back to article YouTube saves dumb children from offensive content

YouTube has announced an optional feature designed to protect your dumb and impressionable kids from viewing sexual content, graphic violence, and salty comments on the website. The new "Safety Mode" setting helps scour potentially objectionable content from YouTube that might not be nixed under its community guidelines, such …


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  1. ahiahifi


    Every time I read this kind of news I just feel little more worried about this "protectionism" in internet.

    as article pointed out, its pretty useless when kids know even some basic rules how browsers work. Also parents should teach their children more about internet and what there is, what you can see etc.

    Its not companies like Youtube that should do that job!

    1. Edwin
      Thumb Up

      re: Protect

      As a parent, I actually like this.

      As they say about locks: they keep honest people honest. If someone really wants to bypass the security, it's easy. But I don't think that's Youtube's point here.

      While my kids are young enough, it will prevent them stumbling across naughty content by accident, and this is pretty laudable.

      1. Roby

        Re: re: Protect

        It's a good idea simply so that a child won't accidentally see something they shouldn't. They could very easily bypass this or go in search of something inappropriate, but this is not designed to prevent that.

        It has the same efficacy as something like the 9pm watershed: before 9pm television should be relatively safe for a child. Of course, a child could intentionally stay up, or go round to his mate's house and watch something naughty, but nobody pretends the watershed stops that.

        I think it's a good idea. Make it a generally safer environment, but without trying to regulate the internet by removing or banning obscene content. Keep the filth, just hide it unless you look for it.

        Much like Google's SafeSearch. I am happy to have it off all the time, but if a 5 year old was using the computer, you'd probably want it on. You don't expect it to stop anyone determined from finding something or disabling it, it's just so that they don't accidentally see something and click out of curiosity.

    2. Paul 4


      It could be that it is to stop little children from looking at stuff... If they can get round the basic controls they are probably ok with a bit of shooting and fighting. Children don't just pop out at 14 you know.

  2. mlo0352


    If your kid is that dumb, get them off the net.

    1. GettinSadda
      Thumb Up

      At what age...?

      At what age should a child go from "too dumb or too young to be on the net" to "free and unfettered access to everything"?

      My son is 4 and currently I would not dare show him anything on YouTube - even if it was child friendly - because so much of YouTube is not appropriate for his age. Now maybe I can show him videos of a dog playing the piano or such without worrying too much about what may pop up in the comments or "related videos".

      Over the next few years he will probably become quite interested in some of the things that he could find in "safe mode", but later on he will gain enough knowledge to figure out how to turn it off. By that time he will probably be old enough to cope with what he sees.

      And before you ask - I don't intend to leave him on his own online now or for very many years to come, but when he is happy spending an hour watching videos suitable for a 7-year old I would rather be able to sit back with a cup of coffee than spend that hour staring at the screen with my finger hovering over the power button in case a search for "dog" turns up "dogging".

      1. Pete 2 Silver badge


        > At what age should a child go from "too dumb or too young to be on the net" to "free and unfettered access to everything"?

        no matter what the trendies think, it's an unregulated, adult medium.

  3. Ben Ryves

    "Innocuous asterisks"?

    The video refers to an indomitable Gaul, surely?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The level of ignorance, lack of ability to think clearly and selfishness of some posters always surprises me.

    Anything that can reduce the amount of crude, nasty, and just plain dumb garbage that my two year old is accidentally exposed to, will benefit my state of mind.

    It seems to be a small step in the right direction which has zero (that is zero) affect on adult viewing habits.

    1. ahiahifi

      what age?

      Are you serious when telling that your two year old child is using computer?

      and Internet?

      if thats so...........................

  5. Quxy

    Salty language vs. brain damage

    Alas, it does nothing to protect them from either the pervasive advertising or the crap that makes up 99.99% of YouTube content. If YouTube is your babysitter, you're hosed regardless of whether you block tits or not.

  6. Winkypop Silver badge


    If you live in China, Iran or Australia you;

    Go to the bottom of the page and click on: "free speech mode is off."

    This, of course, does nothing.

  7. ShaggyDoggy


    This is more about protecting Youtube (from lawsuits) than protecting kids.

    It's that obvious.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Asterisked Word-filters??

    I'm only 12 and what is this?

    Will anyone ever think of us?

  9. Cucumber C Face

    We accept kids don't play on the freeway

    Meanwhile on the Internet they want to impose a blanket 3 MPH speed limit, make everyone drive cars which look like fluffy bunny rabbits and force us to only speak baby talk.

    The "think of the children" brigade would have little hope of achieving this - except - a totally controlled, monitored and sanitised Internet suits the politicians and big business just fine too.

    I'll get my coat - it's the Mao jacket with the New Labour Manifesto and ID / Universal Consumer Loyalty Card in the pocket.

  10. Pete 2 Silver badge

    The other side of security theatre

    This won't stop any kids. It will, however, let their parent(s) feel they've carried out their parental duties - and that's all the matters.

  11. Piro
    Thumb Up

    Auto collapsing the comments?

    I'd recommend that to ANYONE.

  12. Paul Hates Handles

    The internet... not a baby sitter.

  13. Richard Scratcher
    Thumb Up

    Salty comments filter

    About f**king time!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    does it work in reverse?

    I would just as soon not watch 'safe' videos and I'm tired of having to search for ****, ******, *************** and *******.

  15. Jimmy Floyd

    Kids are bright

    When I was at school in the early-to-mid 90s it was regarded as something of a game to circumvent the security measures put in place by the sysadmin. Indeed, we suspected the Computer Science teacher in charge actually condoned the practice as it taught us a lot and kept the BOFH on his toes.

    Now, these were intelligent A-level Computer Science students on far more basic systems than we have now, but I can't help thinking that kids today will be just as capable of breaking modern restrictions.

    Not that it doesn't mean restrictions shouldn't be in place, of course. Just that no-one should be surprised when they fail.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounsd good to me.

    Now all we need is to stop those videos of kids stuff with the swearing etc

  17. Nick 10

    This is good (for me)

    My kids like to watch videos on youtube, usually with me aswell, but as a parent, it's really annoying when they are watching an innocuous vido about Club Penguin puffles or something only to see a comment right underneath it of "Dude, this Club penguin **** sucks ***** you f***** a****h****"

    (without the asterisks). So having the comments hidden by default, and swear filtered automatically means they're less likely to turn and ask me "Daddy, what does F.... mean?". I'm under no illusion that this will be wrapping them in cotton wool, but it'll help them accidentally seeing this sort of thing whilst browsing.

  18. Subban

    Yay! for the comment filter.

    Can we get it as a separate option though?

    Something simple, like if someone has had some % of their comments downvotedreported/whatever. hide them by default. That would actually transform youtube in one simple move.

  19. Malcolm Boura 2

    Doing harm with good intentions

    Or are they good intentions? Perhaps they don't give a damn about the harm done by misguided censorship so long as the pander to the prejudices of the USA. There is only one justification for censorship, evidence of harm. Anything else is just prejudice.

  20. 2FishInATank


    ...wiv al da baad speelin in da kommentz doze asterixis wont werk....

  21. Semaj
    Thumb Up

    good idea

    Normally I am opposed to this sort of stuff but I like this. It's easy to get rid of and it's not over the top. It's not like it's a government enforced censoring of the entire site. It's no different than preventing a kid from watching TV after the watershed, which is sensible and up to the discretion of the people involved.

    Also it'll be useful when at work.

    Can we have a filter that gets rid of anyone using "u" instead of "you" next?

  22. mcnicholas
    Thumb Up


    I've got kids of 8 and 5. They have a Bluecoat web filter on the (locked down) PC they use and it keeps them safe(r), but I do get pestered about pop videos and stuff on Youtube that they want to watch. If this means I can unlock YouTube for them, I'm happy about that.

    The one time I let the 8 year old loose on YouTube, she was searching for the Michael Jackson "Scream" video. The search term "scream" left her watching some stuff that she was traumatised by (momentarily at least). And yes - I shouldn't have left her alone, but it was a judgement call that turned out to be wrong. It happens.

  23. Robert Ramsay

    and from 2001...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    I don't want to see smut, perversion, and foul language - forget someone elses kids!




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