YouTube sued for using AI to racially profile content creators


A group of black content creators has sued YouTube for allegedly using AI to censor their videos based “wholly or in part” on race.The lawsuit accuses the video giant of using algorithms to “digitally profile, redline, and target” users “for access restrictions, blocking, demonetization, suspensions, and removals from the platform based on the racial identity or viewpoint of the video creator.”


More specifically, it alleges that YouTube has misapplied “Restricted Mode” to censor videos with titles or tags such as “Black Lives Matter,” “Racial Profiling,” and “White Supremacy.”

The plaintiffs also claim that YouTube shadow bans entire channels and individual videos, interferes with livestreams, and excludes content from video recommendations when it mentions racially-sensitive topics.


The company is currently fighting a separate case claiming that its algorithm suppresses LGBT content. Another content creator claims that YouTube officials admitted in 2017 that the company’s content moderation algorithms discriminate based on race.

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