New Rules Mark New Era for YouTube

YouTube, in an effort to tame and restrict some of the naughtier bits of content that make it onto the site, announced new community guidelines today. –Sniffle– Our little YouTube is getting all growed up.

Accordng to a YouTube Blog post, the new rules are:

  • Tightened standards for what is “sexually suggestive.” Anything deemed as such will be not viewable by those under 18 (good luck with that).
  • Sexually suggestive videos and videos that contain swearing will be “algorithmically demoted” on the Most Viewed, Top Favorite and other browse pages.
  • Thumbnails will now be selected algorithmically. You can choose from three different options, but the images will not be automatically picked from the quarter-way, halfway, and three-quarter-way points in the video.
  • Stricter enforcement of video information. No more gaming views by creating misleading video description, tags or other metadata.

From the copious use of the term “algorithmically,” it looks like YouTube is using its copyright ID system to analyze other forms of content on the site, though it’s not going so far as to remove offending content, just demoting it. Ironically enough, actively monitoring what goes up on the site and removing what’s deemed to be objectionable sounds an awful lot like what YouTube, in its ongoing legal battle with Viacom, is saying it can’t and/or won’t do.

Like the pimply-faced teen wearing his first tux for prom, YouTube is also cleaning up its act to persuade Madison Ave. that the site is advertiser-friendly. After all, the company needs to start monetizing those 344 million global uniques. The vestiges of the Wild, Wild West, video free-for-all that YouTube once was are disappearing, making room for professional content such as that of networks, full-length films, and a even a high-falutin’ classical music contest. Even the YouTube L!ve event a couple weeks back was a slickly produced event that was just as much (if not more) about Katy Perry as it was about Michael Buckley.

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