ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
63°
Scattered Clouds
H 87° L 68°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    63°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 87° L 68°
  • clear-day Created with Sketch.
    84°
    Afternoon
    Sunny. H 87° L 68°
  • cloudy-day Created with Sketch.
    81°
    Evening
    Mostly Cloudy. H 87° L 68°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

News
YouTube reverses some restrictions on gay-themed content
Close

YouTube reverses some restrictions on gay-themed content

YouTube reverses some restrictions on gay-themed content
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File
FILE - In this Oct. 21, 2015, file photo, Robert Kyncl, YouTube Chief Business Officer, speaks as YouTube unveils "YouTube Red," a new subscription service, at YouTube Space LA offices in Los Angeles. YouTube explained why some gay-themed content was restricted for certain users in a tweet on March 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File)

YouTube reverses some restrictions on gay-themed content

The YouTube video shows two women, dressed in suits and ties. They smile; they sniffle back tears; they gaze into each other's eyes. They are reading their wedding vows to one another.

The four-minute video titled "Her Vows" contains no nudity, violence or swearing. There's no revealing clothing. No one is engaging in activities that have a "high risk of injury or death." And yet, YouTube had deemed the video unsuitable for people under 18.

YouTube acknowledged Monday that it might have made a mistake, saying in a tweet, "Some videos have been incorrectly labeled and that's not right. We're on it! More to come." The restriction on the vows video was lifted by Monday afternoon. But others — including one from YouTube celebrity Tyler Oakley titled "8 Black LGBTQ+ Trailblazers Who Inspire Me" — remained on YouTube's age-restricted list.

Several YouTube users, many of them have in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, have been complaining that their videos are categorized as "restricted" for no obvious reasons.

The "restricted" designation lets parents, schools and libraries filter out content that isn't appropriate for users under 18. Turning on the restriction makes videos inaccessible. YouTube calls it "an optional feature used by a very small subset of users."

It's unclear whether the types of videos in question are now being categorized as "restricted" for the first time, or whether this is a long-standing policy that is only now getting attention. More likely, it is the latter.

U.K.-based YouTube creator Rowan Ellis made a video criticizing the restrictions last week. This video itself was restricted, though YouTube has since reclassified that video as OK. In an email, Ellis said YouTube needs to reach out to the LGBTQ community to explain "how this system works, and how it came to flag like this, if it was indeed an error and not a deliberate targeting."

Companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter rely on humans and computer software to weed out unsuitable content. Mistakes can happen whether it's a person or a machine.

This is not the first time, and probably not the last, that an internet company is mired in controversy about what types of content it restricts. Facebook has faced similar complaints, for example, with its removal — and later, reinstatement — of a Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of a naked, screaming girl running from a napalm attack in Vietnam.

The latest complaints spawned the hashtag #YouTubeIsOverParty over the weekend.

YouTube said in a tweet Sunday that LGBTQ videos aren't automatically filtered out, though some discussing "more sensitive issues" might be restricted. But the company, which is owned by Google, did not specify what it counts as "more sensitive issues."

In an emailed statement on Monday, YouTube said "some videos that cover subjects like health, politics and sexuality may not appear for users and institutions that choose to use this feature." In the case of LGBT topics, which are by definition intertwined with health, politics and sexuality, filtering out what is and isn't appropriate can be difficult.

YouTube followed that statement with another hours later: "We recognize that some videos are incorrectly labeled by our automated system and we realize it's very important to get this right. We're working hard to make some improvements." The statement offered no further explanation.

YouTube content creators can decide to age-restrict their videos themselves. But that's just one of the ways sensitive content is filtered out. YouTube says it also uses "community flagging," which means users who have a problem with content in a video can flag it to YouTube for possible restrictions or removal.

But just because something is flagged, it is not automatically removed. Once a video is flagged, YouTube says it reviews it.

"If no violations are found by our review team, no amount of flagging will change that and the video will remain on our site," YouTube says in its online support page.

What sorts of content gets filtered out in restricted mode can vary by region, based on countries' varying community standards. In general, though, it includes "sexually explicit language or excessive profanity," or violence or disturbing content, according to YouTube's policies.

YouTube's rules also state that videos "containing nudity or dramatized sexual conduct may be age-restricted when the context is appropriately educational, documentary, scientific or artistic. Videos featuring individuals in minimal or revealing clothing may also be age-restricted if they're intended to be sexually provocative, but don't show explicit content."

