Youtube installed content rating flags for any clips designated as television shows or movies, but shorter clips went without content warnings for years. The platform unceremoniously added a three colour system for partners to start experimenting with on March 15th. As this system develops with the help of the partners, it may be made available to other producers and uploaders. One visit to the Content Manager page is all you need to adjust the warnings on any content if you are a Youtube partner.
Green, Red and Yellow
The system uses the classic setup of red, yellow and green colours to help viewers decide if they want to watch mature content. When you assign a green colour to a clip, you are certifying that it is free from questionable content in numerous categories. The yellow rating should be used if a small amount of questionable material is present in the video. Videos with strong themes, explicit imagery or other potentially offensive content should be marked with a red flag. The categories for rating controversial material include violence, adult language, sexual themes or imagery, physical and verbal violence, drug references or usage and nudity.
When to Rank
It’s important to use these rankings if you want content to appeal to families. Even adult language that is covered with a bleep should trigger a yellow rating on the clip. This ensures that viewers can block the content from appearing to children, so they can explore safe and age appropriate materials. Red ratings won’t necessarily keep adult viewers from watching your clips, but it will help sensitive individuals avoid any material that would offend or upset them. This shows that your company respects the feelings of people searching for the right video content to watch.
Youtube has clear guidelines on how content producers should rank their own materials, but they don’t require these types of flags yet. It’s totally optional and voluntary for partners that simply want to make their content more accessible. Only time will tell how this feature is accepted and used by the biggest partners. If it is widely embraced by the biggest publishers, it may become the new standard for flagging mature content. This could help partners working with Youtube gain more legitimacy among people who are used to the television and movie rating systems that have been in use for decades.