YouTube recently introduced a Restricted Mode which lets users filter out “potentially objectionable content,” claiming they use “community flagging, age-restrictions, and other signals to identify and filter out potentially inappropriate content.”
But, though the idea is good in theory, LGBTQ YouTubers have claimed this mode blocks their content, no matter the subject of their video.
"Restricted mode" does not show videos with anything LGBT+ related in its title and blocks out openly gay YouTubers from suggestions. pic.twitter.com/uQ8thgQL12
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) March 18, 2017
— Tyler Oakley (@tyleroakley) March 19, 2017
If you put @YouTube on restricted mode a bunch of our music videos disappear. I checked myself. LGBTQ people shouldn't be restricted. SAD!
— Tegan and Sara (@teganandsara) March 19, 2017
— Kristin Russo (@kristinnoeline) March 20, 2017
On Sunday, YouTube Creators tweeted this official statement out:
A message to our community … pic.twitter.com/oHNiiI7CVs
— YouTube Creators (@YTCreators) March 20, 2017
But, since this seems more of an excuse rather than a step towards solving the problem, this response has been highly criticized.
how is a makeup tutorial and a queer couple reading each other their wedding vows sensitive material but videos titled "i hate gays" isnt https://t.co/qhzm0TvFOs
— the mander show (@voolezvous) March 20, 2017
If they're a tiny subset then why are you catering your platform to them. I'm sorry dad but this is not only vague but seems like a lie.
— Jenna Marbles (@Jenna_Marbles) March 20, 2017
— Hazel Hayes (@TheHazelHayes) March 20, 2017
#YouTubeisOverParty even started to trend on Twitter.
— Kat (@kat_katayama) March 20, 2017
POSITIVITY AND LOVE!
— lydia™ (@twentyonedoggos) March 20, 2017
Rowan Ellis, a YouTuber who makes videos about “pop culture from a feminist and queer perspective,” made a video addressing the platform and the issue this presents for members of the LGBTQ community, stating “Who is protecting queer and trans youth?”
Rowan talked to Gizmodo about the subject, saying “there is a bias somewhere within that process equating LGBTQ+ with ‘not family friendly.’” Regardless of “how innocent or unintentional the ‘hows’ or ‘whys’ are, the effects cannot be ignored,” she added.
Tyler Oakley, another popular LGBTQ YouTuber,told Teen Vogue “YouTube has always been a place for disenfranchised voices to reach audiences who are actively seeking representation in media. It’s often the first place many LGBTQ+ youth around the world see themselves and their stories shared and celebrated.”