A rainbow flag, the symbol for the LGBTQ+ community, unfurled in Olympia, Wash.
BY MEGHAN SORENSON
YouTube has introduced a new ‘restricted mode’ and it’s causing a scene within the LGBTQ+ community. Many YouTubers are claiming that this restricted mode is targeting the LGBTQ+ community because according to Hollywood Life magazine the restricted material includes videos by popular YouTuber Tyler Oakley’s “Eight Black LGBT Trailblazers Who Inspire Me” and videos by other Youtubers part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Connor Franta, an openly gay and prominent YouTuber with 5.5 million subscribers told BBC news “If they’re keeping kids from being themselves… that’s a really scary thing.” The outrage started with the removal of videos by the indie pop duo Tegan and Sara. The two members both tweeted outrage over their videos being flagged.
YouTube’s official Twitter account released a statement saying they were trying to find a way to fix the restricted settings leaving YouTubers and fans to wonder about the ethics of the company.
Prominent YouTuber Gigi Gorgeous a transgender women who is also a lesbian. She spoke out against the new restrictions in a video titled #ProudToBeRestrcited. Gigi stated in her video that the restricted settings only allow beauty videos to be available on her channel. Videos about her personal life and sexuality are not available. Gigi said, “These restrictions only hurt young people.” She also shared her experiences about YouTube helping her connect to people like herself.
YouTube is a place for creativity to thrive. Now many are wondering if the company is working against itself with these new guidelines, considering the size of the LGBTQ+ online presence. While no one is quite sure when the restrictions were put into place, or how YouTube will change their guidelines. It leaves many people wondering how the internet is changing in these turbulent times.
YouTube later took to the social media platform Twitter stating: “We are so proud to represent the LGBTQ+ voices on our platform…We regret any confusion this has caused and are looking into your concerns.”