Harassment and cyberbullying policy

We recently announced some updates on our harassment policy to better protect creators. The policy below has been updated to reflect these changes.

Content that threatens individuals is not allowed on YouTube. We also do not allow content that targets an individual with prolonged or malicious insults based on intrinsic attributes, including their protected group status or physical traits.

If you find 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. For tips and best practices to stay safe, keep your account secure, and protect your privacy, check out this Help Center article.

If specific threats are made against you and you feel unsafe, report it directly to your local law enforcement agency.

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.

  • Content that features prolonged name calling or malicious insults (such as racial slurs) based on their intrinsic attributes. These attributes include their protected group status, physical attributes, or their status as a survivor of sexual assault, domestic abuse, child abuse etc.
  • Content uploaded with the intent to shame, deceive or insult a minor. A minor is defined as a person under the legal age of majority. This usually means anyone younger than 18 years old, but the age of a minor might vary by country.

Other types of content that violate this policy

  • Revealing someone’s private information, such as their home address, email addresses, sign-in credentials, phone numbers, passport number, or bank account information.
    • Note: This does not include posting widely available public information, such as a public official’s office phone number or the phone number of a business.
  • Content that incites others to harass or threaten individuals on or off YouTube.
  • Content that encourages abusive fan behavior such as doxxing, dogpiling, brigading or off-platform targeting.
  • Content making implicit or explicit threats of physical harm or destruction of property against identifiable individuals. 
    • Note: “Implicit threats” include threats that don’t express a specific time, place or means, but may feature weapon brandishing, simulated violence, etc. 
  • Content posted by vigilantes restraining or assaulting an identifiable individual. 
  • Content that depicts creators simulating acts of serious violence against others (executions, torture, maimings, beatings, etc.).
  • Content featuring non-consensual sex acts, unwanted sexualization or anything that graphically sexualizes or degrades an individual.
  • Content that displays or shows how to distribute non-consensual sexual imagery. 

This policy applies to videos, video descriptions, comments, live streams, and any other YouTube product or feature. Please note this is not a complete list.

Exceptions

We may allow content that includes harassment if the primary purpose is educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic in nature. This is not a free pass to harass someone. Some examples include:

  • Debates related to high-profile officials or leaders: Content featuring debates or discussions of topical issues concerning people who have positions of power, like high-profile government officials or CEOs of major multinational corporations. 
  • Scripted performances: Insults made in the context of an artistic medium such as scripted satire, stand up comedy, or music (e.g. a diss track). Note: This is not a free pass to harass someone and claim “I was joking.” 
  • Harassment education or awareness: Content that features actual or simulated harassment for documentary purposes or with willing participants (e.g. actors) to combat cyberbullying or raise awareness.

Note: We take a harder line on content that maliciously insults someone based on their protected group status, regardless of whether or not they are a high-profile person.

Monetization and other penalties 

In some rare cases, we may remove content or issue other penalties when a creator:

  • Repeatedly encourages abusive audience behavior.
  • Repeatedly targets, insults and abuses an identifiable individual based on their intrinsic attributes across multiple uploads.
  • Exposes an individual to risks of physical harm based on the local social or political context.
  • Creates content that harms the YouTube ecosystem by persistently inciting hostility between creators for personal financial gain.

Examples

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

  • Repeatedly showing pictures of someone and then making statements like “Look at this creature’s teeth, they’re so disgusting!”, with similar commentary targeting intrinsic attributes throughout the video.
  • Targeting an individual based on their membership in a protected group, such as by saying: “Look at this filthy [slur targeting a protected group], I wish they’d just get hit by a truck.”
  • Using an extreme insult to dehumanize an individual based on their intrinsic attributes. For example: “Look at this dog of a woman! She’s not even a human being — she must be some sort of mutant or animal!” 
  • Depicting an identifiable individual being murdered, seriously injured, or engaged in a graphic sexual act without their consent.
  • Accounts dedicated entirely to focusing on maliciously insulting an identifiable individual.

More Examples

  • Targeting an individual based on their intrinsic attributes to wish for their death or serious injury, for example “I wish someone would just bring a hammer down on that [Member of a Protected Group’s] face.” 
  • Threatening someone’s physical safety. This includes implied threats like “when I see you next, things will end badly for you,” explicit threats like “when I see you on Saturday I’m going to punch you in the face,” or implying violence by saying things such as “You better watch out” while brandishing a weapon. 
  • Posting an individual’s nonpublic personal identifying information like a phone number, home address, or email to direct abusive attention or traffic toward them. For example: “I got a hold of their phone number, keep on calling and leaving messages until they pick up!”
  • “Raiding” or directing malicious abuse to identifiable individuals through in-game voice chat or messages during a stream.
  • Directing users toward a YouTuber’s comment section for  malicious abuse. For example: “everyone needs to go over to this person’s channel right now and just go crazy, let them know how much we want them to die.”
  • “Swatting” or other prank calls to emergency or crisis response services, or encouraging viewers to engage in this or any other harassing behavior.
  • Stalking or attempting to blackmail users.
  • Zooming in on prolongedly focused emphasis on the breasts, buttocks or genital area of an identifiable individual for the purposes of degrading, objectifying, or sexualizing.
  • Video game content which has been developed or modified (“modded”) to promote violence or hatred against an individual with the attributes noted above.

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 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 3 strikes, your channel will be terminated. You can learn more about our strikes system here.

  Visit Creator Academy for more

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

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