Susan Wojcicki has apologised for the recent censorship of LGBTQ+ content in YouTube’s Restricted Mode, and shared YouTube’s plans to improve inclusivity on the platform.
In honour of Pride Month, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki published a blog post highlighting the advances YouTube has made in LGBTQ+ inclusion, both on its own platform and in wider society. The post also touched on how YouTube plans to support LGBTQ+ creators in the future.
Susan wrote about the “unfortunate” effect Restricted Mode had on YouTube’s relationship with its LGBTQ+ creators, after many argued that the feature was unfairly blocking content with LGBTQ+ themes.
Although Susan expressed regret for this, she added that when YouTube researched these complaints, it found more content that should have been censored by the feature’s specifications at the time: “We found […] 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.”
However, she further stated that “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.”
Videos which contain graphic content, even if only spoken, will still be censored by the feature, but Susan explained what is being done to make the feature more inclusive, and added that LGBTQ+ voices are being included in the discussion.
Susan emphasised that YouTube intends to be an inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ individuals. The blog post detailed future developments that will be made to help make YouTube more inclusive, including “promoting LGBTQ+ creators and their content as part of the launch of YouTube’s fifth annual #ProudToBe campaign”, “introducing a permanent shelf on the US Spotlight channel to showcase LGBTQ+ videos throughout the year”, “partnering with The Trevor Project and working with 25 global suicide prevention organisations”, and “hosting a series of Creator Roundtables to discuss initiatives that impact the LGBTQ+ community and gather feedback to improve YouTube’s products and programmes”.