Recently, YouTube has created a new feature that allows parents to control what their children watch on YouTube. The parental controls are a simple setting which any parent can turn on, so their child can watch “family-friendly” videos. However, this sparked a lot of controversy when the public learned that the parental controls blocked videos featuring LGBTQ+ content if the video just contained words like “lesbian”, “gay”, or “bisexual” in the title of the videos.
Many members of the LGBTQ+ community agreed that blocking out videos with LGBTQ+ content is an act of homophobia. Since YouTube had been more accepting with YouTubers who were part of the LGBTQ+ community, it was quite disappointing to see that YouTube had taken this enormous step back by acting in a homophobic manner.
“I am kind of disgusted with that as a person a part of the LGBT community… Blocking it is straight up bigotry.” stated Gabe Leggett, sophomore.
By singling out the LGBTQ+ community rather than treating any non-heterosexuals normally, they are being homophobic. This is discriminating against a whole community by censoring them and not allowing them to have a voice to the younger generations.
“I don’t think it is necessarily right for them to do this. Parents should allow their kids to be around that stuff, but treat it normally like heterosexuality.” said Megan Sweet, sophomore.
“I think that if parents really don’t want their kids to see it, then don’t let their kids watch YouTube. Harmless videos that feature gay content shouldn’t be restricted,” said Eliott Brammer, sophomore and member of Leigh’s Gay-Straight Alliance.
Despite these students’ different backgrounds, they all agree that the parental restriction on YouTube is wrong to block LGBTQ+ videos claiming that they are inappropriate because it is homophobic. By claiming that LGBTQ+ videos are not safe for children to see, YouTube is allowing parents to keep their children sheltered from the LGBTQ+ community. When parents keep their children in the dark about sensitive subjects like this, their kids will see these topics in a negative aspect due to the lack of influence it had in their lives.
YouTube has apologized for the LGBTQ+ videos that were blocked and claimed to fix it, but there are still many appropriate videos that are unavailable, such as “coming out” videos from YouTubers. These videos are about sensitive topics, but are in no way or shape inappropriate for children. Children should be exposed to these topics in order to understand that not being cisgender or heterosexual is okay. If people are educated on these sensitive topics when they are younger, they may become more understanding when they are older.