Tuesday, December 02, 2008

YouTube Wants A "G" Rating

In a blog posting posted today YouTube has said it will be enforcing stricter standards for what constitutes mature or sexually suggestive content and demoting videos off the "Most Viewed" or "Top Favorited" lists.

Note there are no plans at this time to remove the videos entirely, just push them out of the spot light. YouTube also said it would step up enforcement of rules banning misleading descriptions in the tags and titles of a video.

  • Stricter standard for mature content - While videos featuring pornographic images or sex acts are always removed from the site when they're flagged, we're tightening the standard for what is considered "sexually suggestive." Videos with sexually suggestive (but not prohibited) content will be age-restricted, which means they'll be available only to viewers who are 18 or older. To learn more about what constitutes "sexually suggestive" content, click here.

  • Demotion of sexually suggestive content and profanity - Videos that are considered sexually suggestive, or that contain profanity, will be algorithmically demoted on our 'Most Viewed,' 'Top Favorited,' and other browse pages. The classification of these types of videos is based on a number of factors, including video content and descriptions. In testing, we've found that out of the thousands of videos on these pages, only several each day are automatically demoted for being too graphic or explicit. However, those videos are often the ones which end up being repeatedly flagged by the community as being inappropriate.

  • Improved thumbnails - To make sure your thumbnail represents your video, your choices will now be selected algorithmically. You'll still have three thumbnails to choose from, but they will no longer be auto-generated from the 25/50/75 points in the video index.

  • More accurate video information - Our Community Guidelines have always prohibited folks from attempting to game view counts by entering misleading information in video descriptions, tags, titles, and other metadata. We remain serious about enforcing these rules. Remember, violations of these guidelines could result in removal of your video and repeated violations will lead to termination of your account.

If the comments on the blog post are any indication of how the majority of users feel then YouTube may be facing a big back lash. Many YouTube users feel the new standards will contribute to stifling free speech and could kill the nature of what they feel YouTube was founded upon.


  1. YouTube's guidelines would be maddening if they weren't so friggin' comical.

    to comply with YouTube's age-restricted standards you'd pretty much have to be dressed as a nun sitting in an uncomfortable chair with your legs crossed while thinking pure thoughts.

    I poke some fun at them on my Culture Crash blog. -- http://blogs.computerworld.com/youtube_porn



  2. I can't even begin to understand what their thinking was behind this move. About the only thing I can think is that they are starting to feel pressure from some of their partners and advertisers to clean it up a little. Nice posting by the way, I see you are a fellow BootyTown subscriber...just for the articles right!


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