Internet censorship has always been a big concern, and Youtube has recently changed their policies concerning what is listed under Age-Restricted content. For many reasons, this has sparked controversy and outrage across the internet.
Youtube has deemed the LGBT community’s videos to be age restricted and therefore, these videos are automatically demonetized. Even if these videos do not violate Youtube’s guidelines, they will be under age restriction.
Youtube’s requirements for something to be put under age restriction is the following: Vulgar language, violence and disturbing imagery, nudity and sexually suggestive content, and portrayal of harmful or dangerous activities. Restricting a video of someone who does not violate these guidelines can be a problem because this narrows the audience that can view their videos as well as the videos being demonetized. If a Youtuber who makes their living from Youtube has most to all of their videos demonetized, this becomes an immediate issue.
However, there seems to be some hypocrisy with this rule. Take two very different Youtubers as an example. Gigi Gorgeous, a transgender Youtuber who posts makeup, fashion, and beauty videos, does not violate community guidelines. However, if her videos are age-restricted, this can impact her entire career. Eugenia Cooney, another Youtuber who also posts makeup and fashion videos, clearly is suffering from a disorder of some sort, presumably an eating disorder, which she has yet to address. However, her health is clearly declining by the day and her look has influenced many young teenage girls to starve themselves to achieve an underweight, unhealthy appearance. Despite this display of “harmful and dangerous activities”, Youtube has yet to even age restrict her videos. Youtube has even ignored the numerous pleads and petitions to ban this account.
After the amount of backlash Youtube received about this policy, they responded and acknowledged they made an error with this new rule. They replied through a tweet saying, “Sorry for all the confusion with Restricted Mode. Some videos have been incorrectly labeled and that’s not right. We’re on it! More to come.”
At the end of the day, this issue is about censorship, following the guidelines, and being fair to everyone in the community. No matter a person’s race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, every Youtuber should be on an even playing field. A video should only be age-restricted when it breaks one of the original guidelines that Youtube has set. It is a relief that Youtube acknowledged their mistake and is fixing it. It is only fair for every Youtuber’s videos to be judged for age restriction the same way, no matter who they are.