< Go back to blogUnderstanding YouTube&#8217;s Increased Age-Restrictions on Mature Videos

Understanding YouTube’s Increased Age-Restrictions on Mature Videos

Published: December 2, 2020

New YouTube Age Restriction Policy: Protecting Younger Audiences

YouTube recently unveiled an update to its age restriction guidelines, now requiring viewers under 18 to confirm their age before viewing videos marked for mature audiences. The initiative does not introduce new policy changes but intends to harness automated systems to enforce age restrictions more reliably in the following months.

Understanding the Enhanced Age Restrictions

With the employment of automated technology, we anticipate a rise in age-restricted videos, specifically affecting content that may be inappropriate for younger viewers. This includes sexually suggestive material, news videos depicting graphic imagery, strong profanity, and illicit drug-related videos.

It is essential to recognize that not all instances of adult language or mature themes will result in an age gate. The context and significance of such material in each video are critical factors in determining the necessity for age restriction.

The Implications for Viewership and Monetization

Content creators whose videos have already been marked with a yellow icon indicating limited or no ad revenue may see these same videos subjected to stricter age restrictions. Although this could lead to a dip in viewership—due to the requirement for an 18+ login—it should minimally affect monetization, as the implicated content types are usually ineligible for full advertising anyway.

European Age Verification Under the Audiovisual Media Services Directive

In alignment with the EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive, YouTube will introduce stringent age verification methods for European users attempting to access videos with age restrictions. Such authentication could necessitate an ID or credit card confirmation.

Support and Remediation for Creators

Despite reliance on automated processes for age restriction implementation, YouTube avails an appeal avenue for creators. Should a video be marked for age restriction in error, creators can call for a review by human policy experts who are equipped to reverse incorrect decisions.

This change presents certain hurdles for creators but emphasizes YouTube’s dedication to the protection of its younger user base. It also aims to reinforce the comfort level of parents regarding their children’s digital consumption.

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