When are videos age-restricted?
YouTube staff review flagged videos 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate our Community Guidelines. When they do, we remove them. Sometimes a video doesn't violate our Community Guidelines, but may not be appropriate for everyone. These videos are age-restricted.
When a video has been age-restricted, a warning screen is displayed and only users who are 18 or older can watch it. In order to reduce the chances of users accidentally stumbling across these videos, they are excluded from certain sections of YouTube (e.g. honors pages like 'Most Viewed').
Some of the most commonly age-restricted content includes:
- Sexually suggestive content
- Partial nudity or non-sexual nudity
- Actual violence or very graphic fictional violence
- Gory, disturbing imagery in an appropriate context
There are exceptions for some educational, artistic, documentary and scientific content (e.g. health education, documenting human rights issues, etc.), but only if this is the sole purpose of the video and it is not gratuitously graphic. For example, a documentary on breast cancer would be appropriate, but posting clips out of context from a documentary might not be. Videos that qualify as educational, artistic, documentary or scientific that would otherwise have been removed are typically age-restricted instead.
When are videos considered ‘sexually suggestive’?
Videos featuring sexually explicit content like real sex acts are not allowed. Other content like nudity and dramatized or implied sexual conduct may be considered sexually suggestive depending on whether or not it is intended or designed to arouse viewers.
Nudity includes exposed or partially covered genitalia, buttocks, or breasts, as well as sheer clothing. Videos featuring individuals in minimal or revealing clothing may also be age-restricted if they're intended to elicit a sexual response.
Additional considerations include a combination of:
- Whether breasts, buttocks, or genitals (clothed or unclothed) are the focal point* of the video.
- Whether the video setting is sexually suggestive (e.g. a location generally associated with sexual activity, such as a bed);
- Whether the subject is depicted in a pose that is intended to sexually arouse the viewer;
- Whether the subject's actions in the video suggests a willingness to engage in sexual activity (e.g. kissing, provocative dancing, fondling); and
- If a subject is minimally clothed, whether the clothing would be acceptable in appropriate public contexts (e.g. swimwear vs. underwear).
* Focal point is determined by factors including the length of time an image appears in the video (fleeting vs. prolonged exposure) especially relative to the overall length of the video, the camera angle and focus, the relative clarity of the images in the video, the lighting, and the video thumbnail (content that appears in a thumbnail is also considered to be its focal point).