Videos that show adults engaging in "activities that have a high risk of injury or death" may also be age-restricted.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • A principal at a Christian school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is facing child porn charges. Jeff Goss is the principal at the Christian Education Alliance in west Tulsa. Goss was arrested Tuesday morning by federal officials after they reportedly caught Goss using an online application to view child pornography. >> Watch the news report here Authorities said the application lets people enter chat rooms and share videos, pictures and more. Agents from Phoenix said Goss showed his face in the chat room, and they were able to track his IP address. Goss reportedly confessed to using the app at least five times. >> Read more trending news Agents said he preferred children ages 10 to 12 and did not care if they were girls or boys. Goss allegedly told officers that he primarily teaches children ages 12 and 13. School officials said they did not find out about the allegations against Goss until FOX23.com called them. They said he did not show up to work Wednesday. The station confirmed that he is in the Tulsa County Jail. The school's website says that it has served home-school families for more than 20 years.
  • Police looking for suspects in armed home invasion robbery The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is working to identify two men suspects involved in an armed home invasion robbery at the Mission Springs apartment complex on March 22nd.  The police investigation revealed, the unknown suspects forced their way into the residence after the victim opened the door. One of the two men was armed with an assault-style riffle with no stock.  The victim was then led around the home at gunpoint, while the suspects looked for items to take.  They were last seen leaving the front door of the home.  Both suspects were described as black men in their early 20’s, 5’6” – 5’10’ tall. Police also say they were both wearing hoodies and dark pants.  If you are able to identify the suspects or have any information you are asked to call the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers to remain anonymous. 
  • WSB-TV has confirmed that the Transportation Security Administration fired a screener who missed a loaded handgun in a passenger’s carry-on bag Sunday morning at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. According to an Atlanta police incident report, Katrina Jackson, of Hoover, Alabama, discovered the handgun as she checked her purse for her passport at the gate. “There’s one thing if you’re missing something suspicious. This was a handgun, so this is a big deal that this got through the TSA screening process,” security expert Brent Brown said. >> Watch the news report here Jackson told police about the gun, and officers showed up at the gate to confiscate her gun and her bag. Jackson told them that she had a permit to carry from Alabama but did not have it with her. Police arrested her. She is charged with unlawful possession of a handgun. “I mean, she violated the law, so we have consequences,” passenger Melissa Monroe said. A TSA spokesperson sent the following statement: “This egregious mistake was unacceptable and the officer, who was still a probationary employee, was immediately and permanently separated from federal service.” >> Read more trending news According to TSA, a screener’s probationary period lasts two years. “We don’t know who else might have gotten through. This one person fortunately turned around and reported herself, but how many of these types of things get through all the time?” Brown said. WSB-TV’s Aaron Diamant learned that TSA screeners detected 198 guns at Atlanta’s airport in 2016, more than any other U.S. airport. Screeners have found 48 guns so far this year, including seven during the same week that the screener missed Jackson’s gun. “This is a crazy world we live in, so, you know, things happen, and if it’s our time, it’s our time. But they’re doing a good job. I think they’re doing a good job,” passenger Tiffany Clinton said. WSB-TV was unable to contact Jackson. The Clayton County solicitor general is handling her case.
  • There’s an empty spot on a St. Johns County home where a 'Blue Lives Matter' flag has flown for years.According to the homeowner, the flag was placed there to show support for family and others in law enforcement.Jeff Gaddie, the homeowner’s father tells Action News Jax, “She did take it down because she doesn’t want to be perceived as breaking the laws or anything.” 'Blue Lives Matter' flag has been removed from this SJC home. Homeowner was asked to take it down after neighbor complaint @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/7q8dqfWrfC— Beth Rousseau (@BethANJax) March 29, 2017 TRENDING: Nearly 50 dachshunds rescued, looking for forever homes When we spoke to Gaddie last week, he explained that his daughter’s request to display the flag was denied after a neighbor complained that it was racist.“I mean that’s just what they told her and that’s what they reacted off of,” Gaddie said.First Coast Association Management, the company that enforces the HOA’s rules, denied the allegation in a post on their website.The online statement outlines the Association’s policy that only allows American and military flags.“I’m not  totally sure that it’s all the HOA board members involved as much as it is the management company. It may be a lack of communication between the two,” Gaddie said.We wanted to hear from the company so we went to their office: They didn’t answer the door. There was also no answer when we tried to contact them by phone. Homeowner tells me this is the flag a neighbor called 'racist' @ActionNewsJax pic.twitter.com/Nyqc8GeJ7o— Beth Rousseau (@BethANJax) March 29, 2017 LOCAL NEWS: Man uses baseball bat to free 2-month-old left in hot car at Jacksonville Lowe's The homeowner has started this online petition.Gaddie said this fight is far from over.“She’s trying to do it the right way where she fights back, appeals it, and tries to get it approved,” Gaddie said.
  • A domestic dispute between a boyfriend and girlfriend in Puerto Rico reportedly led to the brutal death of the woman’s Chihuahua.  According to the BBC, Luis Arroyo, 40, killed the 2-month-old puppy by biting off its head on Feb. 4 in the mountain town of Lares.  >> Read more trending news Arroyo, who was unemployed, had been living with his 38-year-old girlfriend for six months when he punched her and decapitated her puppy, the report said. He pleaded guilty to charges of domestic abuse and animal abuse, and was sentenced to seven years in prison, the BBC reported. Arroyo is also required to pay a $3,000 fine relating to the case, according to the BBC. Read more here.

The Latest News Videos