Dec 3, 2008

Entertainment - The Less Sex, the Better YouTube Likes It

Are you wearing sheer clothing and doing a provocative dance in your latest YouTube video? New policies on the video site might mean that your video could be slapped with an age restriction and demoted on the main page.

Google-owned YouTube on Tuesday announced that it will be enforcing stricter standards for what constitutes mature or sexually suggestive content. Videos that earn this label will also be demoted on the site's "Most Viewed" and "Top Favorited" lists.

Pornographic images and sex acts are already banned from the site, but "videos with sexually suggestive (but not prohibited) content will be age-restricted, which means they'll be available only to viewers who are 18 or older," the company said in a blog post.

What qualifies something as sexually suggestive? YouTube defines it as dramatized or implied sexual conduct and nudity, which could include exposed or partially covered genitalia, buttocks, or breasts, as well as sheer clothing.

The video could also be flagged if it takes place in a sexually suggestive location like a bed, if video participants are posed in a manner intended to arouse viewers, if the subjects are dressed in bathing suits or underwear, or if those in the video suggest "a willingness to engage in sexual activity [such as] kissing, provocative dancing, fondling."

Flagged videos will then be "algorithmically demoted" on several top pages, YouTube said.

"The classification of these types of videos is based on a number of factors, including video content and descriptions," the blog post said. 'In testing, we've found that out of the thousands of videos on these pages, only several each day are automatically demoted for being too graphic or explicit. However, those videos are often the ones which end up being repeatedly flagged by the community as being inappropriate."

In addition, YouTube said that thumbnails representing videos in search returns will also be selected algorithmically rather than auto-generated from the 25/50/75 points in the video index. The site also stressed that it will continue to monitor video information and pull videos that contain misleading information in order to get more clicks.

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