The tech giant apologises for the feature which impacted content with an LGBT+ theme.
YouTube have announced plans to fix its Restricted Mode, which some prominent YouTubers claimed was censoring some of their LGBT+ videos from being accessed, despite them not containing offensive or explicit material.
The company explained that when they first introduced the mode back in 2010, it was an “optional” feature to help schools and parents control what content could be seen on the platform.
They added that it wasn’t just LGBT+ content that was restricted, but also “videos that contain profanity, those that depict images or descriptions of violence, or discussion of certain diseases like addictions and eating disorders”.
Despite only 1.5 percent of YouTube’s daily views being accessed through the Restricted Mode, they’ve agreed that it isn’t the amount of people who may not be able to access the content that’s the problem, but rather the principle.
“Our system sometimes make mistakes in understanding context and nuances when it assesses which videos to make available in Restricted Mode,” a blog posted by Johanna Wright, VP of Product Management, YouTube, stated.
They acknowledged Ash Hardell’s video Her Vows, Tegan and Sara’s music video for BWU, Jono and Ben’s Woman interrupted during BBC interview, and Calum McSwiggan’s Coming Out To Grandma as examples of where the Restricted Mode got it wrong.
“While the system will never be 100 percent perfect, as we said up top, we must and will do a better job,” the statement added.
“Thanks to your feedback, we’ve manually reviewed the example videos mentioned above and made sure they’re now available in Restricted Mode — we’ll also be using this input to better train our systems.
“It will take time to fully audit our technology and roll out new changes, so please bear with us. There’s nothing more important to us than being a platform where anyone can belong, have a voice and speak out when they believe something needs to be changed.
“We truly appreciate your help keeping the YouTube community active and engaged on topics that matter to creators and YouTube fans alike.”