Women Making Science Videos on YouTube Face Hostile Comments

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics are popular topics on YouTube. Some channels that stream videos on these subjects have millions of subscribers. Most are hosted by men.

“There is a lot of discussion about YouTube being an unpleasant environment for female creators,” said Inoaka Amarasekara, an Australian researcher in science communication. “I wanted to see if that affected science communication on YouTube, and if that was something I could corroborate.”

In fact it was.

“She so ugly I almost threw up. Ew.”

“I was just staring at your bbbooo…..i mean eyes.”

“Go back to the kitchen and make me double stack sandwich.”

These are some of the 23,005 YouTube comments that form the basis of a new paper by Ms. Amarasekara and Will Grant, a lecturer at Australian National University, published last week in the journal Public Understanding of Science. They found a tough environment for women who create YouTube videos centered on science, drawing both more comments per view than men and also a higher proportion of critical comments as well as remarks about their appearances.

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