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Thursday, May 21, 2009

YouTube's new profanity filter

YouTube, where billions (yes, billions) of videos are viewed each month, has a new feature for users not interested in verbal abuse. If you want to read the text comments under a video and don't care to see swear words, lewd comments, or racial slurs, you can "bleep" them out with "Filter W*rds." Just go to any video and look for "Text Comments" under it. Under "Options" just to the right, check "Filter W*rds" (you can also just hid all the comments). YouTube's parent, Google, says it knows this is a small step and not a parental-control tool or anything. The aim is just to give users more control over their experience on YouTube. So far, Filter W*rds only works for English words. Here's the page about this in YouTube's Help section. Meanwhile, Americans viewed 14.5 billion online videos just during the month of March, according to comScore (the latest figure available), up 11% over February. YouTube provided about 41% of those video views (5.9 billion). The No. 2 online video provider is Fox Interactive (with about 3% of video market share, or 437 million views), and No. 3 is Hulu at about 2.6%, or 380 million views.

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