YouTube users took to Twitter last night spreading the hashtag #YouTubeIsOverParty in protest of the website’s alleged decision to hide LGBT content behind their ‘restricted mode’ filter.
YouTube’s ‘restricted mode’ filter is meant to “screen out potentially objectionable content.” Users began to notice that content which was based around homosexuality or LGBT issues was not appearing under certain searches. YouTuber NeonFiona posted a comparison of her own videos when viewed with restricted mode on and off.
Just looked at my videos with the "restricted mode" on. Seeing a bit of a theme here…
— fiona 💞 (@neonfiona) March 16, 2017
YouTube has since admitted to censoring the content stating that they do so to ensure that people don’t view videos that deal with “sensitive” issues. “We are so proud to represent LGBTQ+ voices on our platform – they’re a key part of what YouTube is all about,” a Twitter post on the YouTube Creators account read. “The intention of Restricted Mode is to filter out mature content for the tiny subset of users who want a more limited experience.
YouTube claimed that “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.” These “sensitive issues” apparently include “health, politics and sexuality”.
YouTuber Rowan Ellis was one of the first to notice the companies seemingly anti-LGBT bias. Rowan made a video on the topic titled “YouTube is Anti-LGBT? (Restricted Content Mode)”
Popular YouTuber Tyler Oakley also took to Twitter to voice his concerns,
until we hear back from @youtube, please actively check on all LGBTQ+ creators you're subscribed to & continue to support their content.
— tyler oakley (@tyleroakley) March 19, 2017
YouTube’s statement on the issue can be seen below,
A message to our community … pic.twitter.com/oHNiiI7CVs
— YouTube Creators (@YTCreators) March 20, 2017