Policies on harmful or dangerous content

We recently announced updates to our policies regarding dangerous challenges and pranks. Challenges that present an apparent risk of death are not allowed on YouTube. Content that features a child participating in dangerous challenges that pose an imminent risk of injury or bodily harm are also not allowed on YouTube.

We also don't allow pranks that lead victims to believe that they are in physical danger or that can cause real physical harm. Dangerous or abusive pranks that may cause emotional distress to children are not allowed.

While it might not seem fair to say that you can't show something because of what viewers might do in response, we draw the line at content that intends to incite violence or encourage dangerous or illegal activities that have an inherent risk of serious physical harm or death.

We also restrict content that intends to sell certain regulated or illegal goods and services through direct sales or links to sites that sell these items. These items include, but may not be limited to, drugs, pharmaceuticals that require a prescription, alcohol, nicotine products, online gambling casinos, counterfeit documents or stolen credit card information.

Videos that we consider to be encouraging dangerous or illegal activities include, among other things, the following:

  • Instructional bomb making
  • Challenges that encourage acts that have an inherent risk of severe physical harm
  • Pranks that make victims believe that they're in physical danger
  • Pranks that cause emotional distress to children
  • Hard drug use
  • Other acts that may result in serious injury

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.

Videos that incite others to commit acts of violence are strictly prohibited on YouTube. If your video asks others to commit an act of violence or threatens people with serious acts of violence, it will be removed from the site.

We are very sensitive to any harmful or dangerous content that involves children. If your video shows a minor participating in a harmful or dangerous activity, do not post it. In the interest of protecting children, we may age-restrict videos containing adults participating in activities that have a high risk of injury or death.

What we consider when deciding whether to age-restrict or strike a video:
  • Whether the act in question could lead to serious injury or death.
  • Whether the individuals participating in the act are trained professionals taking all necessary precautions to prevent injury.
  • Whether the act could be easily imitated by children.
  • Whether the content could be used to commit serious acts of violence.
  • Whether the upload is educational, documentary, scientific or artistic in nature.

Reporting harmful or dangerous content

Flag the video: You may report videos that you believe violate this policy or may not be appropriate for all ages by flagging the video.

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