Filtering videos on YouTube



Q: Is there a way to block inappropriate videos from YouTube search results?
A: You can avoid or block certain types of videos from the site through a variety of measures. These include built-in filters and third-party software.

YouTube has a Safety Mode that filters what the site refers to as "potentially objectionable material" when you search or browse for videos. To turn it on, scroll to the bottom of any YouTube page to the menus for Language, Location and Safety. Next to Safety, click the Off button to have the option to click the On button and hit Save.

YouTube should now filter the videos it displays when you use the site. Comments on videos are also hidden from view or have certain words filtered out.

If you have a YouTube account and are logged in, you can fix the controls to keep Safety Mode on; click the box next to "Lock safety mode on this browser" in the Safety Mode settings. That keeps the setting active, even if you log out of your account.

While Safety Mode can help block quite a bit of content, it may not catch everything that might offend.

Its safety rankings are generated by members of the YouTube community who flag videos that are considered objectionable, as well as YouTube's own internal filters. If YouTube's Safety Mode is not sufficient to catch everything you do not wish to see, third-party software like Safe Eyes (internetsafety.com) or Net Nanny (netnanny.com) costs more (at least $40 or so) but does more. It allows a wider range of filtering and content-blocking beyond YouTube.

Other tools include the SafeSearch filter for browsing (bit.ly/rTPR73) and add-on filters (bit.ly/NHSpRT) to browsers. Settings like Internet Explorer's Content Advisor (bit.ly/QtK9YJ) can also help block certain types of materials. Check your preferred browser and search engine for what is available.

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