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YouTube will launch a new age-verification requirement for some European users

YouTube announced today a new expansion to its age-verification requirements in Europe. The video-sharing service said some users in the region will need to confirm their age in the coming months before they are able to watch age-restricted content.

In a blog post announcing the upcoming change, YouTube said the age-verification policy is in compliance with the European Union’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive. That means some users in the region must submit proof of age when they try to watch videos with age limitations in cases where YouTube is unable to confirm that they're of the right age. These requirements include a valid ID or credit card indicating that the user is above the age of 18.

Today's announcement is part of YouTube's broader effort to automatically filter the types of users who can view content on the platform based on age. Over the coming months, it's rolling out changes that it says "will result in more videos being age-restricted". These changes will rely on its machine learning-powered technology to identify age-sensitive content and automatically apply age limitations.

For content owners who feel their videos were erroneously restricted, YouTube will let them appeal the decision. The service added that the new changes will have minimal impact on the revenues of YouTube Partner Program members since most of these videos already have limited or no ads for violating its advertiser-friendly rules. To ensure content is available only to its appropriate audience, YouTube will redirect users who attempt to watch age-restricted videos on most third-party websites to its own site where they will be asked to sign in and prove they are over the age of 18.

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