YouTube commits to fixing LGBTQ restrictions

March 22, 2017

Recently it came to the attention of YouTube that the platform's Restricted Mode unintentionally filters out some LGBTQ content. Restricted Mode is an optional feature used by institutions like schools as well as people who want to better control the content they see on YouTube. Currently about 1.5% of users use Restricted Mode.

YouTube prides itself on creating a platform where LGBTQ youth can see role models, but when LGBTQ content is restricted in schools it means that queer youth lose an important way to connect with people like themselves. While LGBTQ representations in other forms of media can be lacking in both quality and quantity, YouTube content provides a plethora of diverse voices – and with LGBTQ content being largely left out of many school curriculums, the importance of these videos is even greater.

Popular LGBTQ YouTubers, including Tyler Oakley, Gigi Gorgeous, Tegan & Sara, and Rowan Ellis have all spoken out about the restrictions and called for the platform to fix the issue.

YouTube has responded to this news with an apology and a promise that they will fix the feature so that it no longer filters out this content. "The bottom line is that this feature isn’t working the way it should. We’re sorry and we’re going to fix it."

YouTube took quick action and GLAAD is now working with them to make sure that this content will be available without restriction.

"It’s crucial for LGBTQ youth to have access to stories of role models and young people they identify with,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO. “This content should never be restricted – it should be amplified and we look forward to working with YouTube not only on this fix, but also ensuring that YouTube remains an inclusive platform where LGBTQ youth can see themselves reflected and know that they are not alone.”