Impersonation policy

The safety of our creators, viewers and partners is our highest priority. We look to each of you to help us protect this unique and vibrant community. It's important that you understand our Community Guidelines and the role that they play in our shared responsibility to keep YouTube safe. Take the time to carefully read the policy below. You can also take a look at this page for a full list of our guidelines.

Content intended to impersonate a person or channel is not allowed on YouTube. YouTube also enforces trademark-holder rights. When a channel, or content in the channel, causes confusion about the source of goods and services advertised, it may not be allowed.

If you see content that violates this policy, please report it.

  • If you feel that your or another creator's channel is being impersonated, you can report the channel by following the instructions here.

What these policies mean for you

If you're posting content

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

  • Channel impersonation: A channel that copies another channel's profile, background or overall look and feel in such a way that makes it look like someone else's channel. The channel does not have to be 100% identical, as long as the intent is clear to copy the other channel.
  • Personal impersonation: Content intended to look like someone else is posting it.


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

  • Channels with the same name and image as another channel, with the only difference being a space inserted into the name or a zero replacing the letter O.
  • Using someone else's real name, username, image, brand, logo or other personal information to trick people into believing that you are that person. 
  • Exactly matching a channel description to another channel.
  • Setting up a channel using the name and image of a person, and then pretending that person is posting content to the channel.
  • Setting up a channel using the name and image of a person, and then posting comments on other channels as if they were posted by the person.
  • Channels claiming to be a 'fan account', but actually posing as another's channel and reuploading their content.
  • Channels impersonating an existing news channel.

Please remember that these are just some examples, and don't post content if you think it might violate this policy

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 we can't verify that a link you post is safe, we may remove the link.

If this is the first time that you've violated our Community Guidelines, you'll probably get a warning with no penalty to your channel. If it's not, we may issue a strike against your channel. If you get three strikes within 90 days, your channel will be terminated. You can learn more about our strikes system here.

We may terminate your channel or account for repeated violations of the Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. We may also terminate your channel or account after a single case of severe abuse, or when the channel is dedicated to a policy violation. You can learn more about channel or account terminations here.

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