YouTube is rolling out more artificial intelligence technology to intercept more videos that may require age restrictions. This means more viewers will be encouraged to log into their accounts to verify their ages before watching.
Similar to how YouTube tried using machine learning techniques to better capture violent extremism and more of the platform’s most serious content from 2017 onwards, and later find videos that involve hateful behavior, in this case the same approach is used to automatically capture videos mark YouTube thinks this is not age appropriate. As a result, YouTube expects to see far more videos with age-related restrictions.
The company is preparing for some labeling mistakes, as it has with the introduction of AI moderation technologies. As part of the changes, users of YouTube videos embedded on third-party websites will be redirected to YouTube to sign in and check their age.
That doesn’t mean that mistakes won’t happen. You will see how countless incidents of misapplied labels and shutdowns and all kinds of controversy over copyright strikes in the past. But YouTube is expanding its appeal team to handle the complaints it receives. Another problem the developers are facing is that age restricted videos are not showing up on the homepage. While age-restricted videos are less likely to appear on the homepage, according to YouTube, age restriction doesn’t automatically prohibit videos from appearing on the homepage.
The rollout takes place when YouTube attempts to address global criticism from affected parent groups and advocacy groups against the website, which is unsafe for children. The YouTube team routinely says that YouTube is not intended for anyone under the age of 13 due to federal privacy protection, and the company is pointing to YouTube Kids as a supposedly safer alternative. However, that doesn’t prevent young children from using the app at home or elsewhere. Some of the most popular channels are based on creating content specifically for children. Currently, the YouTube Trust and Security team is applying restrictions to videos if they are encountered during reviews. If it’s deemed inappropriate for anyone under the age of 18, it will receive an age gate.
“As our use of technology will result in more videos being age-restricted, our policy team took this opportunity to re-examine where we draw the line for age-restricted content,” read a new YouTube blog post. “After consulting with experts and comparing them with other global frameworks for evaluating content, only minor adjustments were necessary.”
The YouTube post also notes that people living in European Union countries may need some additional steps that the new rules require. In line with upcoming regulations such as the EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), some European users may be asked to provide additional proof of age. According to the Post, if the systems can’t verify someone is over the age of 18, they may be asked to provide a valid ID or credit card to verify their age. It’s a one-time process, and we want YouTube to delete the information after it’s sent. According to YouTube, the process was designed to adhere to Google’s data protection and security principles.
People can see these changes right away, but often it takes time for the effects to be felt. Nonetheless, be prepared to stay signed in to your YouTube account if you don’t want to come across a bunch of age-restricted videos as a lot more age gates seem to be popping up.