YouTube has issued an apology for a ‘family-friendly’ filter that bans LGBTI content.
Restricted Mode, aiming to filter out ‘more mature content’ and is switched off by default.
However if you turn it on, videos that use community flagging, age-restrictions and ‘other signals’ to identify what is potentially inappropriate content.
Gay YouTube personality Calum McSwiggan turned on the family filter and discovered all of his videos except for one disappeared.
Similarly, self-identifying queer Rowan Ellis found 40 of her videos disappeared.
Filter is ‘offensive and panders’ to people in the wrong way
Ellis said: ‘We don’t really know how long it’s been there.
‘But it’s something that people are just starting to realize the extent of, particularly with regard to LGBT content,’ she said.
McSwiggan says this filter is ‘offensive’ and ‘panders’ to people in the wrong way.
‘It’s completely backwards,’ he said.
McSwiggan also claims any LGBTI sex education videos disappear but heterosexual sex education videos stay.
A YouTube spokesperson tweeted: ‘We regret any confusion this has caused and are looking into your concerns.’
They added: ‘LGBTQ+ videos are available in Restricted Mode, but videos that discuss more sensitive subjects may not be.
‘We are so proud to represent LGBTQ+ voices on our platform – they’re a key part of YouTube what is all about.
‘The intention of Restricted Mode is to filter out mature content for the tiny subset of users who want a more limited experience.’
One said on social media: ‘Thanks for telling hundreds of thousands of gay kids and teens that their existence is inapropriate and offensive, YouTube.’