The YouTube “Restriction Mode” Debacle: What was it all about?

Image credit: Nyshita talluri via Wikimedia Commons

Image credit: Nyshita talluri via Wikimedia Commons

For a couple of years now those who subscribe to the diseased Social Justice mentality around the world have asked Google, Twitter and other online platforms to crackdown on things they don’t like things that they find offensive, things that doesn’t agree with their ideologies and those people or cultures that point out their mistakes. And so in response to that a lot of the tech companies have given people tools to report, or ignore (or both) such contents. Facebook, YouTube (owned by Google), and Twitter all have rules against contents that promotes racism and bigotry, or just things they find offensive and not aligned with their political beliefs. They punishes users that post such contents by shadowbanning, or just an out right ban, or in YouTube’s case, demonetization of the person’s videos.

But it seems that’s not enough. Just like how they remove platform from speakers they don’t like in their colleges around the Western World, they want to outright censor things they don’t like on the Internet.

Such an idea would have angered those who fought for the freedom of the Internet in 2011 against SOPA and PIPA. But then you’ll now find some of those people are the ones who are now okay with the idea of censoring people over the internet. OH THE IRONY.

And now this happens

The LGBT flag (Image Source: Wikipedia)

The LGBT flag (Image Source: Wikipedia)

And so here we are now. Youtube has changed their algorithms for detecting and censoring videos that have “sensitive” topics and putting them behind a “restricted mode”, which is, by default, turned off. With restricted mode on, people will not be able to see said videos. And a lot of people who make videos are angry about this because this is effectively censorship. And no one likes to be censored.

What happened next is something that didn’t surprise those that have been calling out the Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) for their “censor people we don’t like” ideology, though. They knew this would happen.

Because the people the SJWs don’t like aren’t the only ones getting censored, they themselves are getting censored now. People who are in the LGBT community, which is full of people who also subscribe to Social Justice ideologies, are also getting their videos censored as well. Why? Because Google has set their algorithm to censor videos that deal with sensitive topics like sexuality, health, and politics. Somehow the LGBT community got hit by it hard, even videos they claim to be kids-friendly. This is a PR nightmare for Google, and SJWs who got their videos censored earned a big “I told you so” from their detractors. You can’t force the Internet to censor others without getting censored yourself.

YouTube, or at least the developers responsible for maintaining the algorithm that the site’s “restricted mode” use, spent the whole last month trying to fix it. And just this week, all the videos that were “wrongly” censored are back up again.

On a blogpost by YouTube they stated out that the Restricted Mode was made to be an optional feature to help filter out the more mature videos. It “should not filter out content belonging to individuals or groups based on certain attributes like gender, gender identity, political viewpoints, race, religion or sexual orientation.”

YouTube said in the post that way back in March, the community has told them that “their systems weren’t working as intended.” And after doing some checks they went to make several more improvements to the Restricted Mode. They said they have finally fixed the problem that has been incorrectly censoring videos. They also claim to have been talking with content creators to better understand their thoughts on Restricted Mode and that they’ll keep being transparent on how Restricted Mode works.

They also released a list of topics that will be censored. These are:

  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Sex
  • Violence
  • Mature subjects
  • Profane and mature language

So now what?

While content creators will never be happy that their platforms are censoring them, there won’t be anymore movement as big as the one in 2011 against censorship. If they really aren’t okay with it they might try to move their videos to another platform like Vimeo or Dailymotion but that’s really unlikely as YouTube has a more developed platform and that the content creators are already established there. They will most likely follow YouTube’s rules in the end until other video streaming sites catch up with Youtube. But this is very unlikely too as YouTube is owned by Google and Google is one of the kings of the Internet.

Four of the biggest internet companies (Image Source:

Four of the biggest internet companies (Image Source: