Movies on YouTube Premium run the gamut of MPAA ratings and genres, from kid-friendly to horror movies best left to the adults. However, many users have begun noticing that watching titles on YouTube is different from the versions purchased, seen in the theater, or rented, begging the question- is YouTube Premium censoring movies before uploading them?
Understanding YouTube’s Premium Service
YouTube offers a range of content, from music videos to comedy skits and blockbuster movies to independent films, but for people who don’t have their Premium service, they have to deal with ads interrupting their watch.
That is usually reason enough for people to move towards subscription-based services in general, but Premium features other benefits as well:
- Download movies, shows, and other videos to watch offline
- Be able to play videos in the background while using other apps on your smartphone
- YouTube Music Premium included with the membership
- Listen to music offline and while the phone is locked
With even greater access given to Premium members, many parents wonder if YouTube provides any content moderation. On its face, it would seem YouTube does, given that many people have noticed edited versions of some movies and shows. They do have strict content policies around sexual content and vulgar language, including:
- Explicit content meant to be sexually gratifying is not allowed on YouTube
- Use of sexually explicit language or narratives
- Use of excessive profanity in the content
- Use of heavy profanity or sexually suggestive terms in the content’s title, thumbnail, or associated metadata
- Use of excessive sexual sounds
- Showing minors involved in dangerous activities. For example, physical stunts, using weapons or explosives, or using a controlled substance like alcohol or nicotine including the use of vapes or e-cigarettes
This list isn’t exhaustive, but select policies regarding what can be on YouTube.
Does YouTube Premium Censor Movies?
Regarding YouTube content editing, they’ve made no statement regarding whether they engage in movie censorship. Although, many users have reported films being different than the ones they saw in theaters. The reason for this is likely that studios and production companies pre-editing titles before sending them to YouTube. They do this for other platforms, like Hulu.
Studios will often pre-edit their films and shows to meet requirements for cable or to get lower MPAA ratings, this is a tactic to increase viewership. However, MPAA ratings don’t always reflect what parents feel is appropriate for their children and rob adults of the opportunity to enjoy movies the way they were originally released.
Premium Features and Movie Censorship
How a film or show is rated is very important for its exposure, the higher the rating the less people are able to watch it. YouTube Premium features original programming, like many streaming platforms, but as a rule, they only create shows that are TV-MA rated at most. This means that their shows can be between TV-Y (children ages 2 to 6) to MA (mature audiences only).
To help parents make sure their kids aren’t watching inappropriate shows or movies, YouTube Premium provides content filtering by way of their restricted mode. Using algorithms to read metadata and language in content on the platform, this feature filters out mature content based on what it has read, cultural norms of the area, and MPAA ratings.
Navigating Content on YouTube Premium
It can be disappointing to hear that the only censorship settings available are their restricted mode and that many titles are pre-edited, in either case removing choice from adults. That is why we at Enjoy Movies Your Way are committed to empowering parents to make informed choices regarding uncensored movies and their kids accessing content.
Enjoy Movies Your Way provides an array of tools for parents to take charge of what their families have access to, such as both an AI language filtering program to remove profanity and a visual scene filtering program that enables users to:
- Choose the level of non-graphic violence (fighting without blood or bruises)
- Selecting the level of graphic violence (fighting with physical marks and blood)
- Sexual content
- Adult themes (subject matter)
- Drug content
With Enjoy, you don’t have to worry about what your children are watching on YouTube Premium or if the studio’s edit is in line with your values.
Sign up with us and discover how you and your family can Enjoy Movies Your Way.