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YouTube announces supervised browsing of YouTube for tweens and teens

A new supervised mode for YouTube will feature account limitations and three content settings that help parents control what content their children will see.

In an effort to create safer spaces for children, YouTube will open a beta program that allows parents to establish child-specific settings for their children. In doing so, children will be able to browse YouTube in a similar way to adults, but without the risk of running into age-restricted or inappropriate content.

Additionally, YouTube has stated that they will not serve personalized ads or ads in specific categories — such as ads for dating sites, political ads, religious ads, or ads related to food and drink — to any age-restricted accounts.

Parents will be able to select three different levels of supervision for their child's account, as follows:

  • Explore: This category has been designed for children age nine and older who are ready to move on from YouTube kids. Content will include vlogs, tutorials, gaming videos, music clips, news, educational content, and more.
  • Explore More: Children under "Explore More" will have fewer restrictions than those in "explore" mode and is geared toward children ages 13 and older.
  • Most of YouTube: This category is designed to include most of all videos on YouTube, except for age-restricted content. It may include sensitive topics that may only be appropriate for older teens.

Parents will also be able to manage watch and search history and set screen time limitations. All comments, live chat, channel creation, video upload, and purchases will be disabled.

YouTube states that the content will be moderated by a mix of user input, machine learning, and human review to determine what is appropriate for each level.

YouTube has also hedged by stating that "we know that our systems will make mistakes and will continue to evolve over time." As such, YouTube encourages parents to continue to be involved in guiding their children's YouTube experience and recommends co-watching with kids when possible. It also still suggests the use of YouTube Kids for younger children.

The company has also developed a guide in partnership with many child safety advocacy groups and plans to launch an ongoing campaign that features creators discussing themes like bullying, harassment, digital well-being, and misinformation.

YouTube has not released a specific timeframe for when the beta will begin, but says it should arrive in "the coming months."