YouTube has made changes to its controversial “Restricted Mode” after criticism that LGBTI-related videos were being unfairly filtered.
Last month YouTube came under fire for blocking LGBTI-related videos in Restricted Mode, an optional feature that YouTube says can be used by children and families to “help screen out potentially objectionable content”.
But queer YouTube stars hit out at the video site when it became clear that innocuous queer content on topics like coming out, health and same-sex relationships had been caught in the net and was disappearing from users’ channels.
Now YouTube Product Management Vice President Johanna Wright has explained in a blog post that the site had “fixed an issue” that was incorrectly filtering the videos, and now “12 million additional videos of all types – including hundreds of thousands featuring LGBTQ+ content – are available in Restricted Mode.”
“Our community alerted us that our systems were not working as intended, in particular, that we were unintentionally filtering content from Restricted Mode that shouldn’t have been,” Ms Wright wrote.
“We want to clarify that Restricted Mode should not filter out content belonging to individuals or groups based on certain attributes like gender, gender identity, political viewpoints, race, religion or sexual orientation.”
The blog post offered detailed guidelines on the types of content that would be filtered and Ms Wright added a new online form would allow users to give feedback and report videos that had been inappropriately excluded from Restricted Mode.
“We will use this input to help improve our automated system going forward,” Ms Wright said.