YouTube Gets Tougher On Sexual Content

    December 2, 2008

Marketers, young men, and YouTube’s many bikini-clad seductresses are about to get an unpleasant surprise.  As part of what appears to be a crackdown on both sexual content and more general attempts to mislead users, the video-sharing site is pushing the pretty ladies off some of its most popular pages.

A post on the YouTube Blog makes the process official, stating, "Videos that are considered sexually suggestive, or that contain profanity, will be algorithmically demoted on our ‘Most Viewed,’ ‘Top Favorited,’ and other browse pages."  This is likely to create a huge dent in the size of the videos’ audiences.

Bikini YouTube

As for what level of cleavage and such is acceptable, the post simply continues, "The classification of these types of videos is based on a number of factors, including video content and descriptions."  So it’ll be interesting to see where a line is drawn.

A different change relates to new age restrictions.  YouTube claims that it’s "tightening the standard for what is considered ‘sexually suggestive,’" and clips fitting the definition will be "available only to viewers who are 18 or older."  But it’ll be a rare boy who can’t figure out how to type his way around that.

Finally, there is one move that will affect just about every YouTube content creator.  Instead of three thumbnail options being offered on the basis of their chronological standing in a clip, an algorithm will choose the trio of alternatives.  So there will be much less point in packing a video’s most interesting visuals around the 25, 50, and 75 percent marks.

Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth begin.  Just remember: rending clothes may reduce your views.