YouTube apologises for ‘incorrectly labelled’ videos after hidden LGBT content causes outrage
YouTube has apologised for “incorrectly labelling” videos after it emerged last week that many LGBT videos were hidden from some viewers, prompting outrage.
The site’s Restricted Mode feature, introduced by Google to “filter out potentially inappropriate content,” had automatically hidden many LGBT videos.
The option is off by default, but users can turn it on and lock the setting, often taking that decision so children aren’t exposed to offensive or explicit videos.
After days of confusion and anger from viewers and creators – during which YouTube said it was “proud to represent LGBTQ+ voices” but opaquely added it hides “videos that discuss more sensitive issues,” the company apologised.
Sorry for all the confusion with Restricted Mode. Some videos have been incorrectly labeled and that’s not right. We're on it! More to come.
— YouTube Creators (@YTCreators) March 20, 2017
The statement raises the possibility that videos about LGBT issues were unintentionally hidden.
Creators and viewers expressed their outrage over the weekend, with ##YouTubeIsOverParty trending first worldwide.
Many framed their arguments around the fact that a lot of children will be unable to learn about LGBT issues through YouTube.
This morning, YouTube posted a statement on Twitter saying: “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.”
The company added that it was “so proud to represent LGBTQ+ voices on our platform – they’re a key part of what YouTube is all about.”
This morning’s statement did not satisfy many users who have grown frustrated with YouTube for not taking their concerns seriously.
.@YTCreators you're blocking everything with any hint of lgbtq+! Vids of me swearing aren't restricted but transwomen makeup tutorials are
— dodie (@doddleoddle) March 20, 2017
quick translation: we want your LGTBQ+ videos to get £££ off you but will have to restrict them for the homophobic minority on the platform https://t.co/AqU6Saiugg
— veronica (@veronicatls) March 20, 2017
Why why why why why are corporations INCAPABLE OF EVER ADMITTING MISTAKES.
— Hank Green (@hankgreen) March 20, 2017
Fiona Morris, whose username is neonfiona, has uploaded 136 videos over the past seven years. 67, one fewer than half of them, are not shown under Restricted Mode.
Some examples of restricted videos are The Girlfriend TEST ft Riley Jay Dennis, What People Say When You Come Out As Bisexual and Do LGBT+ Australians Want Gay Marriage?
Her coming out story has also been blocked from Restricted Mode users.
Just looked at my videos with the "restricted mode" on. Seeing a bit of a theme here…
— fiona ✨ (@neonfiona) March 16, 2017
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Trans YouTuber SeaineLove also found her videos were hidden with the feature. She considers the videos that were hidden to be “pretty G-rated”.