San Francisco Pride faces calls to exclude Google

Tech firm could be excluded from Pride events due to inaction to combat homophobic content on YouTube

San Francisco Pride could exclude tech firm Google from this year’s events due to inaction in combatting homophobic content on YouTube.

A number of LGBTI rights activists and former Google employees have petitioned to the Pride organizers to ban the company from this year’s events.

Google has come under widespread scrutiny regarding its policies regarding homophobia on its video streaming site, YouTube.

Openly gay journalist Carlos Maza called out the site for failing to address homophobic slurs directed at him by right-wing social commentator, Stephen Crowder.

Countless LGBTI rights supporters have called on Google to take action against Crowder for using homophobic slurs.

Following public outcry, YouTube said they would be temporarily demonetizing Crowder’s YouTube channel.

‘This feels like a classic example of “rainbow-washing”‘

Calls for Google to be excluded from this year’s Pride parade were heard at a packed open meeting which took place on Friday (7 June).

A number of attendees at the meeting were former Google employees and called on the San Francisco Pride Board to take action against the company, Hoodline reports.

‘This feels like a classic example of “rainbow-washing”,’ said activist and former Google employee Tyler Bresaicher.

Another former employee who wished to remain anonymous added: ‘[Google] gets a lot of press for being progressive […] But even during Pride Month, this is how they behave.’

While Pride organizers have said that Google will remain a participant unless the board decides otherwise, they are ‘monitoring’ the situation.

‘We are monitoring this story as it develops, listening to the concerns of the community, and have raised these concerns with our contacts at Google,’ an SF Pride spokesperson said.

Widespread backlash 

YouTube has been met with widespread backlash due to their inaction in addressing Crowder’s use of homophoic slurs.

CrowderThe right-wing commentator has regularly used homophobic slurs when referring to Maza, a journalist who produces the Strikethrough video series for left-leaning news site, Vox.

Crowder has repeatedly described Maza as a ‘lispy queer’, ‘gay Mexican’ and a ‘little queer’. Crowder also uses his channel to sell merchandise with ‘Socialism is for f*gs’ printed on it.

Maza compiled a video of Crowder using homophobic language, which he posted on Twitter.

YouTube initially said they would not take action against Crowder as his use of slurs did not violate the terms of use.

Countless LGBTI rights supporters lambasted the site for not taking action against Crowder. Many have claimed the site is guilty of double standards for allowing the publication of videos which include homophobic slurs, while also expressing support for this year’s Pride Month.

There have also been reports that a number of Google employess were angered by this decision.

The tech firm later backtracked on their decision and made policy changes, largely due to the public outcry. YouTube said Crowder’s channel would not be able to collect advertisment revenue until he discontinued his use of homophobic slurs.

While the move has been welcomed by some, many LGBTI rights supporters have said this does not do enough and maintain Crowder should be banned from entirely.

However, a number of people have expressed support for Crowder, saying that any attempts to block or demonetize his platform would be a form of censorship.

This includes Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and fellow right-wing commentator, Ben Shapiro.

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