Not My YouTube

By Nathan Cooper

Back in December of 2015 YouTube added a new feature to their website, a “restricted mode” filter meant to block videos that they have defined as “sensitive content”. YouTube  released this saying “You can use Restricted Mode to help screen out potentially objectionable content that you may prefer not to see or don’t want others in your family to see on YouTube.”. Within recent months this filter has caused a lot of controversy within the YouTube community because of a huge change. Without letting creators know, YouTube started to include many LGBTQ+ topics in the category of sensitive content. This sparked outrage all of social media, and YouTube’s largest content creators started to speak out against the decision. “We use community flagging, age-restrictions, and other signals to identify and filter out potentially inappropriate content.” YouTube said defending it’s recent decision. Coming out stories, transgender makeup tutorials, and even a video called “8 Black LGBTQ+ Trailblazers Who Inspire Me” by one of the communities largest creators, Tyler Oakley, suddenly became blocked. YouTube says the filter is for a very small portion of their community who want a “more limited YouTube experience,”.

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This was only one of the many changes YouTube has started to make to allure more advertisers in to working with their platform. Towards the end of last year YouTube received some unwanted spotlight when they changed a major minimization policy, any videos with “sexually suggestive content, violence, inappropriate language, promotion of drugs and regulated substances, and controversial or sensitive subjects and events” would no longer be able to profit from advertising.

Although YouTube has since apologized tweeting “Sorry for all the confusion with Restricted Mode. Some videos have been incorrectly labeled and that’s not right. We’re on it! More to come.”, but has yet to fix many of the issues that were presented.

Citation:

  1. Lewis, Sophie. “YouTube apologizes after parental-control feature blocks LGBTQ content.” CNN. Cable News Network, 20 Mar. 2017. Web. 10 Apr. 2017.

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism