YouTube is attempting to become more kid-friendly — but at the expense of LGBTQ vloggers. Over the weekend, some of YouTube's biggest stars noticed that the video platform's "restricted mode" has been filtering and blocking their content.
"Restricted mode" is supposed to use "community flagging, age-restrictions, and other signals" to weed out "potentially objectionable content that you may prefer not to see." However, some YouTube vloggers, including Tyler Oakley and Jenna Marbles, called out the platform for using this tool to seemingly target those who explore LGBTQ-related topics.
Worst of all for YouTube, this accidental censoring impacted the site's own videos.
Similarly, vlogger Rowan Ellis recorded a video where she expressed her frustration with YouTube's filtering process.
She said 40 of her videos are no longer appearing in YouTube's search results.
"This is a mode which YouTube itself explains is for families and for children and it is filtering out a hell of a lot of LGBT content," she said. "This is something that no one is really sure how it’s working but we know that it has some kind of targeted effect for LGBT individuals. Whether that is with automatic tagging of content that they don’t think is appropriate, I think it's really important to look at why LGBT content has been deemed inappropriate."
LGBTQ-related content is integral to YouTube.
Filtering it out is just bad for business — clearly.