YouTube is updating how it applies age restrictions to content. It will now rely on machine learning AI to apply video age-restrictions on videos.
Previously, the only way for age restrictions to be applied to videos was by creators turning them on themselves or by manual reviewers from YouTube’s ‘Trust & Safety’ team. Both of these ways will still exist after the update. However, YouTube will also start using its machine learning to auto-apply age restrictions. This will likely result in more restricted videos on the platform. According to YouTube, the update is in response to the new EU lawsuit filed against the platform and is an ongoing reliance on machine learning technology for content moderation.
How will this affect creators?
Though more videos will be restricted on YouTube, the platform seems confident this won’t hurt creators’ revenues. The impact should be minimal to nonexistent because most videos that will be age-restricted normally wouldn’t meet YouTube’s ad guidelines. So, this means these videos would have little to no ads anyway. Still, creators have the option to appeal the age restrictions on their videos.
The update stops a workaround for age-restricted videos
The update will also stop a workaround for age-restricted videos on YouTube. In the past, these videos could be viewed by anyone if they were embedded on third-party websites. Now, embedded videos that are age-restricted will redirect to YouTube. People will then be asked to sign in to watch the video.
YouTube will be confirming creators are 18+ in the EU
YouTube is also rolling out a new age verification system in the EU. This is mandated by the new Audiovisual Media Services Directive regulation. Essentially, EU YouTube users are required to provide additional proof of age when watching mature content. If the system can’t verify if a creator is 18 and older in the EU, YouTube will ask the creator to provide a valid ID or credit card number. A spokesperson said that all ID and credit card numbers would be deleted after a user’s age is confirmed.
You can read the full press release from YouTube about the update here.