Get called out for censoring a few thousand Let's Players and game commentators online with #YouTubeAgeGate, and YouTube doesn't say a thing. Get called out for censoring the LGBTQIA+ community as part of that same process, and you get a short response. YouTube posted this tweet yesterday in response to content from the site's gay community content creators for having their videos be placed into Restricted Mode, which has been the most talked about response to the new system quietly going into place where YouTube are placing overall ratings on channels based on age. The tweet was extended as a small picture of text to get the message across, but if you click on it and look at the comments left behind, the response was not kind.
A message to our community … pic.twitter.com/oHNiiI7CVs
— YouTube Creators (@YTCreators) March 20, 2017
Johanna Wright, YouTube's vice president of product management, took to the company's website to address the concerns further. Most of the commentary left below for her includes people complaining that there's no communication between the company and it's leading creators, a complaint that's been around since 2010 when many people started taking off and turning YouTube posting into a career.
Our system sometimes make mistakes in understanding context and nuances when it assesses which videos to make available in Restricted Mode. For instance, the following videos are examples of where we got it wrong: Ash Hardell's "Her Vows," Calum McSwiggan's "Coming Out To Grandma," Jono and Ben's "Woman interrupted during BBC interview," and Tegan and Sara's "BWU [OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO]."
While the system will never be 100 percent perfect, as we said up top, we must and will do a better job. Thanks to your feedback, we've manually reviewed the example videos mentioned above and made sure they're now available in Restricted Mode — we'll also be using this input to better train our systems. It will take time to fully audit our technology and roll out new changes, so please bear with us. There's nothing more important to us than being a platform where anyone can belong, have a voice and speak out when they believe something needs to be changed. We truly appreciate your help keeping the YouTube community active and engaged on topics that matter to creators and YouTube fans alike.
It's going to be interesting to watch how YouTube continues to respond to the changes they're currently implementing on their own system without telling anyone the reasoning for it, and continuing to not have resources for content creators to contact people in charge to answer those concerns one-on-one. We'll continue updating you on this story as things develop.