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 you understand our Community Guidelines, and the role they play in our shared responsibility to keep YouTube safe. Take the time to carefully read the policy below. You can also check out 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, report it.

  • If you feel that yours or another creator's channel is being impersonated, 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 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.

If you operate a fan channel, make sure you state so explicitly in your channel name or handle. It should be obvious to your viewers that your channel doesn't represent the original creator, artist or entity your channel is celebrating.


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

  • Channels with the same identifier (channel name or handle) 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, user name, image, brand, logo, or other personal information to trick people into believing you are that person. 
  • Setting up a channel using the same identifier (channel name or handle) 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' in the channel description, but not stating so clearly in the channel name or handle, or posing as another’s channel and reuploading their content.
  • Channels impersonating an existing news channel.

Remember 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 may terminate your channel or account. Learn more about channel or account terminations.

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