YouTube is an immense social media platform. With millions of videos shared daily, from a variety of perspectives, there is bound to be all sorts of commentary. While YouTube took big steps in the past to limit the exposure of hate speech in videos, there are a rise in the number of comments with misogynistic and hateful views toward women.
Channel Name: StudioBrule
This channel has approximately 82,500 subscribers, and averages 2,400 views per video. However, most noticeably, most of the “anti-feminist” and misogynist content has 15 thousand or more views per video.
One such example is the video titled “Coronavirus: More Men Die, Women Most Affected – The Fiamengo File Episode 116”, which is aimed at attacking and denigrating feminist viewpoints on the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The comments on this video reflect its content, with one, which received 151 likes stating: “I used to think feminism is cancer was too harsh, and I didn’t like this phrase. Used to… I think, feminism is worse than cancer”.
The channel which is part of the “red pill” community, which aims to discredit modern political narratives concerned with equality, justice, and social responsibility is replete with anti-equality messaging and misogynist commentary. The video claims that the Coronavirus may usher a “ceasefire” between men and women caused by feminist narratives. It then goes on to claim that despite men being the most statistically affected by Coronavirus, that feminists are still claiming themselves to be victims.
Another comment on the video, which received 99 likes, says: “Feminists will always find a spurious way to vicitimise women at the expense of men. That’s why feminism is cancer.” No matter the political circumstances in the world at the moment, ideologues and “red pill” commentators will always seize the opportunity to peddle their hate speech.
Channel Name: Isaac Butterfield
This channel has over 1 million subscribers and averages around 70-80 thousand views per video. Looking from the last few published videos, the Isaac Butterfield channel promotes anti-feminist, anti-vegan, “red pill” infotainment. He is a comedian based in Newcastle whose videos have become more and more strident and embolden hate speech in the comments.
The most recent video published, titled “Worst Feminists on Tik Tok” is a commentary on feminist-themed Tik Toks, a popular social media platform where people share short videos to a broad community (similar to Snapchat or Instagram stories). Most of the video is making fun of people’s appearances, including their weight and tattoos. While there is some valid commentary, the general tone and content of his videos on feminism and females is centered around degrading them and mocking their values. It encourages hate speech in the comments.
Comments on the video reveal that infotainment such as Isaac Butterfield’s is intended to mock females in general, not simply feminism itself. One comment reads: “I hate when people say women should stay in the kitchen like tf who’s going to clean the rest of the house”.
With over 2.5 thousand likes, this comment on the video compares feminism to Nazism. The comparison is no doubt overblown, but compares equality promotion to Nazism, responsible for millions of dead, the Holocaust, and white supremacy.
While YouTube content must be policed by moderators for the content of the videos and also the comments. Commentary on political movements is one thing, but denigration of equality movements is hate speech. Content creators must also be mindful of what messages their videos are spreading and respectfully engage in proper civil discourse. More work can be done by YouTube to make sure its platform is hate-free and a place where everyone is included, despite differences of opinion.
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This article is part of our May 2020 campaign to Stop Online Misogyny. We are currently running a fundraiser to expand our June 2020 campaign to tackle online Antisemitism. The full plan for our campaigns in 2020 can be seen here.