Study reveals YouTube commenters hostile to women scientists

Or to anyone who isn’t male White straight and cisgendered.

I appreciate the folks who disable comments on their vids; trolls need to keep that ugly toxicity that eats aways at them on the inside to themselves.


I didn’t read the article. Were the researchers from No Shit University?


Was the researcher Captain Obvious?


Not untrue, but you’d be surprised by what isn’t actually documented and left to anecdotal evidence. Which is why it’s important to get this stuff out.


Also for 100% of YouTube videos featuring women scientists, three or more comments questioned the legitimacy of Obama.


This. You can’t bring up how hostile to women (and minorities, etc.) youtube comments are without someone saying “all youtube comments are like that”. This study shows that while pretty much everyone has to deal with vile garbage on youtube, it is indeed measurable worse for women, rather than that women are “being over sensitive”


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You Tube… and related workplaces as far as what I’ve seen time and time again over the years. Female scientists and engineers subjected to condescension, and being interrupted much more so than men and talked over at meetings.

Out of sheer frustration at my previous workplace, I submitted a set of conference room ‘etiquette’ guidelines to our graphics department and had that made into a large, colorful, very official looking poster for our conference room wall. Our manager okayed it and we all reviewed it at our next meeting; no comments for or against… which was a good sign: the guilty got their mouths shut with the graphic slap in the face and the innocent could silently gloat. Later, backsliders were gently reminded of the rules by others courteously pointing to the poster. I sometimes think of that poster with great fondness.


That would be a world where I did not give much credence to random anonymous comments. You outlined the situation pretty clearly, why would you expect it be any different? Most of the content on You Tube is garbage, but it is free garbage, so it should not surprise anyone there are a bunch of malcontents wallowing around in the muck.

The other world, the world where corporations decide what is acceptable is just as ugly to me, but it is ugly under the skin. Top down control will simply spawn a different style of misbehavior - Dog Whistles, code words, condescension, and the dreaded entendre. Rules change manifest behaviors, they do not change attitudes (in the short term). This may look nicer, but the the actual effect is the same (if not worse). At least it is easy to spot the bad guys when it is in the open.

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I remember reading (maybe on BB) about a model who would send a screenshot of the inappropriate/sexist messages she got from men to their mothers/wives/girlfriends/SOs.


Yeah, any time a woman talks about harassment faced online, there’s always those who try to deny it was anything beyond what “everyone” faces (so no big deal). Studies like these are pretty necessary to show it goes beyond that.

Studies I’ve seen really prove that’s a near universal problem, and other studies have shown how damaging that is. A recent one indicated that the knowledge of male experts is regularly overestimated, and the knowledge of female experts is routinely underestimated - even by the women themselves. The whole concept of female expertise is so undermined that women question their own knowledge, even when they are, objectively, provably, more knowledgeable than their male colleagues.


So this proves they are hostile to women scientists and not men scientists, and furthermore… wait a minute, did I just say “men scientists”? That makes no grammatical sense and sounds ridiculous. Wait a minute, then why are we always saying “women scientists” and the like?


Just wondering whether the word ‘scientist’ was even necessary in this headline.

Good question.

Yeah, I don’t like Beschizza’s insinuation that it would be better for YouTube to reign this in – Google/YouTube are incredibly powerful, in many ways more powerful than our governments, I don’t know if it’s wise to suggest they get into the censorship game.

People are welcome to go on YouTube and call these people out – and this happens quite a lot.

I prefer seeing the hate and dealing with than driving it underground.

And call me slightly cynical, but people trash everything in YouTube comments, and I’m sure if you set the sample correctly, you will get results that confirm your suspicions – for example, there’s no end of right wing channels that complain about censorship, or comments, or other interference.

The anonymity of the net is powerful, and can have a troubling side effect – but the solution starts at home. We should encourage each other to use civil language in comments, and engage with people we disagree with thoughtfully and kindly – you can do all of this and remain firm in your position.

It won’t stop all the bad behavior, but the sooner people get boosted with “likes” for being civil, the sooner online culture will change…


Sexual harassment pervasive in science, National Academies study says


Depends what you’re watching, I guess…

I reckon at least 2/3 of the channels I’m subscribed to have almost entirely polite and reasonable commenters.

There’s a link to my YouTube profile on my account page here, BTW

It’d be nice if “dealing with it” wasn’t delegated to the people most likely to suffer from it. That’s where platform policies and standards come in, to prevent people from barging into someone’s comments and throwing obscenities and harassment at them because it’s wrong. It shouldn’t be the responsibility of just that recipient to have to wade through that torrent of shit on their own in order to make the space beneath their videos safe for the people who do actually want to be there for constructive reasons.

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