January 30, 2013

Are Your Videos NSFW or SFW? Give Viewers a Heads-Up with Vimeo's New Content Ratings

The internet is mostly an uncensored place, and this can either be a blessing or a curse depending on the person, situation, and content. If you've been noticing a little "Not Yet Rated" or "All Audiences" next to the name on videos you've been watching on Vimeo, you might be feeling a bit out of the loop. Vimeo is extremely lenient on the type of content allowed on the site, and for good reason: art is very subjective. That doesn't mean, however, that all art is appropriate for all audiences at all times of the day, and as a way to help you identify the type of content you're about to watch, Vimeo is introducing Content Ratings for its videos.

Here is a portion of the post from the Vimeo Staff Blog:

There are sometimes boobs, blood, and curse words on Vimeo. And other stuff.

Though often essential to artistic expression, so-called “mature content” can be decidedly less essential for certain audiences, such as children, office workers with their computer speakers turned up too loud, and people who’d rather not encounter particular things. To make sure Vimeo remains accessible to all audiences, we’re introducing content ratings, which let viewers know what’s in the video they’re about to watch. All videos on Vimeo will now have a little badge next to their title: “All Audiences,” “Mature,” or “Not Yet Rated.”

This means we’ll ask creators to tell us if there’s nudity, violence, or illegal substances (e.g., plutonium) in their videos, which can still be uploaded to Vimeo as long as they comply with our Guidelines. For those who never upload videos with mature content, it’s easy to mark everything as appropriate for all audiences in your global video settings.

 

Censorship is always a very sensitive subject, but that's certainly not what is happening here. I think it's definitely a positive step for Vimeo, as they generally have a much more open policy on what kinds of videos are allowed as opposed to YouTube. I think this is the way things should be, as users should have a chance to be able to decide what they think is appropriate for themselves given their particular situation. For example, many workplaces have strict policies regarding the types of content that are considered appropriate, and in those cases it helps to know ahead of time whether something might not be work safe.

The thing that makes a policy like this work in my opinion -- though I haven't uploaded a video since they've enabled this feature -- is that you could just leave all of your videos "Not Yet Rated" and thus not take part in the process. I think that's the best compromise for those who feel there might be a stigma attached to their video if they label it as "Mature."

We'll just have to wait and see how this is received by the community, and whether it becomes a permanent part of the Vimeo platform.

What do you think about all of this? Are you OK with the labeling, or do you believe it makes videos stand out in a particularly negative way? Do you think Vimeo should introduce a wider range of ratings for the videos? Let us know in the comments.

Link: Introducing Content Ratings for Videos [SFW] -- Vimeo Staff Blog

Your Comment

9 Comments

As someone who works for a church and posts videos and services on Vimeo, I appreciate a way to discern which videos may be inappropriate. I think having them on Vimeo is fine, but I want to choose what I see. Plus, Vimeo is a great site in many ways, and I wish I could feel more comfortable recommending it to friends.

I wish they would also require no nudity or overly graphic imagery (e.g. bloody or disturbing) on thumbnails. It can lead to awkward moments with others around.

I also some limitations on what an unsigned or underage (13 and under) member can access would be smart. My sister is 12 and although there are entire kid friendly channels I would never recommend her searching Vimeo as it currently stands. There just need to be some sort of safe search. Vimeo may be better than Youtube in many ways, but its search customization is leagues behind Youtube. I wish I had the ability to limit my searches better, apply a filter, or have permanent tags that I do not want searched (e.g. porn, nudity, sexy, torture, nsfw, etc.). Anyways, my two cents.

January 30, 2013

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Morgan C.

From the staff comments on the blog post I guess they are considering all of those things you mentioned.

January 30, 2013

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

There is only one way this can be a positive change, and that is if by having a rating system, all real censorship is effectively ended. If they get rid of the ridiculous hair split of "non-sexual nudity" (many of the greatest films of all time contain sexual nudity) and allow a rating system to inform people of the content instead, then good. However, if they just lay this rating system on top of their existing censorship, than they're just stigmatizing certain people's work.

January 30, 2013

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ProgMan

This is fine and dandy, but youtube has a huge problem with pornography being uploaded. This content is beyond the mature rating. I try to flag them and so do others, but Vimeo's staff is incapable of handling it as I have seen videos that belong on pornhub stay on vimeo for over 24 hours. Youtube is much better about this. Vimeo needs to change something and get better automatic detection software or whatever it is.

January 30, 2013

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Sid

OH WOW. I mean: VIMEO HAS A HUGE PROBLEM WITH PORN, NOT YOUTUBE. **

January 30, 2013

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Sid

Vimeo is freestyle. With this censorship could also come RIAA concerns. As of now, Vimeo doesn't care about bootlegged musak, porn, debauchery, etc. It seems as if all that stuff is coming. Comments are getting nastier, so Vimeo is well on its way of becoming hardcore ghetto like its supertrashy trampy brethren YouTube.

January 30, 2013

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orangutan_264

The world doesn't exist to cater to prudes. Who cares if there's porn, who cares if there's bootlegged music and what not. As content creators, we should be concerned foremost with maximizing our freedom to make our art, without harassment by self appointed moral police. There are plenty of people who will try to limit what we can say and show, from the MPAA, to the FCC, to the ESRB to Youtube, we don't need to give them any help.

January 31, 2013

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ProgMan

Couldn't agree more with you.

February 1, 2013

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Bruno Ricardo

I disagree. There is art and then there is evil content that even a regular porn viewer agrees must be shut down. The problem with sexual explicit material is it can be highly addictive like alcoholism. And there are some sick twisted individuals that police have nightmares watching their content to try and catch them. I agree that it is complicated to censor. Just curious though... When was hard core sexual explicit material considered art? Women that get in the porn industry were often times abused sexually, verbally or physically. They feel they have no self worth. If only they knew they are made in the image of God. There are countless testimonies of broken women in the sex trade. A good morality test to ask yourself is, would You want your sister or your daughter doing these x rated films? Of course not! So why, does man think it's ok to look at other woman that were someone else's daughter or sister? I think our culture is slowly degrading into the book Aldous Huxley's novel, Brave New World.

September 21, 2013

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Bryant