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After weeks of public outcry and controversy, it’s been announced that YouTube has fixed the problem where LGBTQ content was being hidden under the platform’s “Restricted Mode.”
It was reported last month that content creators on YouTube had been noticing that videos that contained LGBTQ content had been hidden from users who have “Restricted Mode” activated. The move, which some put down to an over-aggressive algorithm, was chastised by YouTubers such as Tyler Oakley and Rowan Ellis, with celebrities like Tegan and Sara and Zara Larsson also questioning why their videos had been restricted.
The video streaming giant’s “Restricted Mode” policy detailed that videos that contained “potentially objectionable content that you may prefer not to see or don’t want others in your family to see” would be hidden if the mode was active. It seemed, however, that this was also blocking videos that contained any LGBTQ content, even if those videos were things like marriage proposals or harmless music videos.
At the time, YouTube released a statement noting that they were looking into what was going on.
Writing in a blog post, the video platform also said that they understood that “Restricted Mode” wasn’t “working the way it should.”
“We want to clarify that Restricted Mode should not filter out content belonging to individuals or groups based on certain attributes like gender, gender identity, political viewpoints, race, religion or sexual orientation,” the statement reads, before going on to address the issue.
“After a thorough investigation, we started making several improvements to Restricted Mode,” Johanna Wright, Vice President of Product Management, said. “On the engineering side, we fixed an issue that was incorrectly filtering videos for this feature, and now 12 million additional videos of all types — including hundreds of thousands featuring LGBTQ+ content — are available in Restricted Mode.”
The company also told how they had met with disgruntled content creators, and they noted that they were launching a dedicated form where users could report videos that were actually offensive. YouTube has had some difficulty recently when it comes to offensive content and advertisers, so this is sure to placate some of those users who were upset.
Likewise, YouTube revealed that they going to be more transparent when it comes to how “Restricted Mode” works, laying out some clear guidelines about what content would appear in the mode.
“Thanks to you, our community of fans and creators, we’ve made progress over the last few weeks. Though Restricted Mode will never be perfect, we hope to build on our progress so far to continue making our systems more accurate and the overall Restricted Mode experience better over time,” the statement finished.
We totally applaud YouTube for taking a step in the right direction, and hopefully the new and improved “Restricted Mode” will prevent another slip up like this from occurring again.