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Violent or graphic content

Real depictions of graphic or violent content

Increasingly, YouTube is becoming an outlet for citizen journalists, documentarians, and other users to publish accounts of what is happening in their daily lives. It is inevitable that some of these videos will contain content that is violent or graphic in nature.

If the violence shown in your video is particularly graphic, please make sure to post as much information as possible in the title and metadata to help viewers understand what they are seeing. Providing documentary or educational context can help the viewer, and our reviewers, understand why they may be seeing the disturbing content.

It’s not okay to post violent or gory content that’s primarily intended to be shocking, sensational, or disrespectful. If a video is particularly graphic or disturbing, it should be balanced with additional context and information.

For instance, a citizen journalist who captures footage of protesters being beaten and uploads it with relevant information (date, location, context, etc) would likely be allowed. However, posting the same footage without contextual or educational information may be considered gratuitous and may be removed from the site.

Dramatized depictions of graphic or violent content

Some people post videos that contain dramatized depictions of violence. Much like movies and TV, graphic or disturbing content that contains violence, gore, or shocking content is not suitable for minors and will be age-restricted.

Content related to terrorism

YouTube strictly prohibits content intended to recruit for terrorist organizations, incite violence, celebrate terrorist attacks, or otherwise promote acts of terrorism. We also do not permit terrorist organizations to use YouTube.

Content intended to document events connected to terrorist acts or news reporting on terrorist activities may be allowed on the site with sufficient context and intent. However, graphic or controversial footage may be subject to age-restrictions or a warning screen.

Age-restricted content

In some cases, real, dramatized, or fake violence may not be suitable for all ages. Similar to movie or television ratings, our age-restrictions help viewers avoid watching content that they may not feel is acceptable for themselves or for their children.

What we consider when age-restricting depictions of graphic or violent content
  • Whether the video shows scenes containing physical attacks where the injury sustained is bloody or gory.
  • Whether the video shows the graphic aftermath of a violent act.
  • Whether the shots of violence or gore are the focal point of the video.
  • Whether the violence contained in the video is realistic when posted in a dramatic context.
  • Whether the video contains adult themes and is targeting minors.
  • Other factors include:
    • The length of time an image appears in the video
      • Fleeting vs. prolonged exposure especially relative to the overall length of the video.
    • The camera angle and focus
    • The relative clarity of the images in the video
    • The video thumbnail, please refer to our Misleading Thumbnail policy

If you wish to avoid watching age-restricted content, please look into enabling Restricted Mode.

Reporting graphic or violent 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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