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YouTube issues proper apology over restricted mode censoring creators


YouTube apologized for real on Monday.
YouTube apologized for real on Monday.

Image: JENNY TOBIEN/PICTURE-ALLIANCE/DPA/AP IMAGES

YouTube’s controversial “restricted mode” setting may soon be a thing of the past.


Following days of backlash over the setting, which many LGBTQ creators realised hides some of their videos, the video giant on Monday night issued an actual apology on its blog.

“The bottom line is that this feature isn’t working the way it should,” Johanna Wright, YouTube’s Vice President of Product Management, wrote in the blog post. “We’re sorry and we’re going to fix it.”

“We’re sorry and we’re going to fix it.”

Big digital influencers ranging from Tyler Oakely to unofficial YouTube voice of reason Hank Green, as well as musicians such as Tegan and Sara (whose videos were also affected), spoke up about the policy over the weekend.

Many creators argue this is YouTube’s way of equating LGBTQ content as “not family-friendly.”

In inadvertently censoring many creators, the platform had  gone against its fundamental democratic motto: “Broadcast Yourself.” 

Image: AMBAR DEL MORAL/MASHABLE ILLUSTRATION

Once attention was drawn to the setting, many began questioning how and when it even came to be.

YouTube answered this in its blog post, explaining the feature launched in 2010 as  an option “to help institutions like schools as well as people who wanted to better control the content they see on YouTube.”

The platform admitted it “sometimes makes mistakes in understanding context and nuances, when it assesses which videos to make available in Restricted Mode.”

In the blog, Wright emphasized only 1.5 percent of YouTube’s daily views come from people who have Restricted Mode turned on. 

After investigating the complaints, YouTube found it did indeed “get it wrong” with a handful of videos including Ash Hardell’s “Her Vows”; Calum McSwiggan’s “Coming Out To Grandma”; Jono and Ben’s “Woman interrupted during BBC interview”; and Tegan and Sara’s “BWU [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO].”