What is going on with the naming of the files?African, American... Lesbians on bikes... Disable boy

I have enjoyed using Envato elements with my high school students. I am not understanding how things are being labeled and why. It is really hard to explain why these items are labeled as they are. Every white person is a man or woman, but any person of color is African or Ethnic or Asian. And two women riding bikes are labeled as Lesbians? We won’t be continuing our promotion of your site if you can’t fix these labels.

https://elements.envato.com/african-american-businessman-talking-on-the-phone-4VFYCPB - African, American Businessman Talking On The Phone
Just man talking on the phone.

Just Man using tablet.

Just two women riding in park.

Boy making video call

Woman in front of chalkboard


Woman in data center

These are all named by the creators of the items, not Envato themselves. In this industry, you need to be descriptive for stock assets, such as photos and graphics. Sure it’s just a man talking on a phone, but they are more descriptive with it because someone may be specifically looking for an “African American businessman talking on the phone”, same goes for the boy who is disabled and sitting in a wheelchair. For the “Two lesbians riding bikes”, one of them is wearing a rainbow cape, which is recently a very prominent symbol of the LGBT community. This item is likely targetted directly toward them, so it’s easier to find when adding “lesbian” to the title.


I can assure you that Envato has a zero tolerance policy on racism or targeting any group or belief. This is an international community where we strongly believe and cherish diversity.

While I can understand your frustration seeing titles like this placed without purpose on a page with the sole purpose of targeting and individual race or belief or sexual orientation, in the case of videos on a marketplace of videos, these are keywords which are required to promote the video for a specific use case.

An instant example, the Lesbians riding on a bike, proudly wearing the LGBT flag, can be used as promotional material / video for a LGBT cause. In the case of ethnic people in videos, these can also be used to show diversity in a company, as other companies do in their video and campaigns.

These are in no way, shape or form aimed at singling out and individual. Envato videos have been used in the BLM campaigns, LGBT community, Religious events and much, much more. These are here to enrich your end product, with video material suitable for your goal.

You can imagine that having for example a video campaign for BLM with all Caucasian actors could be offensive in its own way. Or promoting a LGBT campaign video showing only straight couples would again be offensive to those communities. Therefore how would you search for a video that would feature actors that are African American or actors that are members of the LGBT community without having labels in videos?

These are all used for describing a video and the people, elements and distinguishable actions of that specific video and are in no way used to insult.

As I’ve mentioned in my opening statement, there is a ZERO TOLERANCE policy against any such actions, if you ever find any Items that are degrading, demeaning or singling out, humiliating or belittling people’s rights, beliefs, way of life, please let us know and report such Items right away via Envato Elements Help and Support.

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Hi @dpnews805 - thanks for raising this! As @XioxGraphix and @Enabled have mentioned, titles and keywords are added by the authors of each individual item.

We know from current user research and search data that there is significant demand for content that depicts a more diverse range of subjects, and that it’s hard to find this content when it does exist. Stock libraries around the world have traditionally been pretty bad at this (it’s much bigger than the women laughing alone with salad memes about stock photography), with a huge proportion of the world’s stock photos comprised of young white models, posed in various situations…

We know that we need to do a better job of getting that content, and in making it easy to find. Search and discovery is a big focus for our work over the next year, to address that second point. For the first one, we need to provide guidance to our author community around the types of content that we need more of.

One example of this would be our author briefs, trends reports and content challenges aimed at increasing the diversity in our content libraries, such as this one from earlier this year:

However, there is definitely a line between what’s appropriate to describe an in a way that matches customer search behaviour, and what’s used in an inappropriate or insensitive way. That can be highly subjective, but there are detailed guidelines that our Integrity and Review teams use for this.

I’ll share this thread with those teams, so they can take a closer look through all the images reported in your post.

Thanks again for your time in bringing this to our attention - I appreciate it. Calling out things that don’t feel right (and having discussions about how to change) are the best ways we can improve what we’re doing.


Thank you for your response, but I disagree with your assumptions that the only way for a search system to be successful is to use all the labels that your titles have in them. I don’t believe that your contributors mean to offend or even realize they aren’t labeling appropriately.

You have a great tagging system, and could definitely tag the video LGBTQ or Black or Caucasian or whatever tag term that is appropriate.
Black, caucasian, latino, and other such listings make sense (and frankly can be seen in the preview) and could be search terms.

Currently there are videos titled “African, American”(with a comma) or just “African”. Just because someone is black, doesn’t make them African or ethnic. There is a black woman in a computer data center labeled “Ethnic woman in data center.” I don’t see any caucasian people with red hair being labeled Irish, American or being labeled anything other than people, man or woman. Some are tagged caucasian, and a few carrying the country flags are listed as Italian or Irish but not based on the color of their skin.

With regards to sxual orientation, it is one thing to tag a video with LGBTQ or list it in the description. That would allow the search to find them (and they are found in that search).
Some of the videos are labeled very appropriately like that, "same s
x couple, LGBTQ couple, etc or Gay couple." Just because someone is wearing a rainbow flag doesn’t mean they are Lesbians and it isn’t necessary to tell us their sxual orientation to accomplish the same search success. “Two women with rainbow flag on bikes” with a tag of LGBTQ accomplishes the same thing (which is what they have in the tags). I have marched in the rainbow parade wearing the flag, but that does not tell you my sxual orientation and it doesn’t matter. You could tag me in LGBTQ tags and that would be appropriate, but it isn’t necessary to label the video as “gay man walking with rainbow flag” to accomplish what you want to accomplish.

In this environment of birther movements, and BLM I would think that Envato would consider the impact these labels have and ensure that they don’t allow their contributors to include labels like these. My black students are not African, and should not be labeled as African boy. You have a good tagging system that allows for a strong search system, but the titles system leaves a lot to be desired.

Please consider a titling system that does not just blankly allow contributors to put whatever they want. Give them guidance to what people search for, and what are the appropriate labels.

*Ironic that the forum system wouldn’t let me type the word s e x in the post.

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Thank you very much. I appreciate this thoughtful and considerate response. I had submitted my response below before seeing this response. I appreciate your time and consideration.

John Dent

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