By Carina Mouradian
Lately, YouTube has stepped up their game when it comes to monitoring what’s happening on their website. The video upload site has begun cracking down on content, insisting that all YouTubers post videos without the display of cuss words, drinking, smoking, etc. or they get fined and the video gets taken down. Moreover, they have added settings which allow a user to launch a restriction mode that causes mature content to disappear.
On one hand, this makes sense as, for as YouTube explained, some viewers want a more “limited experience.” But, some YouTubers and certain types of content seem unfairly targeted for censorship. Especially worrisome are restrictions hindering the videos and channels of LGBTQ+ people, whether the content is non-sexual or sexual. Such videos and channels are simply disappearing. In addition to LGBTQ+ videos vanishing, these new restrictions also prevent access to topics such as health and politics if the viewer chooses not to see that as well.
For example, Connor Franta is a YouTuber who has come out as gay and when the restriction mode is on, his channel disappears from YouTube. Senior Cam Burrows said, “I don’t think this is a good idea because it treats the LGBTQ+ like they’re still a perversion instead of just accepting who they are.”
Many YouTubers have spoken out about this ban, arguing that it personally attacks anyone who fits in the category of the LGBTQ+. Gigi Gorgeous, a YouTuber. posted on her Instagram account saying, “Someone’s coming out video is what a 10, 11, 12 or younger might need to see. That video might be the ultimate tipping point for them in their transition, in their gender identity…” Senior Michelle Raytman agrees. “The restriction can be seen as a step back as a society because of all the current acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community. It now makes it seem like they’re less accepted.”
This restriction mode truly takes away civil rights for people who should freely be able to post videos with whatever content as those who are heterosexual. “I think it’s unfortunate because we as a society have such a difficult time embracing new ideas and having a sense of understanding of the so many people around us,” said Social Studies teacher Joel Sharpe.