You can only apply YouTube content ratings to paid content. To restrict other videos with mature content, use the Age-Restriction feature.
A YouTube content rating labels the mature content in a video in several categories. Each category has three options that indicate the level of mature content:
- The first option (which is also the default) indicates no mature content in the category
- The middle option indicates mild mature content
- The third option indicates mature content that should be restricted to viewers 18 and older
- None: Free of any strong, coarse, or other potentially offensive language. Even mild cursing such as "hell" and "damn" or words that are bleeped should be rated as Strong language.
- Strong language: Contains some expletives and profanity; such words are infrequent and not used in a sexual context. This level is appropriate even for content with expletives and profanity bleeped out. It's also appropriate for suggestive dialog, sexual innuendo, discussion of adult themes, and the expression of strong views and opinions that viewers are likely to find offensive, disrespectful, or otherwise controversial.
- Explicit language: Contains persistent use of expletives and profanity. It may also include coarse and vulgar dialog that is sexually explicit.
- None: Free of nudity or partial nudity of any kind.
- Minimal covering: Contains individuals who are minimally clothed (such as low cut tops, underwear or revealing bathing suits). Does not contain any fleeting or prolonged nudity (such as exposed buttocks, genitalia, or areolae).
- Some nudity: Includes content featuring exposed buttocks or partially nude breasts. Content may also contain full nudity where the context is appropriately educational, documentary, or artistic.
- None: Free of any sexual conduct or themes. Brief displays of affection, such as a kiss or hug is excepted.
- Mild sexual situations: Contains mild sexual activity or themes, such as implied sex acts, light or comedic fetish references or behavior, or mild sexual situations or discussion.
- Explicit sexual situations: Contains explicit sexual content, such as dramatized sex acts, explicit sexual situations or discussion.
- None: Free of violence, injury, or other imagery that may be considered gory, disturbing, or repulsive to sensitive viewers.
- Mildly violent or disturbing: Contains mild, comedic violence, fantasy violence, or isolated incidents of realistic violence. But, any violence depicted is not gory, pervasive, or sexual in nature. Similarly, mildly violent or disturbing content may contain a small amount of other imagery or situations that are disturbing or repulsive to sensitive viewers. Examples include real or dramatized medical footage, or depictions of disgusting or scary content in a horror or fantasy context.
- Strongly violent or disturbing: Contains violence that is persistent, intense, and graphic. It may also include pervasive imagery or situations that are disturbing or repulsive to the average viewer. Such as animated content, if it features realistic depictions of extreme violence or other disturbing or repulsive imagery.
- None: Free of any drug abuse. Fleeting and moderate consumption of alcohol or tobacco by adults and the responsible use of medications is acceptable.
- Mild drug use: Contains mild drug use, including excessive or persistent consumption of alcohol or tobacco. It also may include incidental or comedic use of drugs such as marijuana, sativa, hallucinogens, or prescription pharmaceuticals, and implied, non-graphic use of other drugs, such as heroin.
- Drug use: Contains graphic, fictional depictions of drug abuse and display of drug paraphernalia. It may also contain actual depictions of drug abuse where the context is appropriately educational, documentary or scientific.
- None: No flashing light or other strobing content that could affect individuals with photosensitive epilepsy.
- Flashing or strobing light: Contains flashing light or other strobing content that could affect individuals with photosensitive epilepsy.
When a viewer sees a video with a YouTube content rating, the page displays the letter code for each rating category that has a value other than None. For categories where you've chosen the third option, a plus appears after the letter code. For example, the YouTube content rating for a video with explicit language, mild violence, mild drug use, and no nudity or sexual situations would appear as L+ V D.