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Advertiser-friendly content guidelines

If you're in the YouTube Partner Programme, you can share revenue from ads. This article aims to help you understand which individual videos on your channel are suitable for advertisers. Creators can use this article to understand both the platform's self-certification questionnaire and specific rules regarding what can run ads, what can run limited ads, and what will not run ads and should have monetisation turned off. Our policies apply to all portions of your content (video or live stream, thumbnail, title, description and tags). Learn more about our best practices

Our systems don't always get it right, but you can request human review of decisions made by our automated systems. 

Note: All content uploaded to YouTube must comply with our Community Guidelines. If your content violates our Community Guidelines, it may be removed from YouTube. If you see violative content, you can report it.

What you'll find in this article
You'll find examples of content that is not suitable for ads and that will result in a 'limited or no ads' monetisation state. 

Here are all the main topics that are not advertiser friendly:

Please note that context is very important. Artistic content such as music videos may contain elements such as inappropriate language, references to soft drug usage or non-explicit sexual themes and still be suitable for advertising.

Inappropriate language

Content that contains frequent uses of strong profanity or vulgarity throughout the video may not be suitable for advertising. Occasional use of profanity (such as in music videos) won't necessarily result in your video being unsuitable for advertising.

Guide to self-certification

Ads guidance Questionnaire options and details

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Abbreviated, censored or light profanity (like 'hell' or 'damn') in the title, thumbnail or video. Moderate profanity (like 'shit' or 'bitch') used in the video. Infrequent usage of strong profanity (like the 'F-word') after the opening or up to twice in approx. the first 30 seconds of the video; or strong profanity in a music video.

Definitions:

  • 'Censored profanity' refers to things like bleeping or muting the word as well as covering written words with black bars, symbols or text added in post-production.
  • 'Abbreviated profanity' refers to an acronym like WTF ('what the f*ck') where the original term is abbreviated in the form of an acronym.
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Moderate profanity in the title or thumbnail; strong profanity used frequently in the opening of a video (roughly the first 30 seconds); strong profanity in the title or thumbnail of a music video.

Titles and thumbnails: 

  • Moderate profanity even when misspelled, such as 'This is bull sh1t!'

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

  • Focal usage of strong profanity throughout a video (e.g. mentioned in every sentence). 

Definitions:

  • 'Moderate profanity' refers to words like 'bitch', 'shit' or 'arsehole'.
  • 'Strong profanity' refers to words like 'd*ck' or the 'F-word'.
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Extreme profanity used in the title, thumbnail or at any point throughout the video, for example 'c*nt', 'n***er', 'fa**ot' or other hateful slurs.

Titles and thumbnails:

  • Strong or extreme profanity even when misspelled, such as 'fuk!'

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

  • Any usage of extreme profanity throughout a video. 

Violence

Content where the focal point is on blood, violence or injury, when presented without other context, is not suitable for advertising. If you're showing violent content in a news, educational, artistic or documentary context, that additional context is important. For example, if a video provides authoritative news reporting on a violent event in a journalistic context, it may be eligible for monetisation. Violence in the normal course of video gameplay is generally acceptable for advertising, but montages where gratuitous violence is the focal point are not. All games (whether realistic or non-realistic) are in scope of this policy.

Guide to self-certification

Ads guidance Questionnaire options and details
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Graphic law enforcement in an educational context; violence that occurs as part of unedited video gameplay; mild violence with minimal blood; dead bodies that are fully censored, blurred, prepared for burial or shown in historical events like wars, as part of an educational video.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

General violence 

  • Dramatised content containing unrealistic non-graphic violence or fleeting vivid violence. 
    • In the course of larger narrative, showing a quick fleeting scene involving physical harm (e.g. shot in the abs) as a part of a violent action scene. 
    • Fighting violence excerpts from an action movie where injuries are mostly indiscernible.
  • Depiction of non-graphic injury, such as falling on knees, where no or limited amount of blood is shown.
    • Tumbling down a hill or running into a wall accidentally or purposely as a part of script or sports.
  • Announcement of tragedies involving multiple casualties that doesn't include vivid gruesome details. 
    • Reports of a recent homicide in the town without the description of the physical state of the victims. 

