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YouTube gets a ‘Safety Mode’

February 10, 2010

It’s safe to say that some of the content hosted on YouTube is questionable. Either because the YouTube filter police haven’t found it yet, or there’s just content that you wouldn’t want you kids or brothers and sisters to see there. Google has reacted to such content being available by introducing ‘Safety Mode‘.

Basically, Safety Mode is the equivalent of a parental filter for YouTube video content. Scroll to the bottom of any YouTube page and click the “Safety Mode is off” link on the left corner. Sign into your YouTube account and turn it on. Then, even when you are logged out, YouTube will filter inappropriate content for anyone using your computer. You can do this without logging in/making an account too, but then it’s incredibly easy to turn it back off without your knowledge.

The filtering will stop searches for specific words showing results, filter results for other words, and turn comments off by default. Turning them back on will see profanity blanked out.

Read more at the YouTube Safety Mode support page.

My Opinion

This is the video equivalent of Google’s SafeSearch feature and is sure to be welcomed by both parents and those who just don’t like mature or inappropriate content being presented as part of YouTube search results. It is limited, however. Safety Mode currently doesn’t work on Mobile devices, meaning you can’t filter video on a phone. It also looks as though YouTube videos embedded on other sites won’t be filtered as well.

The lack of embedded filtering is understandable, but adding this filtering to YouTube Mobile would surely have gone down well with users too. If this initial version proves popular, no doubt Google will consider and possibly extend the implementation.

I have to admit I have only seen one video on YouTube I found to be inappropriate; I think Google  manages to filter 99% of the content falling into that category pretty quickly.

~

Will you be turning Safety Mode on for anyone in your family?

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