YouTube has introduced an optional “Safety Mode” filter designed to help users screen out potentially objectionable content.
“An example of this type of content might be a newsworthy video that contains graphic violence such as a political protest or war coverage,” explained Google spokesperson Jamie Davidson.
“While no filter is 100 percent perfect, Safety Mode is another step in our ongoing desire to give you greater control over the content you see on the site.”
However, Sarah Perez of Read Write Web criticized the new filter, claiming that it failed to offer sufficient protection against the viewing of inappropriate content.
“Even if it’s switched it on for a particular user account, the user can switch it off again just by scrolling to the bottom of the page,” opined Perez.
“It may have been better if YouTube had introduced special ‘kid accounts’ which forced users on a particular computer to sign in in order to see YouTube videos. Once enabled on a PC, visitors to YouTube could have been presented with a sign-in box, not the YouTube homepage.”
According to Perez, the accounts would then be managed by parents empowered to enable and disable the filter at will.
“Instead, the ‘Safety Mode’ feature looks as if it’s an attempt to placate the FCC and worried parents while not actually providing a anything the average web-savvy kid couldn’t figure out in 30 seconds flat.
“So parents, enable the filter if you must, but remember, no technology – and especially not this one – can serve as a replacement for actual parenting.”