For the past few days now YouTube has been under a lot of fire with allegations that they are being anti-LGBT by censoring content and channels that are about LGBT right or generally related to LGBT community. With its creators and community outraged, they took the news to Twitter where they got the hashtag #YouTubeIsOverParty trending world wide. The movement is now starting to pick up on Facebook. The allegations were sparked by one of YouTube's restriction feature.
The restriction feature itself it not new and has been on the website for a few years now. It is used to filter out and censor content that is appropriate for kids. But its content creators and community members are starting to notice a pattern. When YouTube's restriction mode is active it censors major LGBT channels by removing them in search results as well as any related LGBT content when visiting other YouTube channels. As YouTube Content Creator Emma Blackery puts it: "LGBTQ+ kids need a voice in a world that still sees people murdered for not being straight. @TeamYouTube is actively taking away that voice."
LGBTQ+ kids need a voice in a world that still sees people murdered for not being straight. @TeamYouTube is actively taking away that voice.— Emma Blackery (@emmablackery) March 17, 2017
But there's more to this then just removing LGBT content, YouTube's restriction feature also removes content that deals with depression, anxiety and suicide. Videos that provide positive support in these areas to people who are struggling to deal with their issues. As well as restricting videos that deal with social and political issues. And the restriction system isn't doing so well when it comes to other topics which is only adding more fuel to the fire. Many videos that are about "how to build bombs" or borderline pornographic are still not age restricted.
"And I made a video the other day, and it was an advice video, and it was about that it's okay that you're gay, and the title was you're meant to be homosexual. It's not there, like this is an advice video with no swearing and encouragement for LGBTQ kids telling them its okay to be gay and you're meant to be a homosexual."
- YouTube Content Creator Michael Buckley in his video YouTube Is Censoring LGBTQ+ Videos As Not "Family Friendly"
However others are lashing out on Twitter that this is being blown out of proportion because YouTube's restriction feature is optional and can be turned off. Though this is true, most public places have the restriction feature on and youth or anyone in general who don't have any other way to access YouTube won't be able to access these videos. And all LGBTQ+ content, event kid appropriate content, is being restricted from kids. As YouTube Content Creator Emma Blackery states, "Its important to remember that this is active censorship, not an error. It implies they believe that LGBTQ+ must be kept away from children."
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Its important to remember that this is active censorship, not an error. It implies they believe that LGBTQ+ must be kept away from children.— Emma Blackery (@emmablackery) March 17, 2017