Queer YouTube users are speaking out about the website’s apparent policy of age-restricting videos featuring LGBTQ content.
YouTubers noticed that videos tagged or titled with LGBTQ terms like “gay,” “queer” or “trans” were automatically being flagged as inappropriate and hidden by age restriction filters, even though the videos themselves did not contain adult content.
When YouTube decides that a video is not appropriate for younger audiences, they place an age restriction on it. Age-restricted videos can’t be watched by users who are logged out or are under 18. In other words, minors can’t view age-restricted videos.
One YouTuber, Rowan Ellis, spoke out about YouTube’s practice:
Ellis noted that YouTube’s anti-LGBTQ restrictions aren’t just unfair — they’re actively harmful to queer kids:
One of the main issues with this is that queer youths cannot get support. They cannot get support because it has to be run by queer elders or queer adults. And it’s seen as inappropriate to have queer youths and queer adults in the same space even though these community spaces are needed for these kids. This is a marginalized identity that often doesn’t have links within family. This is something that you discover in isolation and alone when you don’t have these kind of intergenerational LGBT relationships that can be formed.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with having age restrictions on content. But when anything LGBTQ is automatically flagged, even when it’s not sexual, it’s a sign of prejudice and ignorance.