YouTube Says LGBTQ ‘Restricted Mode’ Filter Problem Is Fixed

Move follows outcry from community


After receiving complaints that its Restricted Mode — which helps to filter out mature content — was wrongly putting videos with LGBTQ+ themes behind the wall, YouTube announced Friday it is working to fix the problem.

In a blog post on the Creator Blog, Johanna Wright, VP of product management said that the service had implemented some changes to hopefully prevent the wrongful tagging of certain videos.

“We want to clarify that Restricted Mode should not filter out content belonging to individuals or groups based on certain attributes like gender, gender identity, political viewpoints, race, religion or sexual orientation,” Wright wrote.

After about a month of investigating, which included talking with creators and other organizations, YouTube has implemented a form which allows people to provide feedback if they feel their video should be available in Restricted Mode.

It also updated its guidelines in regard to mature topics. In terms of drugs and alcohol, for example, your videos will likely not be available in Restricted Mode. However, videos about sex that are educational might be included.

You can check out the blog post to learn more details.

“Though Restricted Mode will never be perfect, we hope to build on our progress so far to continue making our systems more accurate and the overall Restricted Mode experience better over time,” Wright wrote.

The original controversy was picked up on Twitter after Tyler Oakley, an online personality with more than eight million subscribers, noticed one of his recent videos was “blocked.” He attributed to the problem to Restricted Mode — an account option that allows people to prevent videos with certain topics from showing up.

In theory, this would prevent younger viewers from seeing videos with mature content, but it seemed, according to multiple LGBTQ+ creators, that it wasn’t working as intended.

People such as Oakley, who is openly gay, reported some of their videos weren’t showing up with Restricted Mode enabled, even if they didn’t contain adult content. People also tweeted that certain videos that did contain stuff such as slurs were coming through.