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YouTube Changes Restricted Mode After Backlash for Blocking LGBTQ Videos

Licensing Expo 2016Licensing Expo 2016
The YouTube logo as shown in the YouTube booth at the Licensing Expo 2016 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on June 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gabe Ginsberg—Getty Images

YouTube has updated its “restricted mode” following allegations last month that it blocked videos from the LGBTQ community.

In March, YouTube drew backlash from LGBTQ users who pointed out that the restricted mode was hiding their videos, even if the videos did not contain inappropriate content. Now, the company says it has made “several improvements” to restricted mode, including fixing an issue that was “incorrectly filtering videos for this feature,” according to Product Management VP Johanna Wright.

Wright noted in a blog post that “12 million additional videos of all types — including hundreds of thousands featuring LGBTQ+ content — are available” in restricted mode.

“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 said.

After consulting with LGBTQ creators and third-party organizations, YouTube has provided a reporting form for people to alert the company when they think a video is being improperly restricted, Wright said.

Wright also provided guidelines for creators to consider if they want their videos to appear in restricted mode. Videos that contain discussion of drugs and alcohol, detailed conversations about sex, graphic violence, mature subjects or profane language are likely to be blocked in restricted mode.