YouTube pledges to fix glitch hiding LGBTQ videos


TORONTO – YouTube is apologizing to its LGBTQ users for an ongoing technical issue that filters out some gay and trans-themed videos for some users.

At issue is YouTube’s “restricted” designation, which lets parents, schools and libraries filter content that may be considered inappropriate for users under 18.

Johanna Wright, YouTube vice president of product management, says the “feature isn’t working the way it should” and pledged to “fix it.”

Recently, YouTubers began noticing some videos with LGBTQ themes weren’t showing up under the restricted settings, despite having no obvious age-sensitive content.

Toronto video producer Michael Rizzi saw his “7 Things I Love About My Boyfriend” video disappear in restricted mode, while transgender creator Stef Sanjati saw her make-up tutorials filtered out.

YouTube previously acknowledged that some health and politics videos may also be caught in the filter.

The company blames the glitch on its systems which “sometimes make mistakes in understanding context and nuances” when choosing videos for its restricted mode.

Wright highlighted four videos the company has “manually reviewed” and restored, including a music video from Calgary-raised singers Tegan and Sara, but she didn’t outline what will happen with clips posted by less-famous users.

“It will take time to fully audit our technology and roll out new changes, so please bear with us,” she added.

Some YouTube users have called on the company to disable the faulty technology in the meantime. The company didn’t address those requests in its blog post.

YouTube said about 1.5 per cent of its daily views come from users who have activated the restricted mode.

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