YouTube has apologised for incorrectly labelling LGBT+ videos as inappropriate as part of a new function designed to “screen out potentially mature content”.
The ‘Restricted Mode’ filter is intended to block material deemed unsuitable for children but many LGBT+ YouTubers found that their videos had been automatically hidden—despite their innocuous content.
Popular LGBT+ video creators such as Neon Fiona, Rowan Ellis and Calum McSwiggan reported that their clips had disappeared under Restricted Mode.
Musicians Tegan and Sara wrote on their Twitter that three of their videos clips had been removed for having “sensitive content”.
YouTube's Johanna Wright has now issued a statement in response to the backlash saying: “We understand that this has been confusing and upsetting, and many of you have raised concerns about Restricted Mode and your content being unfairly impacted.
“The bottom line is that this feature isn’t working the way it should. We’re sorry and we’re going to fix it.
“Our system sometimes makes mistakes in understanding context and nuances when it assesses which videos to make available in Restricted Mode.
“While the system will never be 100 percent perfect, as we said up top, we must and will do a better job.
“Thanks to your feedback, we’ve manually reviewed the example videos mentioned above and made sure they’re now available in Restricted Mode – we’ll also be using this input to better train our systems.”
It’s the second apology that YouTube has issued with the site originally explaining that they had only blocked LGBT+ videos containing sensitive content.
However, users were quick to point out that this was not that case and that Youtube had wiped out videos with “any hint” of LGBT+ content.
But following the most recent apology, YouTube creators seem hopeful that the site is willing to address the obvious issues caused by the function.