On Tuesday, local time, a group of LGBTQ YouTube creators faced their first real test in their battle over censorship with Google, the video platform’s parent company,media reported. A California court is understood to have heard arguments between the two groups to decide whether the case should be dismissed.
In August 2019, several YouTube users filed a lawsuit, arguing that YouTube’s algorithms inhibited recommendations that made it difficult for them to generate advertising revenue. But the company denies discriminating against its creators. The original lawsuit alleges that YouTube used illegal content regulation, distribution and profitability to insult, restrict, block, demonize and harm gay, bisexual and transgender plaintiffs, as well as the wider gay and transgender community. The lawsuit says the LBGTQ community was treated unfairly and unconstitutionally.
Google refuted these claims, saying that the platform’s distribution algorithms were protected by section 230 of the Communications Code Act. “We have a non-content-based charter,” Brian Willen, Google’s lead attorney, argued at the hearing. He added: “According to Section 230, you cannot be treated as a publisher of any statement. “
Peter Obstler of The Divino Group, which led the case to several YouTube users, said YouTube is not protected by Section 230 because the charter is unconstitutional.
A few weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Justice stepped in to see that it was largely on Google’s side, and the department asked the court to dismiss the case. The Justice Department argues that Section 230 does not restrict content uploaded by YouTube users, and That YouTube does not prevent creators from uploading it.
Ironically, a new executive order issued by U.S. President Donald Trump is now being used by Obstler for further defense. The president is understood to be seeking to abolish Section 230 after a public confrontation with Twitter over his tweet, which Obstler called a “new issue” in the case.
“On Thursday, Donald Trump issued an executive order instructing the Justice Department to implement it in the way we believe it will be,” Obstler told The Verge.com. “
At Tuesday’s hearing, Google’s Willen argued that “the executive order has nothing to do with this issue,” adding that it had nothing to do with the issues. Indraneel Sur, a trial lawyer at the Justice Department, added that “the executive order only shows at best important policy issues within the general scope of Section 230” but that he did not believe that it would have any significant impact on the current case.
While the debate is at the heart of a complex discussion about platform management, YouTubers who filed lawsuits want edgtos and answers more directly from the sites they use to generate revenue. Stephanie Frosch is a gay video master with nearly 370,000 followers. In 2009, she earned about $23,000 a year on YouTube. Now, however, Frosch told The Verge: “I’d be lucky to get $100 a month. “
“Twenty years ago, this kind of entertainment and media platform didn’t exist,” Frosch said. There is a difference between regulation and discrimination, and that’s something we need to figure out. I sincerely hope that the judges will take this into account, because while legitimacy is essential to any decision, empathy and justice are the pillars.
The decision on whether to withdraw the case is now up to the judge. If the case is dismissed, Obstler will appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.