Child safety on YouTube

The safety of our creators, viewers and partners is our highest priority – and we look to each of you to help us protect this unique and vibrant community. It's important that you understand our Community Guidelines, and the role that they play in our shared responsibility to keep YouTube safe. Please take the time to carefully read the policy below. You can also visit this page for a full list of our guidelines.
On 21 August 2019, 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, obscenity or other mature themes not suitable for young audiences is not allowed on YouTube. You can learn more here.

YouTube doesn't allow content that endangers the emotional and physical wellbeing of minors. A minor is defined as someone under the legal age of majority – usually anyone younger than 18 years old in most countries/regions.

If you find content that violates this policy, report it. If you believe that a child is in danger, you should contact your local law enforcement to report the situation immediately.

Instructions for reporting violations of our Community Guidelines are available here. If you've found multiple videos or comments that you would like to report, you can report the channel

What this policy means for you

If you're posting content

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

  • Sexualisation 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 activities or encouraging minors to perform 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, including:
    • Exposing minors to mature themes
    • Simulating parental abuse
    • Coercing minors
    • Violence
  • Misleading family content: Content that targets young minors and families, but contains:
    • Sexual themes
    • Violence
    • Obscenity or other mature themes not suitable for young audiences
    • Family friendly cartoons that target young minors and contain adult or age-inappropriate themes such as violence, sex, death, drugs, etc. Make sure that your titles, descriptions and tags match the audience that 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 like email addresses or bank account numbers
    • Records someone without their consent
    • Sexually harasses
    • Encourages others to bully or harass

This policy applies to videos, video descriptions, comments, Stories, Community posts, live streams, playlists and any other YouTube product or feature. Please note that 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 minors could easily imitate.
    • Note: If the content itself warns minors not to perform the dangerous activities, we may allow this content without restriction. It will also need to explain the need for professional adult supervision.
  • Adult themes in family content: Content meant for adult audiences but that could easily be confused with family content. This includes cartoons that contain adult themes such as violence, sex or death. 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 at both the channel and video level. These features may include:
  • Comments
  • Live chat
  • Live streaming
  • Video recommendations (how and when your video is recommended)
  • Community posts

How to protect minors in your content

Our goal is to protect uploaders as well as viewers. Before posting content of yourself, your family or friends, think carefully about whether it may put anyone at risk of negative attention. 

  • Ensure that the minor is supervised by an adult and is performing age-appropriate activities such as demonstrating hobbies, educational content or public performances.
  • Ensure that the attire worn is age-appropriate. Avoid attire that overexposes the minor or is very form-fitting. 
  • Use YouTube's privacy settings to limit who can see the videos that you post.

Don't post content on YouTube that features minors and meets one or more of the following: 

  • Filmed in private spaces at home such as bedrooms or bathrooms.
  • Features minors soliciting contact from strangers, dares or challenges online, or discussing adult topics.
  • Shows activities that could draw undesired attention to the minor, such as performing body contortions or ASMR.
  • Reveals personal details about a minor.

These are just some examples; you can get more best practices for child safety here. If you are under 18 or the applicable age of majority in your country, Be internet awesome can help you be safe online.

Examples

Here are some examples of content not allowed on YouTube.

  • A video featuring minors involved 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.

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

More examples

  • Offering money, praise, likes or any other incentive to a minor to participate in physical contact with someone else.
  • A video that advertises sexual content featuring minors or abusive content featuring minors.
  • Predatory behaviour involving communications with or about minors.
  • Aggregating innocent content of minors for the purposes of sexual gratification.
  • Fight or bullying videos featuring children.
  • 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 participate in dangerous activities, even if there are no minors in the content.
  • Content simulating parental abuse or abandonment, simulating exposure to death or violence, or causing minors 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 if 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 three strikes, your channel will be terminated. You can learn more about our strikes system here.

We have zero tolerance for predatory behaviour on YouTube.  If we think that a child is in danger based on reported content, we'll help law enforcement investigate the content. 

  Visit Creator Academy for more

Would you rather learn about our Community Guidelines through videos and quizzes? Take a look at our new Creator Academy course.

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