To watch age-restricted videos on YouTube, you must be signed in and have indicated on your profile that you are of legal age to view mature content. So if you are not logged this means that ideally, you cannot view videos that are age-restricted. The problem is that first, very young children and families often watch on a logged in trusting parents account or that some videos which are supposed to be family friendly are actually not and these are slipping through the net. (Pun intended) These videos are free for all to see and they are not suitable for kids, some are horrific with millions of views. So, it’s about time that YouTube toughens rules to protect families and kids.
All this comes after many attacks aimed Google who own YouTube that the site isn’t safe for kids and in fact exploiting them. BuzzFeed even provided Youtube with dozens of examples of videos.
Google has started the cleanup and boy do they need one – how many sites are there like the YouTube Channel Toy Freaks which was terminated by Youtube last week – which had a lot of dodgy content aimed at kids, which most parents called creepy and abusive but still had 8.5 Million subscribers.
Age Restrictions on Accounts
Like every social network, YouTube has age restrictions for you have an account. You have to be 18 to open an account but with parents consent, you can sign up for an account as young as 13, but this just isn’t enough, you can skirt around these restrictions easily. When you had to sign up with Google+ to youtube there was an outcry because people didn’t want to have to use their own names…
Its always been the case that videos may be randomly reviewed and then have an age restriction slapped on them, or the content might be taken down completely or just muted, but these videos might not have even violated YouTube rules. But it must be pretty hard to spot, to be fair, unless someone complains about the video, even with all the bots and staff they have looking out for this stuff.
With these YouTube Stats, you can understand the problem is HUGE
- The total number of people who use YouTube – 1,300,000,000.
- 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute!
- Almost 5 billion videos are watched on Youtube every single day.
Users often try to pass content off as family friendly when it’s clearly not – I guess this is to get more views, without a care if a 3-year-old might stumble upon it.
Content is not classed as family friendly if it has
- Vulgar language
- Violence and disturbing imagery
- Nudity and sexually suggestive content
- Portrayal of harmful or dangerous activities
YouTube toughens rules to protect families and kids
However, these new guidelines are tougher than before > Youtube say in the GoogleBlog
In the last couple of weeks we expanded our enforcement guidelines around removing content featuring minors that may be endangering a child, even if that was not the uploader’s intent. In the last week we terminated over 50 channels and have removed thousands of videos under these guidelines, and we will continue to work quickly to remove more every day.
Some content will now be labelled at only over 18 and you will have to be logged in to watch.
They will be removing any ads that are used which are inappropriate and are targetting families. They will also be blocking inappropriate comments on videos featuring minors.
On the other side of the coin, they also need to remove some content which, younger or more immature users are posting.
There will also be more guidance available for those to do want to help make youtube a more family-friendly environment.
Johanna Wright, Vice President of Product Management at YouTube said
Across the board we have scaled up resources to ensure that thousands of people are working around the clock to monitor, review and make the right decisions across our ads and content policies. These latest enforcement changes will take shape over the weeks and months ahead as we work to tackle this evolving challenge. We’re wholly committed to addressing these issues and will continue to invest the engineering and human resources needed to get it right. As a parent and as a leader in this organization, I’m determined that we do.
We have some tips here on How to make your YouTube channel a success that you might also like.