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YouTube are working to ‘fix’ restricted filter that blocks LGBT content

Over 7.5 million daily views are from people who use a version of YouTube that filters out the LGBT community

 YouTube is continuing to block LGBT content
YouTube – YouTube is continuing to block LGBT content

YouTube has said they are aiming to fix the restricted filter that blocks LGBT content.

Restricted Mode, a ‘family-friendly’ filter, removes ‘more mature content’ and is switched off by default.

However this has also filtered out videos like a Tegan & Sara song and Callum McSwiggan’s ‘Coming Out To Grandma’ that contain no strong language.

It was also noted that bisexual YouTubers who have posted videos about sex education for opposite-sex couples remained under the filter, while the ones about gay sex had been removed.

After an apology yesterday, YouTube has said they are working to fix the restricted filter.

They said 1.5% of the daily views come from people who have Restricted Mode turned on. Under their own figures, this accounts to 7.5 million daily views on a version of YouTube that filters out the LGBT community.

‘We understand that this has been confusing and upsetting, and many of you have raised concerns about Restricted Mode and your content being unfairly impacted. The bottom line is that this feature isn’t working the way it should. We’re sorry and we’re going to fix it,’ Johanna Wright, VP of Product Management, said in a message to YouTube creators.

‘We introduced Restricted Mode back in 2010 as an optional feature to help institutions like schools as well as people who wanted to better control the content they see on YouTube.

‘We designed this feature to broadly restrict content across more mature topics, whether these are videos that contain profanity, those that depict images or descriptions of violence, or discussion of certain diseases like addictions and eating disorders.’

She added: ‘Our system sometimes make mistakes in understanding context and nuances when it assesses which videos to make available in Restricted Mode. For instance, the following videos are examples of where we got it wrong: Ash Hardell’s “Her Vows,” Calum McSwiggan’s “Coming Out To Grandma,” Jono and Ben’s “Woman interrupted during BBC interview,” and Tegan and Sara’s “BWU [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO].”

‘While the system will never be 100% perfect, as we said up top, we must and will do a better job.’

Restricted mode will never be ‘100% perfect’

The example videos listed are now available in Restricted Mode. However, they are planning to ‘roll out new changes’ and ‘fully audit’ the technology.

She concluded: ‘There’s nothing more important to us than being a platform where anyone can belong, have a voice and speak out when they believe something needs to be changed. We truly appreciate your help keeping the YouTube community active and engaged on topics that matter to creators and YouTube fans alike.’

In their apology yesterday, YouTube said the restricted mode was for the ‘tiny subset of users who want a more limited experience’.

One said on social media: ‘Thanks for telling hundreds of thousands of gay kids and teens that their existence is inapropriate and offensive, YouTube.’

 

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