YouTube Under Fire For Hiding LGBTQ Videos With Restricted Mode Filter


YouTube has responded to claims that its filtering system discriminates against LGBTQ videos.

The company’s Restricted Mode aims to filter out “potentially objectionable content” on the video platform.

In its safety settings section, YouTube says it identifies the potentially inappropriate content by way of “community flagging, age-restrictions, and other signals”.

However, some vloggers have voiced concerns that the filter is unjustly blocking LGBTQ content, such as videos about dating and attraction.

Video creators argued that their videos were being automatically hidden by the Restricted Mode filter.

The issue was first raised in a Gizmodo article, which referenced YouTuber Rowan Ellis, who makes videos about “pop culture from a feminist and queer perspective”.

In a video posted 16th March, Ellis explained that her videos were being hidden by YouTube’s Restricted Mode.

Other videos apparently hidden included “a video of a lesbian couple reading each other their wedding vows”.

And YouTube has now responded to the criticism it faced over the weekend, posting a statement on its YouTube Creators Twitter account.

The message reads: “We are so proud to represent LGBTQ+ voices on our platform—they’re a key part of what YouTube is all about.

“The intention of Restricted Mode is to filter out mature content for the tiny subset of users who want a more limited experience.

“LGBTQ+ videos are available in Restricted Mode, but videos that discuss more sensitive issues may not be.

“We regret any confusion this has caused and are looking into your concerns. We appreciate your feedback and passion for making YouTube such an inclusive, diverse and vibrant community.”

The news has caused many YouTube video creators to check whether their content is being automatically blocked by the filtering mode, which is not a new system.

The hashtags #YouTubeIsOverParty and #YouTubeRestricted trended over the weekend, with vloggers and YouTube users posting about their own experiences with the filtering system.