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YouTube Releases New Kid Filtering Levels

YouTube Releases New Filtering

YouTube Releases New Kid Filtering Levels

I Swear No One at Google Has Children

Many organizations, including PYE, posted about the February 24 announcement from YouTube about new content filtering levels. They were finally adding more filtering options for parents who wanted more control. Yeah!

Just as a refresher, up until this point, your YouTube options were YouTube Kids for kids < age 13 and Restricted Mode or wide open for 13+.

Three new filtering levels released this week. But, once again Google leaves me wanting more. I continue to believe that no one at YouTube making these decisions actually has children. They just don’t see the world like most parents. 

What’s the Impact of YouTube’s New Filtering on iPhone Users?

  • If you’ve created a Family Link account for your child,
  • And, you’re signed into the iPhone YouTube app with that Family Link account,
  • Then, you have 3 new content options: Explore (videos 9+), Explore More (videos 13+), Most of YouTube (self-explanatory).

Our thoughts about YouTube’s updates for iPhones:

  • Good – can use new filtering levels for any child under age 13.
  • Problem – YouTube continues to believe that kids 13+ are old enough for mature content.
  • Problem – no way to lock anything in. Kids can log out, use regular YouTube.
  • Problem – no control over YouTube.com or other hidden YouTube doorways.
  • Problem – watch history not preserved.

Here’s how you access the new YouTube filtering settings on iPhones and Androids:

YouTube Updates Filtering PYE

What’s the Impact of YouTube’s New Filtering on Android Users?

  • If you’ve created a Family Link account for your child,
  • And, you’re signed into the Android device with that Family Link account,
  • Then, you have 3 new content options: Explore (videos 9+), Explore More (videos 13+), Most of YouTube (self-explanatory).

Our thoughts about YouTube’s updates for Android phones and tablets:

  • Good – works across the entire device.
  • Good – can review YouTube watch history (as promised).
  • Good – can use new filtering levels for any child under age 13.
  • Problem – YouTube continues to believe that kids 13+ are old enough for mature content.
  • Problem – easy to bypass Family Link.

What’s the Impact of YouTube’s New Filtering on Chromebooks?

  • If you’ve created a Family Link account for your child,
  • And, you’re signed into the Chromebook with that Family Link account,
  • Then, you have 3 new content options: Explore (videos 9+), Explore More (videos 13+), Most of YouTube (self-explanatory).

Our thoughts about YouTube’s updates for Chromebooks:

  • Good – can review YouTube watch history (as promised).
  • Good – can use new filtering levels for any child under age 13.
  • Problem – YouTube continues to believe that kids 13+ are old enough for mature content.
  • Problem – Family Link is really complicated to set up on Chromebooks.
  • Problem – have to set up for each login.

Here’s the Big Problem, YouTube

Key stat: 88% of young people use iPhones. If YouTube knew its audience better, it would create a device-wide YouTube parental control app with a 4-digit passcode. In that same app, they would also give parents discrete control over specific channels and preserve watch history. YouTube is the MOST popular teen app on earth. Families need better help.

YouTube Releases New Parental Controls

[1] Piper/Sandler (April 7, 2021). 41st SEMI-ANNUAL GENERATION Z SURVEY OF 7,000 U.S. TEENS (article). Retrieved April 11, 2020 from: https://www.businesswire.com

[2] Pew Research (April 7, 2021). Social Media Use 2021 (article). Retrieved April 11, 2020 from: https://www.pewresearch.org

About Protect Young Eyes
Founded in 2015, Protect Young Eyes is a leading voice showing families, schools, and churches how to create safer digital spaces for young people. We do this by creating content that is reliable, practical, and easy to use. Our team of presenters performs hundreds of talks annually and mini-lessons in the Protect App meet busy, amazing families right where they are. Available for Apple or Google.

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2 thoughts on “YouTube Releases New Kid Filtering Levels”

  1. Thanks for this article. I have set up Google Family Link and the new parental controls on the Youtube App. I thought I could work around our child going into a web browser and using Youtube.com, but when I restrict “Youtube” in device settings, I can’t run the YouTube App -it just disappears. Does anyone know a work around for this?

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