Bias on Deaf YouTube


It’s been a while. Hello and welcome back. Today, I want to talk about something that I’ve seen happening in the Deaf YouTuber community. It might just be me, but I felt I needed to say something and see if it’s not just me. I want to be clear here, this is not the fault of the YouTubers. Or the viewers, in a way. Also that this is not something that I care about, but just a bit disappointing to see.

What I’m seeing is related to subscriber count. I follow quite a few of my fellow Deaf YouTubers, and every once in a while, I’ll glance at their subscriber count. Mostly just to see if they are growing or stuck at a number. I absolutely want to see everyone grow, but over time I was a bit taken aback at the numbers comparing people who are verbal or mixed verbal/sign and those who sign only with no voice. Those who have sound/voice seem to be growing much faster than those who do not. I can’t say for sure why this is, but I have a guess. I think it’s an inherent – unintentional but inherent – bias of people preferring to watch videos that have sound and are being spoken in their native language. I’m sure there are some people who click away from videos that are in sign because they assume they won’t be able to understand (and don’t consider that there most likely will be captions since we’re usually way more accommodating to them than vice versa). That’s why I have my videos set to automatically turn on captions by default, but still… My disability is a bit more “visible” than those who speak, and it’s easy to kind of forget the verbal ones are disabled.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just making things up, maybe not. What do you think? Let me know in the comments. I know today was a short post, but it was just something that was bothering me for a while. I’m definitely planning on getting another one up sooner than later! If you want to support my content, I have Patreon and ko-fi. Subscribe to my channel. Follow me on my socials – FacebookTwitterInstagram. Thanks for reading, see you next time.

Published by Rogan Shannon

Hello there! I'm Rogan, a queer deaf guy who has a passion for leadership and advocacy. I create YouTube videos about a lot of different topics - being deaf, queer, reading, language, and whatever else interests me!

Leave a Reply