Gaming

  • Violence as part of standard video gameplay, where it's mildly graphic.
    • Showing graphic scenes (e.g. a gory attack where impact is clearly visible) in a normal course of gameplay.

Death and tragedy 

  • Non-graphic depiction of dead bodies in educational context.
    • Public honouring of the deceased, broadcast with a non-graphic dead body.
    • Display of fully censored or non-gruesome dead bodies in a historical context.

Hunting

  • Hunting content where there's no depiction of graphic animal injuries or prolonged suffering.
    • Hunting videos where the moment of kill or injury is indiscernible, and with no focal footage of how this dead animal is processed for trophy or food purposes.

Animal violence

  • Non-graphic depictions of animal violence in nature.
    • Predators running after their prey where the graphic details (e.g. focus on bloody body parts of the prey or graphic moments of catching the prey) are not included; some blood may be visible fleetingly but is not the focal subject of the content.

Animal abuse

  • Raw footage of human-controlled animal violence (e.g. bullfighting) without promotion of the acts.
  • Coverage or discussion of animal abuse with no footage of the abuse.
    • A debate on animal abuse lacking details on the abusive act itself.

Violence in sports play

  • Violence in combat sports involving weapons (e.g. fencing) regardless of protective gear worn or safety precautions warranted. 
  • Non-graphic injuries in sports or graphic injuries as part of sports play where blood is shown.
    • Sports conducted in a professional setting (e.g. in a fitness centre) while players wear proper gloves and mouthguards. 
    • A fleeting display of injuries that may be graphic (e.g. a broken arm) but are part of regular gameplay.
    • Minor non-graphic injuries (e.g. falling on knees) portrayed in the sports play.

Street fights

  • Depiction of fights in an educational context.
    • Self-defence moves that are shared as a tutorial. 
    • People fighting without repeated tough physical interaction (e.g. fist fight) as a fleeting subject in a larger context.

Law enforcement and physical altercation 

  • Non-combative or non-abrasive interactions with the police.
    • Fleeting raw footage of police interaction with civilians for educational purposes without portrayal of explicit abusive physical altercation in descriptions, audio or visual formats.
    • Normal interaction with police (e.g. asking for directions or receiving a parking ticket).
  • Violent, combative or abrasive interactions with law enforcement in an educational context:
    • Commentary using clips from a news report on a recent violent protest by civilians (e.g. hitting or pushing civilians down against the floor). 

Definitions:

  • 'Mild violence' refers to scuffles in real-life content or fleeting violence like punching.
  • 'Dramatised' refers to scripted content such as movies or fictional settings, including animated content.
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Fleeting graphic law enforcement without educational context; showing dead bodies with obvious injury and/or mutilation in an educational or documentary (e.g. history learning channel) setting or display of non-gruesome dead bodies without educational intent; edited video gameplay with some clips that focus on graphic violence; moderate violence that shows blood as part of a non-educational video; raw footage of armed conflict without injuries.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

General violence

  • Real-life or dramatised violence that results in serious injury where the aftermath or impact is visible and present, such as blood or gore scenes, or bones visibly broken.
    • Dramatised long-form video content with a short, ultra-graphic violent scene (e.g. a mass killing) or a video compilation of such graphic scenes. 
    • Highly vivid descriptions of tragedies (in the form of audio or video). 

Gaming

  • Edited video gameplay with some clips that focus on graphic violence.
    • Brutal killings or severe injuries (e.g. beheadings) with bodily fluids and parts shown focally in some parts of the video. 

Death and tragedy

  • Dead bodies (outside of those prepared for burial) in the context of educational or documentary content such as war documentaries.
    • A dead body without visible injuries or bodily fluid shown in news reporting. 
    • Graphic dead bodies (including depictions of mutilation or injuries) displayed for educational purposes. 

Street fights

  • Street fights featured in the context of educational or documentary purposes. 
    • Graphic street fights including scenes featuring severe injuries, physical attacks and emotional distress (e.g. shouting). 
    • When the focal subject is around human fights (e.g. footage of prisoners fighting). 

Law enforcement and physical altercation 

  • Fleeting violent, combative or abrasive interactions with law enforcement in a non-educational or non-documentary context.
    • