YouTube has a feature called Restricted Mode, which allows people to view YouTube with a restricted filter that blocks access to more mature content. This filter is mostly used by schools and libraries, but anyone can access this feature so it’s important for creators to understand what types of content gets filtered out of restricted mode. It's also very possible that these guidelines will impact how YouTube decides how advertiser-safe your video content is, so we encourage you to take note of the criteria YouTube uses to filter videos. Continue reading to see the full guidelines of Restricted Mode.
Over the last month or so YouTube has experienced a few flaws in their filtering systems, that have now been fixed according to YouTube. In addition to the advertiser withdrawal problem that we wrote about in March, many users also experienced their content being incorrectly filtered out of Restricted Mode. YouTube has addressed these issues and they are assuring us that “Restricted Mode should not filter out content based on certain attributes like gender, gender identity, political viewpoints, race, religion or sexual orientation.”YouTube has now provided a clear understanding of what content gets filtered out of Restricted Mode. See below for the full guidelines from YouTube:
- Drugs and alcohol: If you’re talking about drug use or abuse, or if you’re drinking alcohol in your videos, your videos will likely not be available in Restricted Mode.
- Sex: While some educational, straightforward conversations about sexual education may be included in Restricted Mode, overly detailed conversations about sex or sexual activity will likely be removed. This is one of the more difficult topics to train YouTube's systems on, and context is key. If your music video features adult themes like sex or drug use, that video will likely not make it into Restricted Mode.
- Violence: If your video includes graphic descriptions of violence, violent acts, natural disasters and tragedies, or even violence in the news, it will likely not appear in Restricted Mode.
- Mature subjects: Videos that cover specific details about events related to terrorism, war, crime, and political conflicts that resulted in death or serious injury may not be available on Restricted Mode, even if no graphic imagery is shown.
- Profane and mature language: Inappropriate language including profanity like “F bombs” will also likely result in your video not being available in Restricted Mode.
If you believe that your content has been falsely excluded from Restricted Mode, YouTube has provided a form you can fill out to address this. You can find this form here. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions about Restricted Mode or advertiser-friendly content.