Harassment & cyberbullying 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.

Content that threatens individuals is not allowed on YouTube. We also don't allow content that targets an individual with prolonged or malicious insults based on intrinsic attributes. These attributes include their protected group status or physical traits.

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 multiple videos or comments that you would like to report, you can report the channel. For tips about how to stay safe, keep your account secure, and protect your privacy, check out the Creator Safety Center and Stay safe on YouTube.

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

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.

  • Content that features prolonged name calling or malicious insults (such as racial slurs) based on someone's intrinsic attributes. These attributes include their protected group status, physical attributes, or their status as a survivor of sexual assault, non-consensual intimate imagery distribution, domestic abuse, child abuse and more.
  • Content uploaded with the intent to shame, deceive or insult a minor. A minor is defined as an individual under the legal age of majority. This usually means anyone younger than 18 years old, but the age of a minor might vary by geography.
Other types of content that violate this policy
  • Revealing someone’s personally identifiable information (PII), such as their home address, email addresses, sign-in credentials, phone numbers, passport number, medical records, or bank account information.
    • Note: This doesn't include posting widely available public information. Public information can include an 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 that targets an identifiable individual as part of a harmful conspiracy theory where the conspiracy theory has been linked to direct threats or violent acts.
  • 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 and more.
  • Content posted by vigilantes restraining or assaulting an identifiable individual.
  • Content that depicts a staged meet-up that is used to accuse an identifiable individual of egregious misconduct with a minor, without the presence of law enforcement.
  • Content reveling in or mocking the death or serious injury of an identifiable individual.
  • Content that depicts creators simulating acts of serious violence against others (executions, torture, maimings, beatings and more).
  • 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. Keep in mind that this isn't a complete list. 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.


If the primary purpose is educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic in nature, we may allow content that includes harassment. These exceptions are not a pass to harass someone. Some examples include:

  • Debates related to high-profile officials or leaders: Content featuring debates or discussions of topical issues concerning individuals 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 (such as a diss track). Note: This exception is not a 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 (such as 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 several uploads.
  • Exposes an individual to risks of physical harm based on the local social or political context.
  • Creates content that harms the YouTube community by persistently inciting hostility between creators for personal financial gain.


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.”
  • Targeting an individual and making claims they are involved in human trafficking in the context of a harmful conspiracy theory where the conspiracy is linked to direct threats or violent acts.
  • 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.” It also includes explicit threats like “when I see you on Saturday I’m going to punch you in the face.” Threatening or implying violence by saying things such as, “You better watch out” while brandishing a weapon is also an example.
  • 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 individual's channel right now and just go crazy, let them know how much we want them to die.”
  • Linking to off platform sites that host or feature non-consensual intimate imagery.
  • Requesting that other users get in touch to share non-consensual intimate imagery.
  • “Swatting” or other prank calls to emergency or crisis response services, or encouraging viewers to act in this or any other harassing behavior.
  • Stalking or attempting to blackmail users.
  • Zooming in or prolonged focused or 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.

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 we can’t verify that a link you post is safe, we may remove the link.

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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