Last week, we covered the breaking and shocking story that YouTubers were having their videos hidden if they contained any LGBTQ+ materials or words in the title/thumbnail. As the issue heated up and more creators spotted content missing from their channels, the outcry got so loud that it trended on Twitter and YouTube issued an apology. However, it was not enough.
In one paragraph, YouTube tried to explain how they’re so “proud to represent LGBTQ+ voices on [their] platform”, whilst in the same breath also try to argue that those voices fall under the category of “mature content”. Whilst the Restricted Mode that seems to be filtering out “sensitive issues” seems to be aimed at families and children who “want a more limited experience” on YouTube, creators are outraged that their educational and important videos are being silenced.
Even with the current existence of YouTube Kids, an app designed purely to allow parents to filter only specifically approved content down to their children, Restricted Mode seems to be working on hiding LGBTQ+ content from the entire platform when switched on. Many users have found that hate speech and racist content is still present on YouTube even with Restricted Mode switched on, meaning that this filter is focused primarily on videos that reflect LGBTQ+ identities.
In response to this apology, many high-profile YouTubers have replied with their anger and/or confusion to see their website be so “vague” and “heteronormative” when it comes to allowing creators to upload videos to YouTube. It has also been made clear that creators such as Connor Franta, Troye Sivan and Julien Solomita are not even appearing when typed into the search bar.
Dodie makes it clear that “transwomen” applying make up is in no way offensive or “mature” to anyone.
.@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
Hank Green breaks it down to explain that the new Restricted Mode is essentially hushing the entire gay community.
Jenna went off at her “dad” by asking if the new mode was made purely for advertisers to be happy. (click through for more replies)
— Jenna Marbles (@Jenna_Marbles) March 20, 2017
Stephanie reminds YouTube that being LGBTQ+ on YouTube is not about being sexualised, but about being educational.
.@YTCreators coming out, gender identity and terminology, the history of LGBTQ+ people of color, etc are NOT “sensitive” issues.
— Stephanie Frosch (@ElloSteph) March 20, 2017
Thank god for Alexis G. Zall reminding everyone that “heteronormative” videos are NOT hidden in the Restricted Mode option.
@YTCreators coming out videos should not be classified as “sensitive content” unless videos abt heteronormative dating also classify
— venmo famous meat (@AlexisGZall) March 20, 2017
Even Felix, a YouTuber who uploads his fair share of “mature content”, agrees that this mode is a bad move for YouTube.
Let’s not forget that only LGBTQ+ voices are being filtered out, and not the videos of people such as the KKK leader, David Duke. Their apology does not reflect THESE people at all.
— Alx James (@AlxJames10) March 20, 2017
Thomas Sanders, who is by far one of the nicest, most caring people on the Internet, is being filtered out by this mode too.
@YTCreators I strive to make my channel accessible for all ages, so I hope you will indeed look into this & why I am a restricted channel.
— Thomas Sanders (@ThomasSanders) March 20, 2017
Natalie Tran here wondering if this mode was enabled to help “cater” to a specific kind of audience YouTube would prefer.
@YTCreators This did nothing but confirm the insane idea that some people find very NORMAL videos to be “sensitive issues”
WHY cater to them
— natalie tran (@natalietran) March 20, 2017
Melanie’s powerful statement here suggests that the Restricted Mode is actually taking part in bi-erasure.
Honestly, how can a video titled “8 Black LGBTQ+ Trailblazers Who Inspire Me” be considered as inappropriate to anybody?!
And finally Rowan Ellis, the creator who brought light upon this whole conversation, suggests that YouTube needs to sit down with their LGBTQ+ creators and fix their mess properly.
What do you think about YouTube and their apology? Let us know in the comments below.