More About the YouTube Content Filter

by Barbara J. Feldman on March 10, 2011

Since YouTube was launched, it has become one of the easiest and best ways for people to share their videos with loved ones and friends all over the world. With this comes a cost though because there are people that can take a good thing and turn it into a bad thing in a hurry. There are a lot of people out there that post inappropriate videos and if your child innocently types in something like “girl” they could end up seeing a lot of videos that are very inappropriate and harmful. YouTube does have a content filter you can use to try and limit the amount of inappropriate material your child may see however it has its limitations and won’t be able to shield them from everything.

To enable the content filter you need to sign into your account. At the very bottom of any page you will see a term called “safety”. You need to click on this and then make sure it says “ON” for your safety mode. The safety mode will help to cut down on the inappropriate videos and will star out all the comments left on videos that are curse words or inappropriate words. You can also report a video to YouTube if you believe it is in violation of the YouTube content policy.

YouTube does have people working day and night to scan through videos and to remove any of them that are found to be in violation of their policy. They also take videos that tend to be graphic or inappropriate in nature and place a special filter on them that says the viewer must be at least 18 years old. When this comes up the viewer will need to sign into their account and they must also click that they are age appropriate to view the video.

The filtering tool that YouTube has isn’t really the best because it’s hard to keep up with the thousands of videos that are posted daily. Sometimes you will see a video that is tagged as adult content but it doesn’t get caught in the filter and you can accidently stumble across it.

One other thing you can do to try and reduce the type of videos that pull up is by changing your internet security settings. These settings can help to filter out unwanted content and will be sure to prevent your child from landing on a pornographic video or website. What you need to do is set your Google filtering tool to be “strict” and this will ensure that you don’t end up seeing any pornographic images or inappropriate content.

YouTube is looking to increase security and they are getting better about removing videos that are inappropriate however it is still lacking when it comes to these standards. For example they will allow nudity to be shown in videos if it is not the “focal point” of the video. This means you can see a video that contains buttocks, breasts, and closeups of genitals if they aren’t the focal point. Their idea of filtering is pretty lackadaisical when it comes to keeping kids safe and free from seeing inappropriate content.

The safety mode somewhat helps with the content but it really only focuses on cutting out the words, not the videos. So if you type in naked when you have the safety mode on, it’s likely that nothing will end up happening. The safety mode has no problem filtering out other things as well like political videos, and other things though, which is interesting considering it lacks in other areas. While YouTube stands by the safety mode and claims that no website will ever be able to develop a content filter that is 100 percent effective, parents will continue to be concerned over the site and should still keep a watchful eye over their children.

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "More About the YouTube Content Filter." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 10 Mar. 2011. Web. 13 Oct. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1550/more-about-the-youtube-content-filter/ >.


  • Rich M.

    thanks. we are looking to filter out inappropriate language for a 7 year old. very important.