This past weekend, YouTube was forced to release a statement responding to growing accusations that the platform’s new “Restricted Mode” setting discriminates against LGBTQ content by “hiding” videos made by a number of queer bloggers.
Restricted Mode is not a new feature for YouTube. Officially, it is an opt-in feature that “help[s] screen out potentially objectionable content that you may prefer not to see or do not want others in your family to see on YouTube,” according to Google. The company explains that it uses “community flagging, age restrictions and other signals to identify and filter out potentially inappropriate content.”
YouTube’s statement, released on Twitter Sunday evening, followed the hashtag #YouTubeIsOverParty trending that afternoon. “We are so proud to represent LGBTQ+ voices on our platform—they’re a key part of what YouTube is all about,” it read. “The intention of Restricted Mode is to filter out mature content for the tiny subset of our users who want a more limited experience. LGBTQ+ videos are available in Restricted Mode, but videos that discuss more sensitive issues may not be. We regret any confusion this has caused and are looking into your concerns. We appreciate your feedback and passion for making YouTube such an inclusive, diverse and vibrant community.”