Child Safety on YouTube

On August 21, we expanded our child safety policies to better protect the family experience on YouTube. Content that targets young minors and families but contains sexual themes, violence, obscene, or other mature themes not suitable for young audiences, is not allowed on YouTube. You can learn more here.

Content that endangers the emotional or physical well-being of minors is not allowed on YouTube. A minor is defined as a person under the legal age of majority; usually anyone younger than 18 years old in most countries.

If you see content that violates this policy, please report it. If you believe that a child is in danger, you should reach out to your local law enforcement agency to report the situation immediately.

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 below.

  • Sexualization of minors: Sexually explicit content featuring minors and content that sexually exploits minors. We report content containing child sexual abuse imagery to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, who work with global law enforcement agencies.
  • Harmful or dangerous acts involving minors: 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.
  • Infliction of emotional distress on minors: Content that could cause minor participants or viewers emotional distress, such as exposing minors to mature themes, simulating parental abuse, coercing minors, or violence.
  • Misleading family content: Content that targets young minors and families, but contains sexual themes, violence, obscene, or other mature themes not suitable for young audiences. This includes family friendly cartoons that target young minors and contain adult or age-inappropriate themes such as violence, sex, death, drugs etc. Make sure your titles, descriptions, and tags match the audience you are targeting. You can also age restrict your content upon upload if it’s intended for mature audiences.
  • Cyberbullying and harassment involving minors: Content that targets individuals for abuse or humiliation; reveals personal information, such as email addresses or bank account numbers; records someone without their consent; sexually harass; or encourages others to bullying or harassment.

This policy applies to videos, video descriptions, comments, live streams, and any other YouTube product or feature. Please note this is not a complete list.

Age-restricted content

We may add an age-restriction to content that includes any of the following.

  • Harmful or dangerous acts that minors could imitate: Content containing adults participating in dangerous activities that could be easily imitated by minors. Note: We may allow this content without restriction if the content itself warns minors not to perform the dangerous activities and explains the need for professional adult supervision
  • Adult themes in family content: Content meant for adult audiences but which could easily be confused with family content. This includes cartoons that contain adult themes such as violence, sex, death, etc. Remember you can age restrict your content upon upload if it’s intended for mature audiences.
  • Vulgar language: Some language is not appropriate for younger audiences. Content using sexually explicit language or excessive profanity may lead to age-restriction.

Content featuring minors

In order to protect minors on YouTube, content that doesn’t violate our policies but features children, may have some features disabled. This includes comments, live streaming, or live chat. These features may also be disabled at the channel level. Our goal is to protect uploaders as well as viewers. Before posting videos of yourself, your family, or friends, think carefully about whether it may put anyone at risk of negative attention. Consider using YouTube's privacy settings to limit who can see the videos you post. Get more best practices for child safety here.

Examples

Here are some examples of content not allowed on YouTube.

  • A video featuring minors engaged in provocative, sexual, or sexually suggestive activities, challenges and dares, such as kissing or groping.
  • Showing minors involved in dangerous activities, such as physical stunts, using weapons or explosives, or using a controlled substance like alcohol or nicotine.
  • A video with tags like "for children" featuring family friendly cartoons engaging in inappropriate acts like injecting needles.

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

More examples

  • Offering money, praise, likes, or any other incentive to a minor to engage in physical contact with someone else.
  • A video that advertises sexual content featuring minors or abusive content featuring minors.
  • Predatory behavior involving communications with or about minors.
  • Aggregating innocent content of minors for the purposes of sexual gratification.
  • Fight or bullying videos featuring kids.
  • Challenges, pranks, or stunts that pose the risk of physical injury or serious emotional distress. You can learn more about what’s not allowed in our policies around challenges and pranks.
  • Encouraging minors to engage in dangerous activities, even if there are no minors in the content.
  • Content simulating parental abuse or abandonment, simulating exposure to death or violence, causing minors to experience intense shame or humiliation.
  • Using cartoons, puppets, or family entertainment characters to appeal to children where content features adult themes like violence and sex.

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 your first time violating 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. If you get 3 strikes, your channel will be terminated. You can learn more about our strikes system here.

We have zero tolerance for predatory behavior on YouTube.  If we believe a child is in danger based on content that has been reported to us, we’ll assist with investigations into the content by law enforcement. 

  Visit Creator Academy for more

Would you rather learn about our Community Guidelines through videos and quizzes? Check out our new Creator Academy course.

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