"You’re allowing an anti-LGBT ad, a very homophobic and transphobic company, [to] advertise their message."
By
Samuel Leighton-Dore

7 Jun 2018 - 11:25 AM  UPDATED 7 Jun 2018 - 11:25 AM

Global video-sharing platform YouTube has come under fire for placing anti-gay advertisements on content created by and for members of the LGBTIQ+ community.

The problem first arose when ads for hate group 'Alliance Defending Freedom' began appearing on trans activist Chase Ross' YouTube channel.

"This is the ad that plays before a lot of my videos," he tweeted, along with a screenshot of the commercial.

“I know that it’s the algorithm and the bots and the way that everything is coded,” Ross later said in a video addressing his concern with the ads.

He continued: “But you’re allowing an anti-LGBT ad, a very homophobic and transphobic company, [to] advertise their message."

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The website says it "incorrectly labelled" LGBT+ material as inappropriate.

YouTube responded to mounting criticism on Twitter with a reminder that LGBTIQ+ content-creators have the power to limit which organisations can advertise on their videos.

"You can keep these ads from appearing by setting an ad exclusion for a specific advertiser URL, general ad content categories, or sensitive content categories," the company tweeted.

However, the response did little to calm growing frustrations, with YouTubers arguing that it shouldn't be the user's responsibility to block hate speech.

"So it’s on the creator to keep homophobic ads off your site?" one user asked.

YouTube eventually released a full statement on the issue.

"We have policies against ads on YouTube that incite hatred or promote discrimination, and all ads that run on the platform have to comply with these policies," they said

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"Even when an ad does not violate our policies, we understand that creators may not want ads from certain advertisers appearing on their videos."

The statement continued: "That’s why we give creators the ability to block ads from an advertiser in their AdSense account. We also give creators the option to block certain categories of ads if they choose. In the meantime, we are looking at ways to improve our policies going forward."

YouTube has previously faced criticism from the LGBTIQ+ community for marking queer-focused content as "sensitive material", limiting viewership numbers.