YouTube unblocks LGBTQ content following serious backlash from creators
YouTube has amended its ‘Restricted Mode’ guidelines after an outcry from LGBTQ content creators.
The platform has now unblocked over 12 million videos “including hundreds of thousands featuring LGBTQ content” after creators criticised YouTube for restricting their voice.
The ‘Restricted Mode’ was originally put in place to filter out “mature content” in libraries and schools, but ended up blocking access to a whole host of LGBTQ videos due to trigger words such as “gay”, “lesbian” and “bisexual”.
Popular YouTubers such as Tyler Oakley, Tegan and Sara and Gigi Gorgeous publicly criticised the site in videos and on other social media platforms.
until we hear back from @youtube, please actively check on all LGBTQ+ creators you're subscribed to & continue to support their content.
— Tyler #ChosenFamily (@tyleroakley) March 19, 2017
CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, wrote in a blog post: “We realize that our commitment to give all LGBTQ creators a voice was unfortunately impacted by our Restricted Mode feature.”
She continued to explain how guidelines have now changed so that “non-graphic, personal accounts of difficult events are available” as long as they don’t contain graphic language.
“Our intention was never to limit this kind of content,” said Wojcicki. “Having spoken to LGBTQ creators and YouTube employees, I understand just how important it is that teens and students be able to view it.”
The blog post also emphasised YouTube’s commitment to the LGBTQ community, mentioning upcoming events and programmes such as the fifth annual #ProudToBe campaign celebrating gay pride.
Wojcicki concluded that YouTube should “remain a place where LGBTQ people and their families, friends and supporters can express themselves, empower others and find a place to belong”.