Whenever Tho spoke up about his desire for love, respect, and the ability to travel, he would be met with a barrage of online attacks for turning his back on his own family to pursue a lover.
Some YouTubers even came to his parents for interviews and published all of their 'reveals' on the online platform, without any regard for Tho and Hoa’s privacy.
|Pham Huu Tho (left) and his girlfriend Pham Thanh Hoa are seen in this provided photo.|
Speaking to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, Tho mentioned the 'respect' he has received from his girlfirend.
“She talks a lot and shares with me many of her happy stories, and about everywhere she goes and anything she does,” Tho spoke of his girlfriend.
“I’m more than 35 years old, and I have every right to love and my own choice.”
Recently, some YouTube personalities even published videos in which they threatened to hire thugs to abduct Tho and bring him back to his parents’ house.
Tho and Hoa said they are now afraid to even step out of their house, fearing for their lives.
Tho said heartwarming support they receive from some netizens have been inconsequential compared to the amount of hate being unleashed upon the couple, which often reduces Hoa to tears.
“I only wish for a peaceful and normal life like others,” Tho said.
“What can YouTube and relevant authorities do for those like us?”
Would YouTube step in?
YouTube’s Community Guidelines prohibit content “promoting violence or hatred against individuals or groups” based on their intrinsic attributes, including a disability.
However, to what extent YouTube goes to curb content that violates this policy remains a question.
“YouTube does remind people that behind the target of every video or comment is a real person,” Xuan Minh writes for Tuoi Tre.
“Then why does it allow a multitude of channels to monetize by spreading hatred, and even ‘recommend’ similar videos with thousands of views?
“YouTube and its content creators make money off of views and advertisements, so the tolerance or even encouragement of content promoting hate speech targetting disabled members of society, Tho’s case being an example, goes to show that many parties are violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines and degrading others for profit."