I’ve never quite grasped the age verification systems that some websites use. If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, upon the first visit to certain websites there is drop-down box that you must key in your birth date and year in order to verify that you are of a certain age. Clearly, it is all on the honor system so I can only assume that this fulfills some sort of legal obligation that online media must abide by. It’s a silly concept in all honesty and completely unenforceable. There is that cliche that states rules are made to be broken – well, this rule is broken by design.
Nonetheless, the popular social video content site Youtube utilizes a similar setup. Videos on the site are audited by the users themselves and then flagged if the video is of questionable content. If enough users flag a video, Youtube administrators will inspect the video themselves to determine the appropriate reaction. One of two things generally happen, either the video is removed outright or the video will then require an age verification. The age verification is actually taken from your Youtube account, which means you must login (or register!) if you wish to view the video. All and all, this is highly annoying for those of us that just want to quickly view a video – likely forwarded on by a friend.
You Old Enough? is a Firefox extension that works to remove the bureaucracy surround age verifications, at least as it relates to Youtube. Once installed, the extension looks for Youtube URLs that call the age verification link and grabs the corresponding Youtube video ID. With the video ID, You Old Enough? loads the video in a popup window, by passing the age check. It’s really as simple as that!
Thankfully the “This video or group may contain content that is inappropriate for some users, as flagged by YouTube’s user community. To view this video or group, please verify you are 18 or older by signing in or signing up” are a thing of the past.