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YouTube apologizes for hiding LGBTQ users' videos in its Restricted Mode

YouTube apologizes for hiding LGBTQ users' videos in its Restricted Mode”

Another Youtuber, Neon Fiona, posted a list of her videos and showed the difference between the ones that were blocked and the one that weren't.

YouTube took to Twitter over the weekend to address an issue that has caused much consternation across the platform: many creators whose content touches on LGBTQ topics - even in child-friendly ways - are seeing their videos flagged when in Restricted Mode, a setting created to "screen out potentially objectionable content". "LGBTQ+ videos are available in Restricted Mode, but videos that discuss sensitive issues may not be".

Melanie Murphy accused the filter of making her "appear straight".

There are some examples of non-LGBT related content being blocked under Restricted Mode like Taylor Swift music videos, but the restrictions appear to disproportionately affect LGBT creators and those who make LGBT-related videos, regardless of what those videos actually discuss.

British YouTuber Rowan Ellis says she has had 40 videos taken off the platform under the new policy. "Videos of me swearing aren't restricted by transwomen makeup tutorials are".

Singers Teagan and Sara noticed a similar theme with their own videos, with a host of their uploads disappearing in restricted mode, and transgender SeaineLove found that all of her videos documenting her transition are blocked.

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Restricted Mode is supposed to protect children under a certain age from offensive, overtly sexual and violent material. A description in its privacy and security settings stated, "We use community flagging, age-restrictions, and other signals to identify and filter out potentially inappropriate content". Calum McSwiggan, a gay YouTube celebrity with over 69,000 subscribers, has only one video which is unrestricted.

This feature is particularly harmful because it implies censored videos that contain LGBTQ content are harmful and inappropriate.

To watch without restrictions, go to the account section of YouTube, where you will be given the option of watching in Restricted mode. It's hard to say whether the restrictions are the fault of Google's algorithms or whether they are simply cracking down on anything remotely offensive to appease advertisers.

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".

Several other social media stars like Tyler Oakley, who is featured on Ellen DeGeneres' online programming, addressed the controversy online.



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