Petition to Change YouTube's Restricted Mode
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Since mid March 2017 many YouTube creators, especially those whose content focuses on LGBTQ+ issues, noticed that their content was being blocked in Restricted Mode, a setting often used by schools, libraries and public institutions.
YouTube has responded that they are working on fixing the tool, but we believe there must be a new, more transparent approach, regarding how and why content is being restricted. We understand and appreciate the value of the Restricted Mode. But we make the following requests of YouTube going forward in a hope that this tool can work best for the site, but also ensure that its communities, and vulnerable users, are not affected.
This doesn’t just affect the LGBTQ+ community, there have been examples of gaming videos, sports videos, content about mental health and simple vlogs being affected by this change. Your channel may have been inadvertently affected by this policy, regardless of its content.
We expect the following from YouTube:
- Inform channels when their videos have been blocked in restricted mode. The current method suggested by YouTube to see if content is blocked is "turn on Restricted Mode and search to see if the videos appears or go directly to the video's URL to see if it's viewable." This is unscalable for creators, especially those who may have only just found out about Restricted Mode's existence and may have hundreds, or thousands of videos.
- Give guidelines that indicate what content is filtered out under restricted mode. e.g. because of sexually suggestive content, moderate violence, promotion of drugs. If creators wish to ensure that their content can be viewed by everyone, even those using restricted mode, they need to know what kinds of content they need to avoid.
- Give channels a clear way to appeal what they see as unjustified inclusion in restricted content. In the same way that video demonetisation can be appealed, this should be extended to restricted content. This will also ensure any errors in the system that already exists are caught before they escalate into the current problem.
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