By Maddie Baker
Youtube is a wondrous site full of creativity, rants, and randomness. In 2013, Youtube activated their advertising friendly policy, which allows people to flag videos that they think are inappropriate. Recently though, many Youtubers have been outraged over the fact that they are losing income due to their videos being flagged for cursing or controversial topics.
Youtube defends that this has been their policy for years, and they’ve become better about notifying Youtubers that their videos are flagged. There are benefits to censoring the Internet, especially for younger audiences, but it’s irritating for mature users and people who want to speak freely.
The policy began with parental complaints about their kids viewing inappropriate content and wanting to protect their kids from the dangers of the Internet and disapproving of the harsh and vulgar content that can be within Youtube videos. An algorithm determines what gets flagged and what doesn’t. Enforcing this policy protects Youtube from controversy and objection from more conservative audiences.
Although it’s considered unreasonable by users and viewers alike, the rule does hold a solid purpose. Not all the topics discussed on Youtube are appropriate for younger audiences and should not be available for them to view in the first place. Mature viewers don’t care as much about vulgar language or controversial topics, but younger kids and their parents may be influenced or offended by such content. Youtube is only doing its job by trying to create a safer environment where everyone can enjoy the site’s content.
People have the right to post what they want to talk about within reason. The problem with an algorithm is that it’s not subjective since it’s computer generated. If they have been paying a certain artist for a video that’s been posted then stop because they’re suddenly worried about pleasing everybody, it’s not fair to the creator. They are just trying to express themselves, not corrupt the up-and-coming generation.
Youtube should make a parental controls setting or, like Netflix, let subscribers have their own accounts and a “kids friendly” account. That way parents can control what younger kids watch, but teenagers aren’t restricted by juvenile rules. Plus, Youtubers can still earn income expressing themselves even if parents don’t approve. Not every channel needs to be for all ages.