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YouTube fix brings 12 million videos back to Restricted Mode

MASHABLE INC.
MASHABLE INC.
SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 2017 10:50 PM GMT

Following the outcry back in March over YouTube's Restricted Mode, a feature that screens for "mature content," and how it filtered out some LGBTQ videos on the site, the company first attempted to explain the issue before they ultimately apologized.

YouTube's words were nice, but the YouTube community wanted action. Now YouTube says it has fixed the Restricted Mode issue that hid certain LGBTQ-related videos while in Restricted Mode.

"After a thorough investigation, we started making several improvements to Restricted Mode," reads a message from posted by Johanna Wright, YouTube's vice president of product management, on the company's blog on Friday.

"On the engineering side, we fixed an issue that was incorrectly filtering videos for this feature, and now 12 million additional videos of all types — including hundreds of thousands featuring LGBTQ+ content — are available in Restricted Mode."

In addition to adjusting things on the backend, Wright says the company also spent the last few weeks reaching out to video creators, as well as outside organizations, in an effort to improve its understanding of their "experiences and questions." (However, it wasn't made clear whether the creators and organizations they reached out to were specifically LGBTQ-related.)

The update also includes the announcement of a new form that YouTube users can fill out if they believe one of their videos has been "inappropriately excluded" from Restricted Mode. To that end, Wright also restated the intent of Restricted Mode:

"We want to clarify that Restricted Mode should not filter out content belonging to individuals or groups based on certain attributes like gender, gender identity, political viewpoints, race, religion or sexual orientation."

Wright's message also touches on a few specifics regarding what content may be removed from Restricted Mode, including the subtleties around discussions of sex, drugs, profanity, and violence.

Of course, it's up to the YouTube community to judge whether these new measures will suffice, but the company's attempt to nail down clearer guidelines, while simultaneously addressing filtering issues on the backend are a good start.

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