YouTube policy updates

This article captures the latest updates to YouTube’s policies. Learn about other recent creator updates here.

Latest updates

Terms of Service

  • [December, 2021] Update to YouTube's Terms of Service. On January 5, 2022, we’re updating our YouTube Terms of Service to help clarify and make it easier to understand what to expect as you use the service. A summary of the changes and the updated Terms of Service are available here.

Explore a year by year history of YouTube's product launches, policy updates, and responsibility efforts. 

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Experiencing an issue? Check our Known Issues page for help.

Previous updates

Updates from the past 6 months

Terms of Service

  • [May, 2021] Update to YouTube's Terms of Service. On June 1, 2021, we will update the YouTube Terms of Service to clarify which activities are prohibited and how we monetize content on the Service.
  • [March, 2021] Changes to YouTube's Terms of Service: In March, we will update the YouTube Terms of Service to clarify how children of all ages may use the Service. Learn more.

Community Guidelines

  • [November, 2021] Medical misinformation policy expansion: On September 29th, we expanded our medical misinformation policies on YouTube with new guidelines around the safety, efficacy, and ingredients of currently administered vaccines that are approved and confirmed to be safe and effective by local health authorities and by the World Health Organization. Learn more.

  • [November, 2021] Changes to our sexual assault policy: As of October 12th, we are strengthening our violent sexual assault policy to increase protection for victims. We remove any violent sexual assault footage even if it is blurred or has EDSA context, as this content poses serious risks of retraumatization for victims and viewers. Learn more.

  • [October, 2021] Changes to Elections misinformation policy: As of September 23rd, our election integrity policy has expanded to include the 2021 Germany federal election. This means that content advancing false claims that widespread fraud, error, or glitches changed the outcome of the German federal election will be removed from YouTube, once the results are determined by the Federal Returning Officer. Learn more.
  • [August, 2021] Upcoming changes to YouTube Kids policy: On August 9th, 2021, content that is overly commercial or promotional will not be allowed in YouTube Kids, such as a video that only focuses on product packaging or directly encourages children to spend money. Learn more.
  • [June, 2021] Upcoming changes to animal abuse policy: On June 30, we are updating our animal abuse policy. This means that content in which someone deliberately inflicts physical suffering or harm to animals or humans is not allowed on YouTube. Learn more.
  • [January, 2021] Changes to child safety policies: As of December 8, 2020, we may remove a video if the video’s audience is set as “Yes, it’s made for kids,” but contains themes that are mature and age-inappropriate for kids. In addition to titles, descriptions, and tags, creators need to ensure their audience selection matches the audience their content is suitable for. Learn more.
  • [January, 2021] Update on Presidential Election Integrity Policy: On December 8, 2020, the safe harbor deadline, after official certification of U.S. presidential election results by enough U.S. states to determine a President-elect, we started applying our Presidential Election Integrity policy to the 2020 U.S. presidential election, meaning we remove content that misleads people by alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election uploaded on or after December 9, 2020. Learn more.
  • [November, 2020] Changes to our harassment policy: On October 15, 2020, we expanded our harassment policy against threats to remove certain harmful criminal conspiracy theories with links to real world violence when they target identifiable individuals. Learn more.
  • [November, 2020] Changes to the COVID-19 medical misinformation policy: As of October 14, 2020, we expanded our COVID medical misinformation policy and won’t allow content that includes claims about COVID-19 vaccinations that contradict expert consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization (WHO). Learn more.

  • [October, 2020] Policy update on age-gated content: As of September 22, 2020, we announced updates to YouTube’s age-restriction efforts as part of our ongoing commitment to keeping YouTube creators and viewers safe, informed by recent regulations, including AVMSD. Learn more

YouTube partner program

  • [November, 2021] Upcoming changes to YPP policy: Starting in November, we will start demonetizing content that violates the quality principles for kids and family content, including channel suspension from the YouTube Partner Program and limited or no ads for individual videos. Learn more

  • [September, 2021] Upcoming policy changes on 2-Step Verification: Starting November 1, all monetizing creators on YouTube will have to have 2-Step Verification enabled on the Google Accounts associated with their YouTube channels in order to access YouTube Studio or YouTube Content Manager. Learn more
  • [June, 2021] Additional eligibility requirement for the YouTube Partner Program: Starting in July, we’re adding a new eligibility requirement for the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). Channels applying for YPP need to have no active Community Guidelines strikes in order to apply. 
  • [October, 2020] Clarification of YouTube channel monetization policies: As of October 1, 2020, we will notify you about actions or changes that may affect your channel, such as future policy changes, and provide links to help you navigate enforcement policies and support channels. This update does not change any of our existing processes. Learn more.

