Have you heard about Pro Church Tools? If you are pastor or volunteer in your church do yourself a favor and go spend some time there. I actually don’t hit their website all that often, but I do watch pretty much every video from the Pro Church Tools YouTube account.
One of the big things that they are found of saying is that we are living in the biggest communication shift in the past 500 years. Not since Guetenberg changed the game with his printing press have we seen such a shift in the way that people process and have access to information. (you could argue that the TV revolution in the 60s was a pretty big shift and it was, but that was still one central location for content which was being made by others, the internet is different). I am an old man and I can remember people being dismissive of the computers in general, then people were mystified by the internet. I was online early, starting this Nailcars.com blog way back in 1998. In those days I was the only person I knew that was creating content for the web and still knew lots of people without internet access.
But now with the social media shift that is happening I feel like the old dinosaur talking about kids and their new-fangled toys. I understand that it is the way that people are communicating, getting information, and being creative, but walking into that world I still feel like a bit of an outsider, like I am the teacher who is trying to be cool and saying all the wrong slang.
But I am trying. That is part of the reason why I am doing a video blog, not because I really think it will take off, but because I want to be familiar with the genre and learn the tools needed to speak into this new revolution. I am still a long way from figuring it all out, but I am committed to helping teenagers connect with Jesus so that means I am wading into this thing as deep as I can get. It isn’t easy, and I feel lost most of the time, but I keep my eyes on the prize (that is a generation of souls that are desperate to find what Jesus offers) and resolve to do anything short of sin to proclaim the gospel.
OK, so the headline is a bit of click bait, but I am getting rather frustrated with the lack of information that is available about how YouTube filters video behind their safety filter. I think that the main reason why there isn’t a bigger outcry about this is because most people don’t realize it is happening. So if you upload YouTube videos here is what you need to know.
There is a Safety Mode in YouTube that allows children to browse through their site in a slightly more walled garden.
From what I can tell this mode is partially created by people flagging the videos, partially by the creators marking the videos as age restricted, and partially by some random computer calculation.
Unsafe videos in Safety Mode will not show up on browsers with Safety Mode enabled even if the user has a direct link.
Unsafe videos will not come up in searches or appear on channel pages. (this is great because I can let my 8-year-old search on YouTube and he won’t even see that parts of the site are being restricted)
(here is where things get weird) If your videos get placed in the “unsafe” category (meaning they will not be seen with Safety Mode on) you will not be notified about this.
Visitors who have a direct link to your videos or who click on playlists that contain unsafe videos will be shown the picture like the one above.
Right now there is no official way to get your video off the “unsafe” list. Unlike when there is a copyright dispute there is no way to ask YouTube to look at your video and check to see if it is offensive.
There is a forum that you can check out here that has a helpful administrator who claims to be directing blocked videos to YouTube. Some people had had success this way others haven’t
If you have uploaded videos in the past to YouTube and have noticed a drop in view counts you may want to turn on Safety Mode and see if your videos are being blocked as well.
I don’t really have a 10, but I need the symmetry
As for the religious nature of the whole thing I’m not exactly sure if that is what is causing the problem or if it is something else. The videos that I am posting on Nailscars.com are staying free and clear of the safety filter, but the ones that I posted to our church site so that kids could watch the devotions are being blocked.
I have to say I was a little embarrassed to give parents a link to our Faitcraft devotions only to have them be taken to a screen that says “this video may have inappropriate material.” It makes things a little hard to explain.
I am writing this mainly because I can’t find anyone talking about it outside of that one forum, yet it seems to be a widespread issue. I also wanted to show you a video that has been blocked by YouTube. You won’t be able to see it if you have Safety Mode on, but you have to admit the kid is pretty cute.