Object 3: Photo of age restriction message from YouTube

May 27, 2021


This is screenshot of an age restriction error message which popped up on my 12-year-old cousin’s phone after she tried to watch a video about someone’s morning routine. The video was deemed to be inappropriate for viewers her age because there was a clip in it which had inappropriate language.

This object is interesting to the exhibition because age restrictions are a form of censorship and controlling the knowledge that people have. The people and companies who place age restrictions on videos like this one are the owners of the knowledge of these videos as they have control over the knowledge and its dissemination. Only a select few people have the knowledge of this video and the select few are chosen by YouTube. Through their ability to choose which age groups get to see certain videos YouTube can manipulate the knowledge that these groups have. For example, in the video my cousin tried to watch the Youtuber spoke about mindfulness. The people able to watch this video who are 18 and above would then have a greater understanding of these topics than someone like my 12-year-old cousin.

Another way the object enriches this exhibition is by showing that knowledge can be restricted but not completely unattainable. If my cousin’s mother changed the settings on her YouTube account, she would be able to watch the video therefore bypassing the restriction on knowledge imposed by Youtube.This shows that no one owns this knowledge because it is available to everyone.

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