Editorial: YouTube should not restrict LGBT content

Last month, YouTube changed its restrictions settings, leaving several LGBT videos hidden from the public under the site restricted mode.

In a time when social media is oftentimes the best platform for people to make their voices heard, hundreds of people expressed their opposition to the site’s update restriction settings. In addition to LGBT videos, videos promoting body positivity were also removed from the public viewing options under the restrictions.

And this isn’t the first time YouTube updates have sparked outrage. In 2016, YouTube quit paying video creators for videos that contained cussing, sexual humor, partial nudity and controversial subjects, among other things. 

This caused an uproar among YouTube users since thousands of young adults rely on the money they make from their content.

Now, people are questioning whether YouTube should have the right to create these restrictions since it is a free public site. While it makes sense to restrict some videos that contain nudity or extreme violence, what doesn’t make sense is why they’re restricting LGBT videos or videos that promote body positivity.

To restrict such videos that deal with the LGBT community or not pay YouTuber users who may cuss in their videos seems to be a bit excessive. People use YouTube as a platform to inform others of different issues or to provide inspiration. Some use it as a way to make money. 

Shortly after this restricted mode was updated, YouTube released a statement saying some of the videos placed under the restricted mode were placed there by mistake due to their automatic tagging system. Now, the site is working to solve that problem.

But if this tagging system is flawed enough to flag appropriate videos, what about the videos that should be flagged but are not? How many other videos are tagged incorrectly? Are there videos that should be under the restricted section that are not?

YouTube is a public domain; therefore, the content should be accessible for the public. You shouldn’t have to change a setting to be able to view certain videos. The argument can be made that this new type of restriction is to ensure the safety of children browsing the website, but a 10-year-old boy or girl should not be on the internet unsupervised either. 

If LGBT videos are going to be censored and hidden under a restricted mode, then what about the sexually explicit music videos? Or the inappropriate spoof cartoons? Shouldn’t those also be under the restricted mode?

YouTube’s system is flawed — that’s obvious. Before they work on restricting videos, YouTube should make a more efficient and effective flagging system to prevent young children from seeing certain videos. A restriction mode would be beneficial if it actually hid inappropriate videos, rather than targeting the LGBT community.


The staff believes YouTube should not be able to restrict content outside of violence and nudity.


The opinions, beliefs and view points expressed by the various authors in the opinion section do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the entire The Franklin staff. Opinion editor Christina Ramey moderates the board and its members, including Brittney Corum, Matt Thomas and Ashley Steeb. Leigh Durphey, the executive editor, sits on the board. If you have an issue you would like the board to cover, email christina.ramey@franklincollege.edu.

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The Franklin is the student newspaper at Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana. We publish in-depth campus news weekly.

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