Black creators filed a case accusing YouTube for racial discrimination against African American video makers and viewers when it comes to filtering or monetizing content.
The lawsuit filed in a courthouse in the Silicon Valley city of San Jose seeks class action status and names as defendants YouTube and its parent companies Google and Alphabet.
“Under the pretext of finding that videos violate some vague, ambiguous, and non- specific video content rule, defendants use computer driven racial, identity and viewpoint profiling and filtering tools to restrict, censor, and denigrate” blacks, the suit argued.
According to the suit, YouTube uses metadata and other “signals” from videos to make decisions about filtering content or placing money-making advertising based on race.
“Defendants continue to knowingly, intentionally, and systematically block, demonetize, and deny plaintiffs and other persons similarly situated, their contractual and other legal rights to access YouTube based on the color of their skin or other protected racial traits, rather than the material in their videos,” the suit contended.
Triggers for YouTube filtering software include tags on videos referencing white supremacy, police brutality, and “Black Lives Matter,” according to the suit.
YouTube did not immediately responded to the allegations.
Google on Thursday boosted an amount of $1 billion for free advertising it will give non-profits this year, taking special interest in groups combating racism and damage done by the coronavirus pandemic.
Google has also committed $275 million to help black artists on YouTube, fund African American small businesses and other projects.
Earlier, A statue of Christopher Columbus in Boston had been beheaded ahead anti-racism protests which intensified in demand for justice for George Floyd.
According to reports, The Christopher Columbus statue was also vandalized in downtown Miami, and another dragged into a lake earlier in the week in Virginia.
The incidents come as pressure builds in the United States to rid the country of monuments associated with racism following massive demonstrations over Floyd’s killing.