Earlier this week The Associated Press reported that YouTube was reversing some restrictions on LGBTQ content based on ongoing criticisms leveled at the company. The video titled “Her Vows” was cited as an example. The video contains no nudity, violence or swearing, but YouTube deemed it unsuitable for people under 18. For many LGBTQ readers, this will not come as a surprise.
I have many friends who have had issues with Facebook in the past for posting innocuous photos of themselves. I do understand that in many cases this is more an issue with the imperfections of artificial intelligence, that companies use to manage content. And YouTube seemed to echo that in their statement, saying LGBTQ videos aren’t automatically filtered out, “some videos that cover subjects like health, politics and sexuality may not appear for users and institutions that choose to use this feature.” In the case of LGBT topics, which are by definition intertwined with health, politics and sexuality, filtering out what is and isn’t appropriate can be difficult.
Below U.K.-based YouTube creator Rowan Ellis video criticizes these restrictions, which ironically was initially also restricted, though YouTube has since reclassified that video.