Yesterday, we reported that YouTube was facing criticism of its “Restriction Mode” from LGBTQ+ individuals who asserted that the platform was hiding LGBTQ+ content that was in no way mature.
YouTube responded to that boiling controversy with a standard boilerplate apology that said, among other things, YouTube is “proud to represent LGBTQ+ voices” and “regret[s] any confusion” caused by the issue. At the time of that statement, the Google-owned company said it would look into the concerns raised by LGBTQ+ users.
YouTube has since followed up on that and altered the classifications of certain LGBTQ+ videos, including those of indie-pop duo Tegan and Sara. However, certain videos were still being filtered out by the “Restriction Mode,” which lead to Tegan & Sara pointing out that advice outlets such as “Everyone is Gay” were still being blocked.
In a further move to clear the air, YouTube said in an email statement to The Guardian, “Some videos that cover subjects like health, politics and sexuality may not appear for users and institutions that choose to use this feature.” And then the company had to follow that statement with another a few hours later, saying, “We recognize that some videos are incorrectly labelled by our automated system and we realize it’s very important to get this right. We’re working hard to make some improvements.”
As our article yesterday pointed out, this is not the first time YouTube has gotten dinged for filtering out certain LGBTQ+ content. It stands to reason that if the company continues responding with fair but benign statements that do little to explain its process, these issues will arise again.
Below you can see the video for “U-Turn,” which Tegan and Sara say was filtered out by “Restriction Mode,” and beneath that you can see their (actually sexually suggestive) video for “Stop Desire,” which wasn’t.