YouTube faces backlash amidst claims of LGBT censorship

YouTube faces backlash around Restricted Mode controversy

Concerns arose last week regarding YouTube’s usually-unnoticed ‘Restricted Mode’ toggle, with many creators alleging that it hides LGBT content.

Fundamentally, Restricted Mode allows individuals and organizations to hide any “potentially objectionable content” from appearing across the platform. The feature is primarily enabled at the network-level by public institutions like schools and libraries, but can also be switched on by parents or anyone wanting a cleaner browsing experience.

The feature relies on “community flagging, age-restrictions, and other signals” to mark content as potentially objectionable, but it isn’t clear exactly what signals are to blame for videos about LGBT sexuality being hidden in Restricted Mode.

On Sunday evening, YouTube released the following statement via Twitter:

We are so proud to represent LGBTQ+ voices on our platform—they’re a key part of what YouTube is all about. The intention of Restricted Mode is to filter out mature content for the tiny subset of our users who want a more limited experience. LGBTQ+ videos are available in Restricted Mode, but videos that discuss more sensitive issues may not be. We regret any confusion this has caused and are looking into your concerns. We appreciate your feedback and passion for making YouTube such an inclusive, diverse, and vibrant community.

Many top creators said that YouTube wasn’t doing enough to curb the problem, and demanded more action.

The issue was first noticed by Rowan Ellis, a smaller creator who uploaded a video on the topic last Thursday, after claiming that about 40 of her videos were hidden in Restricted Mode.

We’ll continue to update this story as it develops.

  • Ivan Sorce

    We are so proud to represent LGBTQ+ voices on our platform—they’re a key part of what YouTube is all about.
    PS. They started to remove comments from this video.
    Marriage should be between a man and a woman.
    There are 2 genders.

    • pittrek

      There are 2 genders.
      Marriage is what the lawmakers decide it is.

    • So following what you’re saying the normal behaviour (as an analogy) is for people to leave planes when they have landed so we should then ban all the videos about people jumping of planes while in mid-air.

  • Bosko Vojinovic

    Holy shit YES, we needed this so bad!


    I doubt YT is targeting LGBT. It is considered a ‘sexual’ topic so chances are it will be picked up by their system. Real topic here is should a parent be able to moderate these LGBT topics away from their children or any other sexual content? I think definitely

    • Lakawak

      That isn’t the issue. The issue is that a parent can moderate these videos away from OTHER people’s children. Or other people in general.

      • HDREEL

        Sexual content should not be on YouTube. LGBT is sexual content. Otherwise where are all the straight videos about being straight? No wear… LGBT needs to find a different place.

  • Beastly Gaming

    I think this is great, not everyone wants to be exposed to this garbage. Yay Youtube!

  • hiPokemon1234

    Forget those idiots! Good job on shutting them down youtube! good for you guys

    • Guywithaface

      I say next up should be any religious channels they spew intolerance and hate-rid. Just look at all the war in the history of mankind to back that comment up.

      • hiPokemon1234


  • – I think LGBTQ+ communities are bunch of whiners nowadays… I have 0 problems with any
    gender people feel they have, I have a bunch of gay/Trangender friends and they agree that
    LGBTQ+ communities nowadays complain about everything…
    – LGBTQ+ have a tendency to sexualise things (well technically everyone has) and that can mess up YT filters for ‘adult content’/restricted age content.
    – OF course YT is not blocking content because the don’t like people’s gender, YT is a bussiness, as long as it brings money they really don’t care, unless if screws with YT filters… Problem here is that people should just relax and know when to post a video on youtube and when to post it on PornHub (this is a joke, obviously).

  • pittrek

    I don’t honestly get where’s the problem. If your videos are not visible in restricted mode, don’t watch youtube in restricted mode

    • Lakawak

      Because you are an idiot. There are people who might want restricted mode for some things..but not others. Just because one person doesn’t like gay content does not mean it should be restricted from everybody.

  • Good Youtube should penalized bcz it treat other very strictly.

  • Noah Habrat

    Restricted mode keeps people who DON’T want to see certain things from seeing those things. Without that mode, you won’t gain more subscribers or views from them. They’ll still ignore your content. It’s honestly just sounds like a “Someone found our content bad, so they must hate us and we’re the victim here”

    • Lakawak

      Again…not the point. The point is that Person A should not be able to get a video restricted from Person B. THAT is the problem. People enforcing THEIR moralities on others.

  • Dream High Animation

    they are so annoying !

    • Dream High Animation

      keep on doing that YT !

  • RickyDicky

    I have 400+ videos and YouTube placed some of them as restricted. I don’t make a dime on any of them and couldn’t care less whether they’r restricted or not. If restriction prevents “upset” for some folk then I say “Good Job YouTube” because, WTF those who activated the “Restricted mode”, can turn it off again, if ever they change their mind.
    Since I didn’t make a nickle on nearly 12,000,000 views I believe those people want to cram their sexual persuasion down everyone’s throat, NOT for feeling violated, NO, but for that nickle they MAY have lost =)