Misinformation policies

Certain types of misleading or deceptive content with serious risk of egregious harm are not allowed on YouTube. This includes certain types of misinformation that can cause real-world harm, like promoting harmful remedies or treatments, certain types of technically manipulated content, or content interfering with democratic processes.

If you find content that violates this policy, report it. Instructions for reporting violations of our Community Guidelines are available here. If you've found multiple videos or comments that you would like to report, you can report the channel.

What these policies mean for you

If you're posting content

Don’t post content on YouTube if it fits any of the descriptions below.

  • Suppression of census participation: Content aiming to mislead census participants about the time, place, means, or eligibility requirements of the census, or false claims that could materially discourage census participation.
  • Manipulated content: Content that has been technically manipulated or doctored in a way that misleads users (beyond clips taken out of context) and may pose a serious risk of egregious harm.
  • Misattributed content: Content that may pose a serious risk of egregious harm by falsely claiming that old footage from a past event is from a current event.
  • Promoting dangerous remedies, cures, or substances: Content that promotes harmful substances, treatments, or substances that present an inherent risk of severe bodily harm or death.
  • Contradicting expert consensus on certain safe medical practices: Content that contradicts local health authorities’ or WHO guidance on certain safe medical practices.

Examples

Here are some examples of content that’s not allowed on YouTube.

Suppression of census participation
  • Giving incorrect instructions on how to participate in the census.
  • Discouraging participation in the census by falsely claiming that a respondent’s immigration status will be reported to law enforcement.
Manipulated content
  • Inaccurately translated video subtitles that inflame geopolitical tensions creating serious risk of egregious harm.
  • Videos that have been technically manipulated (beyond clips taken out of context) to make it appear that a government official is dead.
  • Video content that has been technically manipulated (beyond clips taken out of context) to fabricate events where there’s a serious risk of egregious harm.
Misattributed content
  • Content inaccurately presented as documenting human rights abuses in a specific location that is actually content from another location or event.  
  • Content showing a military crackdown on protesters with false claims that the content is from a current event, when the footage is actually several years old.
Harmful remedies, cures, and substances
  • Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS)
  • Black Salve
  • Turpentine
  • B17/amygdalin
  • High-grade hydrogen peroxide
  • Chelation therapy to treat autism

Contradicting expert consensus on safe medical practices

  • Content that contradicts local health authorities’ or WHO guidance on the safety of the following:
    • Vaccines deemed safe by health authorities (for more info, read our Vaccine misinformation policy)
    • Chemical and surgical abortion methods deemed safe by health authorities
  • Promotion of alternative health practices deemed unsafe by local health authorities or the WHO in the following areas:
    • Promotion of alternative formulas for infants in place of breast milk or commercial formula
    • Promotion of alternative abortion methods in place of chemical or surgical methods deemed safe by health authorities

Remember these are just some examples, and don't post content if you think it might violate these policies. Please note these policies also apply to external links in your content. This can include clickable URLs, verbally directing users to other sites in video, as well as other forms.

Educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic content

We may allow content that violates the misinformation policies noted on this page if that content includes additional context in the video, audio, title, or description. This is not a pass to promote misinformation. Additional context may include countervailing views from local health authorities or medical experts. We may also make exceptions if the purpose of the content is to condemn, dispute, or satirize misinformation that violates our policies.

What happens if content violates this policy

If your content violates this policy, we’ll remove the content and send you an email to let you know. If this is your first time violating our Community Guidelines, you’ll get a warning with no penalty to your channel. If it’s not, we’ll issue a strike against your channel. If you get 3 strikes, your channel will be terminated. You can learn more about our strikes system here.

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