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YouTube under fire for restricting LGBT contents

Jessicha Valentina
Jessicha Valentina

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Mon, March 20, 2017 | 03:52 pm
YouTube under fire for restricting LGBT contents

YouTube's restriction feature is said to filter out LGBT-themed videos. (Shutterstock.com/Your Design)

American video sharing website YouTube has been accused of being a platform of anti-lesbian, -gay, -bisexual and -transgender (LGBT) sentiments as it has a restriction feature that has filtered out content related to the topic.

The Guardian reported that a British YouTuber, Rowan Ellis, had posted a video regarding the website's restriction mode on Thursday, pointing out that the feature had taken 40 LGBT-themed videos off her channel.

The restricted mode is apparently not a new feature. However, Ellis had only recently noticed it.

In the video, Ellis also mentioned that a fellow British YouTube user, Neonfiona, had had similar experience. When a YouTube profile is set on restriction mode, Neonfiona's videos that mention her girlfriend or bisexuality were taken off.

Neonfiona later shared a screenshot of her YouTube channel with and without the restriction on her Twitter. She tweeted that a video that discusses sex was not flagged by the website, while the one with "LGBT" in the title was hidden.

Read also: Subtle (very) 'gay moment' in new Disney film generates buzz

For several hours, #YouTubeIsOverParty became a trending topic on Twitter.

According to the YouTube help page, the restriction feature was aimed at screening out potentially inappropriate content. The filter function was based on an age restriction, community flagging and other signals. The feature is off when in default mode, but a user can choose to turn it on.

The company responded on Sunday via its official Twitter account by saying that the feature was meant for a tiny group of users who want a more limited experience. “LGBTQ+ videos are available in restricted mode, but videos that discuss more sensitive issues may not be.” (kes)

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