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You never know what will be returned in a YouTube search. And maybe you don’t what to know. To help you control better the content you’re exposed to on YouTube, Google is introducing a Safety Mode that will help you screen out potentially objectionable content.
Safety Mode is an opt-in feature. The option is provided at the bottom of a YouTube page, and opting in is temporary, unless you’re signed into your account. Searches that stray outside of Safety Mode return nothing, but a notice will be provided that explains Safety Mode blocked the searched for content. Likewise, if results are filtered a Safety Mode warning will be provided. When Safety Mode is on comments will, by default, be hidden. They can be displayed, but objectionable words will be replaced with asterisks.
Shortcomings to Safety Mode are obvious. No filtering system is foolproof--some ‘bad’ stuff is bound to sneak through. Google readily recognizes this, and provides a suitable warning. And, because the keywords are set at the system-level, there’s a bit of Big Brother at play here. However, this latter concern is mitigated, to a degree, by Safety Mode being opt-in. If you don’t want it, don’t use it. (Still, it would be nice to individually determine what is, and what is not, objectionable.)
Safety Mode is being rolled out over the next day or so. When it’s available you’ll find it at the bottom of any YouTube page.
Image Credit: Google