Advertiser friendly guidelines

No new updates. Check back soon!

Copyright and CMS policies

  • [September 2020] Content ID Eligible Content Policy: As of September 16, 2020, our requirements for what content is eligible as a Content ID reference will now be referred to as the “Eligible Content Policy,” which will prohibit monetizing reference content that violates YouTube’s policies. Learn more
  • [September, 2020] Content ID Responsible Asset Management Policy: As of September 16, 2020, our requirements for Content ID asset metadata will now be referred to as the “Responsible Asset Metadata Policy,” and will require Content ID asset metadata and art tracks be accurate and legible. Learn more.
  • [September 2020] Manual Actions Policy: As of September 16, 2020, this policy will explicitly require all manual actions, such as confirming pending claims, to comply with YouTube’s policies, including monetization. This means manual monetization claims on violative content may face penalties. Learn more.
  • [September 2020] Manual Claiming Policy: As of September 16, 2020, manual claiming may only be used within the scope of what’s potentially claimable with Content ID. This means you can’t manually claim thumbnails, still images, or other unsupported use cases. For these types of issues, we recommend rights holders file a legal takedown request. Learn more.
  • [September 2020] Accountable Access & Acquisitions Policy: As of September 16, 2020, the former ‘Subnetwork’ and ‘Acquisitions’ policies will be called the Accountable Access & Acquisitions policy and strictly forbid providing access to any CMS account to unaffiliated or prohibited third parties in exchange for compensation or other gain. Learn more.
  • [September 2020] Updates to our channel accountability policy: Starting October 1, 2020, partners with access to our Content Management System must have less than 30 abuse events (such as terminations, suspensions, or demonetizations) over a 90-day period. This policy applies to channels in both your affiliate and non-affiliate accounts. In addition, partners must also maintain fewer than 10 channel abuse events on their non-affiliate accounts. Learn more.

Product and feature policies

  • [November, 2021] Upcoming changes to automated merch selection on YouTube: As of Nov 23, 2021, our policy on merchandise ranking has changed. This means we will discontinue the merch rank feature that currently enables retailers to inform the order items are displayed on the merch shelf due to limited usage. Creators and artists will be able to either manually select which items to display, or will rely on our improved automated ranking which will include signals such as price and popularity. Learn more here.

  • [October, 2021] Changes to daily custom thumbnail limit: In September, we began limiting the number of custom thumbnails a channel can upload per day. Learn more
  • [August, 2021] Ticketing Shelf Migration: As of August 2nd, the ticketing shelf will no longer appear directly underneath the video player on YT Main mobile app. You can still find the ticketing feature within the watchfeed.  Learn more.

  • [July, 2021] Upcoming changes to older unlisted content: Starting July 23, 2021, older Unlisted videos will be made Private unless you opt out from this change. This is part of a security update to Unlisted videos that were uploaded before January 1, 2017. Unlisted content uploaded on or after January 1, 2017 is unaffected by this change. Learn more.
  • [December, 2020] Google Analytics linking discontinued: On November 17, 2020, we announced the removal of the option to link your channel to Google Analytics. If you linked your channel with Google Analytics on or before November 17, 2020 you can view updated channel page data until February 1, 2021. Learn more.
  • [September, 2020] Live Control Room update: As of early August, 2020, we started removing access to classic streaming. This is consistent with our other broader messaging via the forum. Learn more.
  • [September, 2020] Paid promotion, endorsement, or sponsorship notification update: As of September 17, 2020, the previously optional in-video disclosure message will now always show when creators confirm that they have a video with paid promotions. Learn more

Experiencing an issue? Check our Known Issues page for help.

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