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 animals are encouraged or coerced to fight by humans.
  • Content that includes a human maliciously causing an animal to experience suffering when not for traditional or standard purposes such as hunting or food preparation.
  • Content featuring animal rescue that has been staged and places the animal in harmful scenarios.

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 free 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.
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 determining whether to age-restrict or remove content. Please note this is not a complete list:

  • Whether violent or gory imagery is the focus of the video, such as focusing solely on the most graphically violent part of a film or video game.
  • 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 given that context.
  • Whether the content portrays the killing of an animal for the purposes of hunting, religious practice, or food preparation.
  • Whether content showing humans causing an animal to suffer is uploaded in a way to expose that abuse.

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 depicting the malicious infliction of physical harm causing an animal to experience suffering. We may make exceptions for content depicting generally accepted practices like: hunting, trapping, pest abatement, food preparation, medical treatment, or animal slaughter that depict harm on an animal or group of animals.

Here are more examples of content not allowed on YouTube: 

  • Dog fighting, 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 animal suffering for the purposes of shock or disgust.
  • Bullfighting with bulls being harmed (such as swords in the bull).
  • Hunting using illegal practices like bombing or poison.
This is not a complete list.

Remember these 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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