YouTube has come under criticism from the LGBTQ community and its supporters after it was discovered that LGBTQ videos — even those without otherwise objectionable content — are being blocked in YouTube’s restricted mode.
Blogger Rowan Ellis said in a YouTube video about 40 of her videos were not showing up in restricted mode. Tyler Oakley, another YouTuber with more than 8 million subscribers, also reported videos being blocked, including one called “8 Black LGBTQ+ Trailblazers Who Inspire Me,” he tweeted.
A spokesperson told Gizmodo YouTube's restricted mode is “an optional feature used by a very small subset of users who want to have a more limited YouTube experience.” It uses “community flagging, age-restrictions, and other signals” to block videos that might have inappropriate content.
In response to the LGBTQ videos being blocked, YouTube tweeted, “We are so proud to represent LGBTQ+ voices on our platform — they’re a key part of what YouTube is all about. 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 issue led to the creation of the hashtag #YouTubePartyIsOver on Twitter.
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