTQ+ users. No social media site received a passing grade, with TikTok scoring the lowest and Instagram the highest. YouTube received a zero for its lack of efforts to stop deadnaming and misgendering.
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