How to Control What Your Kids Watch on YouTube
YouTube is adding parental controls for filtering video in response to repeated requests from parents and advocacy groups to censor objectionable content.
Despite having an enormous amount of content and one of the most trafficked sites on the Internet, YouTube does have many videos deemed inappropriate for young viewers, including videos depicting violence, sexual content, strong language and nudity. The new parental controls help parents screen out these videos without needing to monitor every search their children make.
While logged into a YouTube account, parents can activate the controls by clicking the Safety Mode link on the bottom left of any YouTube video page. The default setting is off, but clicking the link allows users to change that.
After activating the controls, YouTube will automatically filter search results for certain keywords. Some won't return any results, and others will only return partial results. Innocuous search terms will be largely unaffected. Strong language in the comments section of each video will also be censored.
The parental controls guard against videos found without a search, too. YouTube community members have the power to flag videos as inappropriate for young teens. Those flagged videos will not be viewable if Safety Mode is on.
The community flagging system is essential to make the parental controls work. "It's a formidable job,” Scott Rubin, head of child safety policy at YouTube, said in a statement. “With 20 hours of video uploaded every minute to YouTube, we really count on our community members … to know our community guidelines, those rules of the road, to flag videos they think violate the rules."
Obviously, the YouTube community members may not catch everything, and the announcement on the YouTube company blog adds, "Safety Mode isn't fool proof, but it provides a greater degree of control over your YouTube experience." Many parents would agree that something is better than nothing.
The Safety Mode option is rolling out to all users today.