YouTube Gets a Little Less Sleazy

By  |  Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 4:27 pm

youtubegYouTube intends to restrict access to content that might be deemed pornographic or profane in a play to broaden its appeal and attract more of the highbrow audience that enjoys watching panda bears sneeze.

In a blog post today, the YouTube team explained the impending changes. In the near future, videos will be algorithmically demoted if they contain sexually suggestive content and naughty words. The video site is also taking measures to place an age restriction on risque content.

Guidelines on what exactly constitutes “sexually suggestive content,” have been published on the YouTube Web site. Some of those are:

* Whether breasts, buttocks, or genitals (clothed or unclothed) are the focal point of the video;

* Whether the video setting is sexually suggestive (e.g. a location generally associated with sexual activity, such as a bed);

* Whether the subject is depicted in a pose that is intended to sexually arouse the viewer;

* Whether the subject’s actions in the video suggests a willingness to engage in sexual activity (e.g. kissing, provocative dancing, fondling); and

* If a subject is minimally clothed, whether the clothing would be acceptable in appropriate public contexts (e.g. swimwear vs. underwear).

There is sure to be some collateral damage resulting from these guidelines, but if one child is speared spared the graphic image of a middle-aged man wearing a poorly fitting Speedo, the future will be a little bit brighter for all of us. The question of when booty poppin goes too far remains open to interpretation.

Additional changes will affect how thumbnails are generated, and revised guidelines for tags, titles, and other metadata may lead to more accurate descriptions of videos.

Feedback left by YouTube users about the blog posting was largely negative. One read, “Youtube was not meant to be a family site. If it continues in this direction it will destroy the basic mission and user base of the site.” Others, however, welcomed the proposed changes as “great news” and “overdue.”



4 Comments For This Post

  1. Andrew Mager Says:

    They are still way behind the curve.

    YouTube will always be playing catchup to other video services.

  2. amarvin Says:

    They are spearing children? Doesn’t sound safe to me. /sarcasm I think you meant “spared”. Good idea for YouTube though. It’s about time.

  3. Harry McCracken Says:

    Typo patrol! Thanks…


  4. demex Says:

    Isn’t that like 70% of youtube’s streams?