The social media video service apologizes.
Gus Kenworthy was already a sports celebrity before he represented the U.S. in the 2018 Winter Olympics. But it seems his participation in that event skyrocketed his fame to new levels, ones which bring out the worst in the internet.
Unfortunately, some people are not able to keep their social media criticisms of him to sports-related issues but concentrate on his sexuality, filling the comments section of his page with vitriolic and hate-filled words.
Recently Kenworthy made public such remarks from his YouTube page, some are hard to read:
“Gross fa**ot. F**k you. Go die of aids. Sodom and Gomorrah will return. Sick nasty pedo-f*g.”
In addition, Kenworthy recently posted a video with the caption “Feeling like a Champion,” to which one hateful replier stated:
“You’re not a champion you’re a fa**ot. With any luck you die a horrible painful and drawn out death mangled in a car wreck…” and it just gets worse from there.
In response Kenworthy made a sarcastic status Twitter update referencing those YouTube user remarks:
He wrote: “Them: It's 2018 nobody cares that you're gay. Homophobia doesn't exist anymore. Get over yourself,” he then posted screenshots of the abusive responses from others."
YouTube immediately issued an apology to the sports star:
"This is unacceptable, we’re so sorry these comments and notifications came through to you. We’re actively working to fix this so you won't see or be notified of abusive comments and exploring more ways to protect people from abusive comments overall."
Most of us have probably suffered from the keystrokes of a hateful person who likes to post hate speech in the comments section of our social feeds. It’s nothing new, we report it and block the person.
But YouTube has been questioned recently about their policies regarding the LGBT community and postings which concern them. Last year they lumped LGBT content into the same restrictions used to censor violence or explicit materials.
They ultimately changed that policy.
Gavin Scott, one of Kenworthy's Twitter followers, responded to YouTube's apology, saying he thinks they should take more action.
"You could fix it in a cold second, but banning vile commentators would reduce views. One can only conclude you care more about revenues than anything else. Spare us the sanctimony."
Currently, YouTube has the following policy concerning "Cyberbullying and Harassment":
It’s not ok to post abusive videos and comments on YouTube. If harassment crosses the line into a malicious attack it can be reported and may be removed. In other cases, users may be mildly annoying or petty and should be ignored.