LGBTQ censorship – YouTube admits it messed up


Censored: Tegan and Sara

After content creators blasted YouTube for censoring a wide swath of LGBTQ themed videos, the service says it’s working to fix the problem.

Vloggers recently noticed that many of their videos had been blocked for users who had “restricted mode” selected, even though the videos may not include any inappropriate material.

YouTube at first defended its policy by stating that restricted mode works to “filter out mature content”. Now it’s admitted that the setting has unfairly censored content simply because it was LGBTQ themed.

“Sorry for all the confusion with Restricted Mode,” said the company on Twitter. “Some videos have been incorrectly labeled and that’s not right. We’re on it! More to come.”

Examples of clips that were restricted include music videos by indie-pop duo Tegan and Sara and YouTuber Callum McSwiggan’s Coming Out To Grandma, both of which contain no inappropriate or adult material.

“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 tweeted.

In a follow up blog post about the LGBTQ censorship, Johanna Wright, VP of Product Management at YouTube, wrote: “The bottom line is that this feature isn’t working the way it should. We’re sorry and we’re going to fix it.”

She revealed that around 1.5 percent of YouTube’s daily views (approximately 7.5 million daily views) come from people who have restricted mode turned on.

“Our system sometimes makes mistakes in understanding context and nuances,” said Wright. “It will take time to fully audit our technology and roll out new changes, so please bear with us. There’s nothing more important to us than being a platform where anyone can belong, have a voice and speak out when they believe something needs to be changed.

“We truly appreciate your help keeping the YouTube community active and engaged on topics that matter to creators and YouTube fans alike,” she added.

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