Joseph Harwood

NAME: Joseph Harwood
PLATFORM & USERNAME: Insta – @josephharwood

What reason was given for your ban?


Why do you think your post(s) was censored?

Transphobic algorithms preventing beauty content from appearing in searches. They introduced a YouTube algorithm that wrongly identified trans people as ‘adult content’ regardless on the videos actual content. This caused older creators in other areas of creativity online to be completely removed from searches. This took place 2015-2016, I have since worked with Google as a product tester and they had no LGBT+ data to input into the algorithm so they didn’t cater for channels like my own, and others.

Were you able to appeal and what was the response?

There’s no way of appealing the shadow ban system but it has improved somewhat in the last two years.

What effect has your experience of censorship had on you?

A change of 6 figures a year to 4 figures in revenue.

You can read more here:

What’s one thing you want people to know about this topic?

If algorithms don’t have LGBT data, they can easily omit trans people by accident. They need to have user data from marginalised intersections if they rely on AI algorithms to suggest content. Otherwise,  you see no diversity.