Policies on harmful or dangerous Content

Content that aims to encourage dangerous or illegal activities that risk serious physical harm or death is not allowed on YouTube.

If you see content that violates this policy, please report it. Instructions for reporting violations of our Community Guidelines are available here. If you have found multiple videos, comments, or a user’s entire channel that you wish to report, please visit our reporting tool, where you will be able to submit a more detailed complaint.

What this means for you

If you're posting content

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

  • Instructions to kill or harm: Showing viewers how to perform activities meant to kill or maim others, such as providing instructions on how to build a bomb meant to injure or kill people
  • Hard drug use or creation: Content that depicts people abusing controlled substances such as cocaine or opioids, or content providing instructions on how to create drugs
  • Extremely dangerous challenges: Challenges that pose imminent risk of physical injury such as the choking game, fire challenge, detergent-eating challenges, the “no lackin’ challenge,” or hot water challenge
  • Dangerous or threatening pranks: Pranks that lead victims to fear imminent serious physical danger, or that create serious emotional distress in minors
  • Eating Disorders: Content in which people suffering from anorexia or other eating disorders are praised for weight loss, are bragging about it, or are encouraging others to imitate the behavior
  • Violent Events: Promoting or glorifying violent tragedies, such as school shootings
  • Instructional theft: Showing users how to steal money or tangible goods
  • Instructional hacking and phishing: Showing users how to bypass secure computer systems or steal user credentials and personal data

Please note this is not a complete list.

Don’t post content showing a minor participating in dangerous activity, or encouraging minors to engage in dangerous activities. Never put minors in harmful situations that may lead to injury, including dangerous stunts, dares, or pranks. You can learn more about Child Safety here.

Age-restricted content

We may consider the following factors when determining whether to age-restrict or remove content. Please note this is not a complete list.

  • Whether the act in question could lead to serious injury or death.
  • Whether the individuals participating in the act are trained professionals taking precautions to prevent injury.
  • Whether the act could be easily imitated by minors.
  • Whether the content could be used to commit serious acts of violence.
  • Whether the upload is educational, documentary, scientific or artistic in nature.

A video that depicts dangerous acts may be allowed if the primary purpose is educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic (EDSA), and it isn’t gratuitously graphic. For example, a news piece on the dangers of choking games would be appropriate, but posting clips out of context from the same documentary might not be.

This policy applies to videos, video descriptions, comments, live streams, and any other YouTube product or feature.

Examples

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

  • Showing users how to build a bomb meant to injure or kill people, such as a pipe bomb, package bomb, explosive vest, or molotov cocktail.

  • Pranks in which people are chased by someone brandishing weapons, or could suffer serious physical injury such as by being pushed from extreme heights.

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

More examples

  • Non-educational content that shows people injecting intravenous drugs such as heroin.
  • Content featuring minors smoking or vaping.
  • Pranks that cause children serious emotional distress, such as by faking the death of a parent or guardian, shaming a child, or pretending that a child will be abandoned by a parent or guardian.
  • A video that shows how to secretly drug a drink.
  • Showing users how to hack an ATM machine.
  • Videos that teach users how to pretend to be a bank in a phishing attack and get a victim’s username and password.
  • Showing users how to circumvent payment processes to download software or applications for free.

What happens when 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 the first time you’ve posted content that violates 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. Your channel will be terminated if you receive 3 strikes. You can learn more about our strikes system here.

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