The most popular Youtube videos are “degrading” to the image of women


A report from the Fondation des femmes emphasizes that the most watched videos in France are often sexist. Video clips at the head of the queue.

On Youtube, the image of women is not brilliant. This is the bitter observation of a study conducted by the Foundation for Women in collaboration with Science Po, published this Thursday, August 26. The 100 most viewed videos on the platform in France were analyzed, in 2019 and then in 2020. The authors of the report generally deplore “an increase in content presenting a degrading image of womenOn this service. In total, 34.7% of the clips viewed are considered degrading, against 15.5% in 2017-2018. These latest figures come from a study carried out a few years ago by the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA).

This “clear increaseIs explained in two ways. First, a real increase in these contents Then, a change in the calculation method: “Our figures, which are higher than those presented by the CSA, can be explained by the evolution of the criterion with a gradation that was not previously observed.“. The new indicator also measures the nature of violence, and not just its number, which makes it possible to capture even the lightest.

At the top of the most viewed videos in France are music videos. The genre represents 74% of the most popular videos, and crystallizes many problems. One of the areas of concern is the characterization of women as caricatured figures. They are “dolls“, from “seductresses” Where “venal», A forced trait, which serves the marketing aspect of the clips. In addition, a quarter of these videos contain remarks with a sexual connotation, misogynist, sexist … Since there are so many these videos pull the average down.

Better regulate platforms

Taking stock is a first step. But the authors of the study, – led by the former member of the CSA Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette – propose several means of solving the problem. The strongest measure envisaged is the legislative response. The authors demand an amendment to the law of September 30, 1986 on audiovisual communication. “France could lead by example, hoping that Europe follows», Explains Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette.

The report also envisages the establishment of a “a charter of good conduct“For digital companies:”The GAFAMs could undertake to set up a monitoring system concerning the image of women and therefore to remove, if necessary, the most degrading sequences.“.

On this last point, Youtube has a clear position. On the platform, dramatized violence is authorized, as it is in cinema or television for example. Music videos are, for example, protected because they hold the status of artistic work. Difficult, therefore, to moderate this content. Between freedom of expression and insult the line is sometimes blurry.

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