YouTube today announced a series of changes to how age-restricted videos work on its platform. The Google company will be leveraging machine learning in this review process, while YouTube videos meant for those over 18 will not play on third-party sites.

When a YouTube video is age-restricted, users can only view it if they’re signed in with their Google Accounts and over 18 — as specified by their profile’s birthday. Google is now applying another gate to this type of content where it will no longer be viewable when embedded on another site. 

You’ll instead be redirected to either the YouTube website or mobile apps. The transition should not be too big of a hassle in the grand scheme.

This will help ensure that, no matter where a video is discovered, it will only be viewable by the appropriate audience.

Meanwhile, YouTube will be leveraging its automated machine learning systems to apply “age-restrictions on content that may not be appropriate for audiences under 18.” Google says there are “no major changes to the policy” and “little to no impact on revenue” for creators in the Partner Program.

Lastly, the Google service is expanding age-verification in the European Union to comply with new regulation (Audiovisual Media Services Directive). These changes will be slowly rolling out over the coming months.

If we can not establish that you are 18 or over when you’re trying to watch age-restricted content, you may need to verify your age using a valid ID or credit card (regardless of your Google account age). The vast majority will never have to go through this process and if you do, you’ll only need to complete it once.

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Abner Li

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