YouTube is developing algorithms to prevent minors from watching videos that are inappropriate for their age. This includes automatic blocking of profane content, featuring violent images or victims of car accidents and provocative videos hinting at sexual activity (for example, sultry dances or images of people in underwear) less. 18 years old.
Until now, age restrictions on videos have been enforced manually by the creators or by a moderation team tasked with reviewing complaints about the videos. “We want to adapt and develop our technology to help us automatically enforce these restrictions,” the YouTube team said in a statement regarding the changes.
Videos with restrictions can only be viewed by users over the age of 18 registered on the site. In the European Union, users may be required to provide additional proof of their age upon registration (for example, a credit card or valid identification document). This is a further step to ensure that YouTube complies with the new Audiovisual Services Directive being developed by the European Union.
Google (owner of YouTube) says new user information will be deleted after the verification process. Creators of videos identified by algorithms as “unsuitable for minors under 18” can also request that the decision be reviewed by humans if they disagree.
The news comes at a time when YouTube is being criticized by parents, teachers and children’s rights groups for the existence of inappropriate content for young people.
“We know that at this point, many are using YouTube to find educational or entertaining content. We will continue to update our products and our rules with tools that ensure that Internet users find content appropriate to their age, ”explains the YouTube team.
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Although the main site is aimed at those over 13 (YouTube has a separate site for kids), most of the more popular channels focus on content for younger people. One of the highest paid YouTubers, just nine-year-old Ryan Kaji, has 25 million subscribers on Ryan’s World where he has posted videos about the toys he has been experimenting with since 2015.
YouTube started paying more attention to content dedicated to children after complaints about popular cartoon parodies with sexual, violent or inappropriate content surfaced on the main site (for example, images of Ruca being overwritten by chocolates or tortured Peppa Pig at the dentist). These types of videos are prohibited for children under the age of 18 after being detected, but the new algorithms aim to make the process easier.