Violent or graphic content policies

The safety of our creators, viewers, and partners is our highest priority. We look to each of you to help us protect this unique and vibrant community. It’s important you understand our Community Guidelines, and the role they play in our shared responsibility to keep YouTube safe. Take the time to carefully read the policy below. You can also check out this page for a full list of our guidelines.

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 get in touch with your local law enforcement agency to report the situation immediately.

If you find content that violates this policy, report it. Instructions for reporting violations of our Community Guidelines are available here. If you've found a few 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.

Violent or graphic content:

  • 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, 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.
  • Footage of corpses with massive injuries, such as severed limbs.

Animal abuse content:

  • Content where humans coerce animals to fight.
  • Content where a human maliciously mistreats an animal and causes them to experience distress outside of traditional or standard practices. Examples of traditional or standard practices include hunting or food preparation.
  • Content where a human unnecessarily puts an animal in poor conditions outside of traditional or standard practices. Examples of traditional or standard practices include hunting or food preparation.
  • Content that glorifies or promotes serious neglect, mistreatment, or harm toward animals.
  • Content that shows animal rescue that is staged and puts the animal in harmful scenarios.
  • Graphic content that features animals and intends to shock or disgust.

Dramatized or fictional content:

  • Dramatized or fictional footage of content prohibited by these guidelines where the viewer is not given enough context to understand that the footage is dramatized or fictional.

Note that we do not allow the following kinds of content even if there's educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic context provided:

  • Violent physical sexual assaults (video, still imagery, or audio).
  • Footage filmed by the perpetrator during a deadly or major violent event, in which weapons, violence, or injured victims are visible or audible.

Please note that this is not a complete list.

Keep in mind that this policy also applies to videos, video descriptions, thumbnails, comments, live streams, and any other YouTube product or feature. Please note these policies also apply to external links in your content. This can include clickable URLs, verbally directing users to other sites in video, as well as other forms.

Educational content

We may allow the kinds of violent or graphic content noted above in some cases in educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic content. This is not a pass to upload content meant to shock or disgust, or encourage others to commit violent acts, and we do not make these exceptions for certain kinds of content, like footage of violent physical sexual assault. For educational content containing the kinds of violent or graphic content noted above, this context must appear in the images or audio of the video itself. Providing it in the title or description is insufficient.

For educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic content that has adult material or graphic violence, we may take into account official third-party industry ratings to decide whether the content may remain on YouTube. Content that follows our policies but isn’t appropriate for all audiences is age-restricted. Age-restricted content isn’t viewable to anyone who’s under 18 years of age or signed out.

Age-restricted content

We may apply an age-restriction rather than remove violent or graphic content if that content provides enough context to understand it. For example, content showing victims’ injuries in a road accident may be removed, but we may age-restrict that same content if presented with news coverage that explains the situation and context. For educational use of violent or graphic content, this context must appear in the images or audio of the video itself. You can learn more about the importance of context here.

We also consider public interest when deciding whether content should be removed or age-restricted. For example, we may age-restrict graphic or violent content documenting warzones.

We may also age-restrict fictional violence when it contains graphic scenes, such as people being dismembered or decapitated, or shows human corpses with these severe injuries. Generally, we allow dramatized violence when the content or metadata lets us know that the content is fictional, or when it’s apparent from the content itself, such as animated content or video games.

We consider the following when deciding whether to age-restrict or remove content. Note that this isn’t a complete list:

  • Whether violent or gory imagery is the focus of the video. For example, the video focuses solely on the most graphically violent part of a film or video game.
  • Whether the title, description, tags, or other data show 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.
  • Whether there’s context that lets viewers know that the imagery is dramatized or fictional. For example, through info in the video, title, or description.
  • Whether the violence is part of a religious or cultural practice, and the uploader gives viewers that context.
  • Whether the content shows the killing of an animal via traditional or standard practices for hunting, religious practice, or food preparation.

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 or graphic content
The following types of content are not allowed on YouTube. This is not a complete list.
  • Medical procedure footage where the content focuses on open wounds and provides no education or explanation to viewers.
  • Footage of crimes such as violent robberies 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 assaults with titles like "Watch this guy get beat-up!".
Animal abuse content
Animal abuse refers to content that shows the malicious infliction of serious physical or psychological harm that causes an animal to suffer. We may make exceptions for content that shows widely accepted practices, like hunting, trapping, pest abatement, food preparation, medical treatment, or animal slaughter that shows harm to an animal or group of animals.

Here are more examples of content that’s not allowed on YouTube:

  • Dog fighting, cockfighting, or other coerced animal fighting where humans force animals to attack each other. We do allow content that shows animals fighting in the wild, like in a nature documentary.
  • Content that shows animal suffering, neglect, or mistreatment to shock the viewer or glorify the abuse, and doesn’t give enough educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic context.
  • Bullfighting with bulls being harmed, like swords in the bull.
  • Hunting using non-standard practices, like bombs or poison.
  • The staged rescue of animals where the animals are intentionally harmed or placed in dangerous scenarios for dramatic effect.

The above list isn’t complete.

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

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 likely get a warning with no penalty to your channel. If it’s not, we may issue a strike against your channel. If you get 3 strikes within 90 days, your channel will be terminated. You can learn more about our strikes system here.

We may terminate your channel or account for repeated violations of the Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. We may also terminate your channel or account after a single case of severe abuse, or when the channel is dedicated to a policy violation. You can learn more about channel or account terminations here.

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