Several Twitter users have come forward with complaints that YouTube unfairly filters out LGBTQ+ videos under its restricted mode, The Guardian reports.
According to The Guardian, British YouTuber Rowan Ellis was one of the first to point out the problem when she posted a video about YouTube’s “anti-LGBT” bias on Thursday. Twitter responded with the hashtag #YouTubeIsOverParty, which attracted a lot of attention from around the world.
Restricted mode is off by default, but can be turned on to automatically filter “potentially inappropriate content.” Google, who owns YouTube, says this is defined by “community flagging, age restrictions, and other signals,” according to The Guardian.
In a late-Sunday night tweet, YouTube responded vaguely to the allegations, saying “LGBTQ+ videos are available in Restricted Mode, but videos that discuss more sensitive issues may not be.”
The statement continued, “We are so proud to represent LGBTQ+ voices on our platform – they’re a key part of what YouTube is all about.”
A message to our community ... pic.twitter.com/oHNiiI7CVs
— YouTube Creators (@YTCreators) March 20, 2017
Other celebrities, like YouTube star Tyler Oakley, with more than 8 million subscribers, spoke out against the restricted mode video disappearances.
“One of my recent videos ‘8 Black LGBTQ+ Trailblazers Who Inspire Me’ is blocked because of this. I’m perplexed, @YouTube,” Oakley tweeted.
In a follow-up tweet, Oakley said, “Until we hear back from @youtube, please actively check on all LGBTQ+ creators you’re subscribed to & continue to support their content.”
until we hear back from @youtube, please actively check on all LGBTQ+ creators you're subscribed to & continue to support their content.
— Tyler Oakley (@tyleroakley) March 19, 2017
YouTube has acknowledged in the past that the restricted mode algorithm is “not 100 percent accurate," according to ABC News. Until more is known, we’ll have to wait and see if YouTube addresses this criticism and how, if at all, it makes changes to its restricted mode feature.