Skip to a specific section of this article:
- Read the full Harmful or dangerous content policy
- Get examples of Harmful or dangerous content
- Age-restricted content and content removal
- Educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic content
- What happens when content violates this policy
What this policy means for you
Harmful or dangerous acts, challenges, and pranks
- Extremely dangerous challenges: Challenges that pose an imminent risk of physical injury.
- Dangerous or threatening pranks: Pranks that lead victims to fear imminent serious physical danger, or that create serious emotional distress in minors.
- Harmful or dangerous acts: Acts performed by adults that have a serious risk of severe bodily harm or death.
- Minors participating in dangerous activities: Content that endangers the emotional and physical well-being of minors. For more info, review our Child safety policy.
- Instructions to kill or harm: Instructions that show or tell viewers how to perform activities that are meant to kill or severely harm others.
- Explosives: Giving instructions to make explosive devices or compounds meant to injure or kill others.
- Firearms: For more info, review our Firearms policy.
Digital security content
- Instructional theft: Instructional theft videos posted with the express intent to steal physical goods or get something for free.
- Hacking: Demonstrating how to use computers or information technology with the intent to steal credentials, compromise personal data, or cause serious harm to others.
- Bypassing payment for digital content or services: Content that shows viewers how to get unauthorized access to content, software, or services that usually require payment.
- Phishing: Content that tries to get or gives instructions for how to get nonpublic personal identifying information from viewers by deceiving them.
- Cryptophishing: Requests for cryptocurrency or cryptocurrency-related wallet details as a part of a phishing scheme.
Illegal or regulated goods or services
For more info, review our Illegal or regulated goods or services policy.
You can also find additional resources.
Here are some examples of harmful or dangerous content that isn’t allowed on YouTube.
Note: The list below isn't complete.
- Asphyxiation: Any activity that prevents breathing or can lead to suffocation. Examples include:
- Choking, drowning, or hanging games
- Eating non-food items
- Misuse of weapons: Using weapons, like guns or knives, without proper safety precautions or in a way that could cause physical harm. Examples include the "No Lackin'" challenge.
- Ingesting harmful substances: Eating, consuming, or inserting non-food objects or chemicals that may cause illness or poisoning. Examples include detergent-eating challenges.
- Burning, freezing, and electrocution: Activities with a serious risk of severe burns, freezing, frostbite, or electrocution. Examples include the fire challenge and the hot water challenge.
- Mutilation and blunt force trauma: Examples include:
- Abstaining from normal health practices
- Falling, impalement, collision, blunt force trauma, or crushing
- Challenges that feature children: Examples include content that shows minors:
- Drinking alcohol
- Using vaporizers, e-cigarettes, tobacco, or marijuana
- Misusing fireworks
Note: We may age-restrict content that has educational or documentary context.
Dangerous or threatening pranks
- Intentional physical harm: Inflicting physical harm on unsuspecting prank victims. Examples include:
- Punching attacks
- Drugging food or drinks with laxatives
- Electrocution pranks
- Making someone feel like they’re in immediate danger: Tricking others into believing they're in real danger, even if no physical harm comes to them. Examples include:
- Threats with weapons
- Bomb scares
- Swatting or fake 911 calls
- Fake home invasions or robberies
- Fake kidnapping
- Emotional distress to minors: Any prank that causes emotional distress to children or others who are vulnerable. Examples include:
- Fake death or suicide
- Fake violence
- Pretending that a parent or caregiver will abandon a child
- Showing a parent or caregiver verbally abuse or shame a child
Note: We may age-restrict prank content that involves adults and that doesn't violate our policies.
Harmful or dangerous acts
- Risking serious harm or death: Behavior that shows adults risking serious bodily harm or death in the categories listed under Dangerous challenges, such as asphyxiation or electrocution.
- Extremely dangerous driving: Using a motor vehicle in a way that presents imminent risk of serious injury or death to the driver or others. Examples include:
- Cell phone footage of a motorcyclist deliberately veering into oncoming traffic at high speeds. A voiceover reacts saying “Wow, that was crazy!”
- Driving a car at a high speed along a walkway meant for pedestrians.
Instructions to harm
- Bomb-making: Showing viewers how to build a bomb meant to injure or kill others. Examples include:
- Pipe bombs
- Package bombs
- Explosive vests
- Molotov cocktails
- Violence involving children: Any real fights or violence between children. For more info, review our Child Safety policy.
Note: We may age-restrict content that has documentary or educational context.
- The act in question could lead to serious injury or death.
- The individuals participating in the act are trained professionals and take precautions to prevent injury.
- Minors could easily imitate the act.
- The content is educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic in nature.
- There's commentary that discourages the act.
- The viewer can tell that the act is real or fake.
Examples of age-restricted content
- Prank content featuring adults using excessive fake blood or gruesome fake injuries.
- A reaction video to a dangerous challenge without any commentary that discourages the challenge.
- Content that shows adults misusing fireworks.
- Content that shows adults risking serious injury by starting fires in an uncontrolled manner that could be easily imitated by younger viewers.
Sometimes, content that would otherwise violate this policy is allowed to stay on YouTube when it has Educational, Documentary, Scientific, or Artistic (EDSA) context. Learn about how YouTube evaluates EDSA content.
Note: In some cases, EDSA content may be age-restricted. Certain content isn’t allowed on YouTube even if it has EDSA context added, such as content that sells drugs or regulated pharmaceuticals without a prescription.
Examples of EDSA content
- A news piece on the dangers of choking games may be appropriate, but posting clips out of context from the same documentary might not be.
- A video in which a professional stunt person performs a dangerous motorcycle jump that shows viewers the safety precautions taken in preparation, like onsite emergency medical personnel and the use of protective equipment.
- A documentary that shows the impact of drug use in a particular community that, while showing viewers drug usage, discourages viewers from using drugs and doesn’t provide information on how to make or purchase them.
- A video that shows dangerous driving or vehicle crashes in controlled environments to educate viewers about safe driving practices or vehicle safety features.
What happens if content violates this policy
If your content violates this policy, we will 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. Note that violative URLs posted within the video itself or in the video’s metadata may result in the video being removed.
If this is your first time violating our Community Guidelines, you'll likely get a warning with no penalty to your channel. You will have the chance to take a policy training to allow the warning to expire after 90 days. However, if the same policy is violated within that 90 day window, the warning will not expire and your channel will be given a strike. If you violate a different policy after completing the training, you will get another warning.
If you get 3 strikes within 90 days, your channel will be terminated. Learn more about our strikes system.
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. We may prevent repeat offenders from taking policy trainings in the future. Learn more about channel or account terminations.