Violent or graphic content policies


 

 

Updated July 2 2019: This article now includes more examples of content that violates this policy. There are no policy changes. 

 

Violent or gory content intended to shock or disgust viewers, or content encouraging others to commit violent acts are not allowed on YouTube.

If you believe anyone is in imminent danger, you should reach out to your local law enforcement agency to report the situation immediately.

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.

  • Inciting others to commit violent acts against individuals or a defined group of people
  • Fights involving minors
  • Footage, audio, or imagery involving road accidents, natural disasters, war aftermath, terrorist attack aftermath, street fights, physical attacks, sexual assaults, immolation, torture, corpses, protests or riots, robberies, medical procedures, or other such scenarios with the intent to shock or disgust viewers
  • Footage or imagery showing bodily fluids, such as blood or vomit, with the intent to shock or disgust viewers.
  • Content where there is infliction of unnecessary suffering or harm deliberately causing an animal distress. 
  • Content where animals are encouraged or coerced to fight by humans.
  • Dramatized or fictional footage of anything listed above where the viewer is not provided with enough context to determine that the footage is dramatized or fictional.

Please note this is not a complete list.

Age-restricted content

We may apply an age-restriction rather than remove content if that content includes any of the above, but provides enough enough context to understand it. For example, content showing victims’ injuries in a major road accident may be removed, but we may age-restrict that same content if presented with news coverage that explains the situation and context. You can learn more about the importance of context here.

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

  • Whether violent or gory imagery is the focal point of the video
  • Whether the title, description, tags, or other data indicate an intent to shock or disgust viewers
  • Whether violent imagery or audio has been blurred, masked, or obscured
  • The amount of time the violent images or audio is in the content
  • If there’s context letting viewers know that the imagery is dramatized or fictional, such as by stating so in the video, title, or description
  • If the violence is part of a religious or cultural practice and the viewer is provided with that context

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.

  • Encouraging others to go to a particular place to commit violence, to perform violence at a particular time, or to target individuals or groups with violence
  • Actual schoolyard fights between minors. We may allow content if minors are only play fighting and that is evident to viewers.
  • Beatings or brawls outside the context of professional or professionally supervised sporting events.

More examples 

Violent, shocking content 

The following types of content are not allowed on YouTube. This is not a complete list.
  • Medical procedure footage where the content focuses in on open wounds and provides no education or explanation to viewers.
  • Footage of violent crimes such as robberies or rape being committed  that provide no education or explanation to viewers.
  • Cell phone, dash cam, or closed circuit TV footage showing the injured or killed in a road accident accompanied by titles such as “Crazy accident” or “Warning: Lots of blood.”
  • Videos of beheadings. 
  • One-sided fights with titles like "Watch this guy get beat-up!"
 

Animal abuse

The following types of content are not allowed on YouTube. This is not a complete list.
  • Dogfighting, cockfighting, or other videos in which human onlookers are forcing animals to attack each other. We do allow content featuring animals fighting in the wild, such as in a nature documentary.  
  • Non-educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic content that shows unnecessary suffering.
  • Bullfighting with bulls being harmed (E.g swords in the bull).
  • Hunting using illegal practices like bombing or poison.

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

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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Would you rather learn about this policy through videos and quizzes? Check out our Creator Academy course.
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