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Over 73 Percent of LGBTQ Content Online Flagged as 'Inappropriate'

Gerd Altmann
Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

A survey by CHEQ found significant consequences for LGBTQ content on the web.

One cybersecurity firm reports nearly three quarters of LGBTQ news content gets flagged by online ad services as unsafe. That includes much of the content published by The Advocate.

A survey conducted by CHEQ found 73 percent of articles from LGBTQ news sites was getting blacklisted for advertisers, according to the New York Daily News.

CHEQ founder and CEO Guy Tytunovich said the use of over-simplified flagging procedures caused the problem, not any actual reluctance on the part of advertisers to associate their own brands with LGBTQ content.

"The use of blunt keyword blocking, and media blacklists is outdated and discredited," Tytunovich told the Daily News. "At best, this practice kills reach for campaigns and hurts the revenues of all online publishers."

The findings come as eight LGBTQ YouTube Creators sue Google and YouTube over "discriminatory and unlawful content-based regulation, restraint, monetization, false advertising, and anti-competitive distribution of LGBTQ+ speech and video content."

As well as other outlets focused on LGBTQ content shuttering, including Gay Star Newsmost recently. Founders Tris Reid-Smith and Scott Nunn in a message to readers said ad revenue drove the decision. The British site was impacted by external forces like Brexit, but said a reluctance for companies to associate with LGBTI content also played a significant role.

"Rather than working with us to engage and serve LGBTI people year round, many have chosen to 'rainbow wash,'" Reid-Smith and Nunn wrote. "They have turned their logo rainbow colored for Pride week or month and - at best - made a small donation to an LGBTI good cause. Worst still, we have learned that some brands have done this while at the same time funding anti-LGBTI politicians to the tune of millions of dollars. Tokenism has reached a new low."

But others said search engines and advertising services play a greater role.

"I don't think the issue is the brand [for not buying ads on LGBTQ sites],"Bejamin Cohen, editor of PinkNews, told the Daily News. "It's whoever is administrating their blocklist because often the brands are really surprised when you send them the blocklist."

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