Over 56 Thousand people have signed an online petition urging Youtube to hold gender sensitisation workshops for its top content creators in India. The petition was started on 6th June by Gaylaxy following a string of videos on Youtube with homophobic slurs and abuses targeted towards people using TikTok.
In May, a popular Youtuber CarryMinati posted a roast video titled “Youtube vs TikTok: The End” that was full of homophobic slurs and tried demeaning another popular TikToker using those. The video quickly garnered 17 Million views, and was later taken down by Youtube due to its homophobic content. However, that video only brought to the notice of LGBTQ people and activists what seemed like a deep rooted malaise among Indian Youtubers.
Indian Youtubers seemed to be thinking that the only way to roast another person was by trying to questing their sexuality and hinting that they were queer, and then using words and expletives that have been used to target and bully queer people. Essentially, they were replicating the offline bullying and name-calling online, and through the millions of views and subscribers, in turn influencing their viewers and normalising such behaviour.
Gaylaxy thus launched an online petition on change.org imploring Youtube to hold sensitisation workshops for all its top Indian Youtubers. “The only way it can stop is if the YouTube content Creators behave responsibly and understand the issues of LGBTQ community and are sensitive to them,” the petition stated.
The petition received and overwhelming support and has crossed over 56 thousand signatures within a month. Many people have also mentioned in the comments section incidences of bullying and how that affected them.
Many others pointed out how these videos were influencing younger generation to imitate similar behaviour offline and expressed deep concern that youtube was allowing such content on its platform
Youtube hasn’t yet responded to the petition, or come out with any kind of statement on the demand for a sensitisation workshop.