The Restricted Mode section on YouTube has been a hot topic over the past couple of weeks. The purpose of this option is to filter out potentially inappropriate or sensitive content, especially for young viewers. While this idea seems innocent, it has become extremely controversial. Those who have this mode turned on, thus filtering out certain content, are also filtered away from LGBTQ-themed videos.
Oh no, honey.
This begs the question: What does YouTube consider "sensitive"?
A video of two woman saying their vows to each other at their wedding was restricted. Videos of men and trans filming makeup tutorials are being restricted. Tyler Oakley posted a video titled "8 Black LGBTQ+ Trailblazers Who Inspire Me," and that was restricted. These are just a few of the many examples that have been broadcasted. There are many, many more.
A famous transgender YouTuber, Gigi Gorgeous, posted a video on her channel titled "#ProudToBeRestricted," where she goes into detail about her thoughts and personal experience with this issue. I encourage you to watch it here:
She even turned on this feature to see how many of her videos were being blocked. She was shocked to discover the amount being more than she had thought there would be, as a lot of her videos are being restricted. She talks about how trans, and the rest of the LGBTQ+ community, are being unfairly categorized. Although it might not be intentional, it is offensive. To put into simple terms: she's being restricted because she is a transgender. Along with many others.
The company has apologized for the confusion and has stated that they are looking further into the issue. A message to the community was given Sunday, March 19th: "We are so proud to represent LGBTQ+ voices on our platform -- they're a key part of what YouTube is about..." They go on to explain the intentions of what restricted mode is and they conclude with, "We regret any confusion this has caused and are looking into your concerns."
Concerned is an understatement.
YouTube has claimed that this feature is only used by a small amount of viewers. Although, its impact is the same, no matter how many use this feature.
Let's not give people reasons to ignore the change. Let's not let the youth categorize LGBTQ+ content as "sensitive." Let's not set back our generation's years of hard-earned equality.
Here are a list of some of my favorite LGBTQ+ YouTubers that you should all check out very soon. Spread the love, and spread the word! Make sure that all voices are heard and equal, whether it's via YouTube or any other platform. #YouTubePartyIsOver
Manny MUA, Jeffree Star, Gigi Gorgeous, Tyler Oakley, Troy Sivan, Shane Dawson, Joey Graceffa, Hannah Hart, Trevor Moran, and many more.