How YouTube Is Making Sure LGBTQ Creators’ Videos Aren’t Excluded From Restricted Mode

Restricted Mode enables public institutions such as libraries and schools to prevent users from viewing mature content

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki provided an update on the Google-owned video site’s efforts to ensure that videos from LGBTQ creators are available in its Restricted Mode.

Restricted Mode is a setting that has been available since 2010, and it enables public institutions such as libraries and schools to prevent users from viewing mature content.

Wojcicki said in a blog post:

But in looking more closely at the feature, we found that there was LGBTQ (and other) content that should have been included in Restricted Mode but was not, like kissing at weddings, personal accounts of difficult events and speaking out against discrimination.

Our intention was never to limit this kind of content; having spoken to LGBTQ creators and YouTube employees, I understand just how important it is that teens and students be able to view it. That’s why we’ve updated our policies to explicitly allow these videos in Restricted Mode—it still won’t work perfectly, but over time, our systems will get better. We apologize for these issues and want to reaffirm our commitment that YouTube is a place where all voices can be heard.

She added that more than 12 million videos of all types—“including hundreds of thousands featuring LGBTQ content”—are now available in Restricted Mode, and said YouTube published expanded Restricted Mode guidelines to help ensure that “non-graphic, personal accounts” of difficult events are not excluded.

Wojcicki also reminded users that, as announced in April, YouTube users can use this form to alert YouTube to videos that they feel are being inappropriately excluded from Restricted Mode.

Next, she addressed concerns over ad placement and its impact on revenue for creators:

On a separate note, earlier this year, many creators, including LGBTQ creators, expressed confusion and concern about revenue fluctuations in the wake of advertiser concerns around where their ads are placed on YouTube. These were separate issues that unfortunately happened at the same time. As advertisers paused their spend on YouTube, it impacted a broad range of creators. We have rigorous training to ensure that anyone who reviews content that’s been flagged for review ensures that all content is treated fairly. For more information, please see our Advertiser-Friendly Content Guidelines in the Help Center.

Finally, Wojcicki discussed ways that YouTube and parent company Google are partnering with the LGBTQ community:

To celebrate Pride, we’re promoting LGBTQ creators and their content as part of the launch of our fifth annual #ProudToBe campaign. Over the course of the next year, we’ll celebrate LGBTQ History Month and International Transgender Day of Visibility. And on June 27, we will also introduce a permanent shelf on our U.S. Spotlight channel to showcase LGBTQ videos throughout the year refreshed on a weekly basis.

Recognizing the specific needs of at-risk LGBTQ youth, we’re also partnering with the leading organization for crisis intervention services for this community, The Trevor Project. We’re investing in Trevor’s channel growth, as well as audience development, to expand its reach. We’re also working with 25 global suicide prevention organizations to help surface assistance via phone and text at the time of need.

We’re partnering to celebrate LGBTQ history with the NYC LGBT Community Center. Google.org recently announced a $1 million grant to the New York City LGBT Community Center to support the Stonewall National Monument, the first LGBTQ dedicated landmark in the U.S. As a part of this support, we’re excited to announce opportunities in the near future for YouTube creators to share LGBTQ history with their audience through the Stonewall initiative.