YouTube Moves to Age-Restrict Weird and Disturbing Kid-Targeted Videos

10 November, 2017, 21:24 | Author: Oscar Goodwin
  • Screenshot by Matt Elliott  CNET

A YouTube representative clarified that this change has been in the works for a while, and is not a response to recent media coverage of the odd genre of videos.

Recent news stories and blog posts highlighted the underbelly of YouTube Kids, Google's children-friendly version of the wide world of YouTube.

YouTube says videos that feature adult themes, including graphic violence, will be age restricted to avoid children accidentally viewing them. Now YouTube has made a decision to take additional measures that age restricts this type of flagged content on its main app, which will automatically block it from slipping into the kids app, as first reported by The Verge.

Back in August, the company rolled out a new policy restricting users from advertising dollars for the inappropriate use of family-friendly characters, such as Elsa and Spider-Man.

The YouTube app and its Kids variant have long had an issue with numerous unusual and outright inappropriate videos popping up with keywords that target kids and use family-friendly characters, but YouTube is reportedly planning to start filtering those videos out of the YouTube Kids app by age-restricting them when they're found. While all content on YouTube Kids is meant to be suitable for children under the age of 13, some inappropriate videos using animations, cartoons, and child-focused keywords manage to get past YouTube's algorithms and in front of kids' eyes.

YouTube said it has been aware of issues for the past year, and has "thousands" of staff working around the clock to eliminate unsuitable content from YouTube Kids.

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. After that, there is a team of humans that review videos which have been flagged. As for those using the main YouTube app, age-restricted content can not be viewed by anyone not logged into a YouTube account, anyone under the age of 18, or anyone with Restricted Mode turned on. Many videos include dark and disturbing elements, drawing bad press for YouTube when they appear on its supposedly safe YouTube Kids app. That means this new policy could put a squeeze on the booming business of crafting unusual kid's content.

In today's policy announcement, YouTube is acknowledging the problem, and promising to police it better.

They might show Peppa Pig, but experiencing excruciating pain and torture at the dentist, for instance. 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.

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