Target: Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube
Goal: Prevent non-offensive LGBTQ content from being restricted.
Numerous videos featuring pro-LGBTQ content are being flagged as restricted on YouTube. LGBTQ video blog stars such as Tyler Oakley and singers Tegan and Sara have reported finding some of their content unsearchable when using “restricted mode,” which is meant to block offensive footage for users uninterested in mature content. In a tweet from the YouTube Creators’ Twitter account, the company admitted that some LGBTQ content was restricted while some more offensive videos are not, but gave no good reason as to why. It ended its generic, public statement with a promise to look into the concerns.
Popular amongst adolescents, especially those who identify as LGBTQ+, YouTube serves as a community that connects its users to people with whom they can relate. Videos that are not accessible when a viewer is searching in “restrictive mode” include those depicting role models in the LGBTQ community as well as coming out stories. At the same time, videos expressing hate speech toward gays and other minorities are more easily accessible, though they should be removed all together. Flagging pro-LGBTQ content as sensitive strengthens the bias against those who do not identify as straight and conveys that LGBTQ subjects are not family-friendly. Please sign this petition to demand that YouTube remove flags from LGBTQ content and make it accessible via restricted search.
Dear Ms. Wojcicki,
Content posted by pro-LGBTQ bloggers has been flagged as sensitive on your website while videos depicting hate speech are more easily accessible. Your largest clientele, adolescents, use YouTube to connect with bloggers with whom they can relate, yet your restrictions are making some content more difficult to find.
Blocking nonoffensive, pro-LGBTQ material from YouTube’s restricted search increases the bias against the LGBTQ community. More important, it hides this material from those who need it the most — LGBTQ youths seeking positive LGBTQ role models, advice, and support. These subjects are not immature or offensive, and they should not be flagged. I demand that you take steps to ensure that appropriate, pro-LGBTQ content be available via your restricted search.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: TymonOziemblewski