YouTube Help: Age-restricted content

Pablo Tucker
November 10, 2017

The new policy, announced on Thursday evening, will see age restrictions apply on content featuring "inappropriate use of family entertainment characters" like unofficial videos depicting Peppa Pig "basically tortured" at the dentist.

Such content will now be age-restricted on the main YouTube app once reviewed and flagged on YouTube Kids.

The company said they have thousands of people working around the clock looking for inappropriate content and reviewing flagged content.

YouTube also made sure to clarify that the number of inappropriate videos within the YouTube Kids app is very small, with most of those videos claiming the majority of their viewership on the all-ages version of YouTube. Users won't be able to watch such videos unless they are logged into the site and are older than 17.

At the moment all content on the app - which is aimed at children between three and 13 - is automatically screened by software before becoming available to underage users. Content from YouTube main may take several days to filter into the kids app, and content flagged in the kids app has its own reviewers, who are monitoring flagged content 24/7.

"The YouTube team is made up of parents who are committed to improving our apps and getting this right", the company said in a statement. According to a report from The Verge, YouTube claims this policy has been in the works for some time now and is not in response to the recent online concern.

YouTube says videos that feature adult themes, including graphic violence, will be age restricted to avoid children accidentally viewing them. It's in the process of training its team of moderators, which review videos on its site, to recognize and flag such videos.

While the policy is a welcome change for parents anxious about the content their kids may see on a user-generated platform such as YouTube, it appears that the new policy will still rely heavily on algorithms, and on someone spotting the problem content first.

The unnerving reality is that it's possible that many of those views came from YouTube's "up next" and "recommended" video section that appears while watching any video. Even with those videos demonetized, makers could still profit from more subscriptions and higher view count by putting out other videos that can make money and waiting for fans to stumble upon them. The app has been downloaded tens of millions of times.

After a pair of articles revealed the presence of insidious videos within the community of children's content on YouTube, the video platform is promising additional strides to protect its youngest users. In August, the company updated its advertising policy to bar such videos from including ads.

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