Google in a Muddle

It’s been a bad week for Google – who own YouTube.

They went through the weekend with a storm of protest about YouTube blocking videos with LGBT content. Things didn’t have to be raunchy or explicit to get caught in the “restricted mode” block. Makeup lessons or a couple reciting their wedding vows were among examples shared across twitter as “potentially objectionable content” blocked by users viewing YouTube in restricted mode.

We nearly got the “#EndTheBiBan” hashtag out of retirement when Google blogged an apology on Monday, noting that “many of you have raised concerns about Restricted Mode and your content being unfairly impacted. The bottom line is that this feature isn’t working the way it should. We’re sorry and we’re going to fix it.”

This right after the UK government and various commercial companies pulled their YouTube advertising on the grounds that it was being shown alongside content from extremist groups.

As with the block on the word “bisexual” in autocomplete search which lasted for so long, Google seems to know how to limit content, but not yet to have honed down which bits to go for. We’ll all have to keep telling them.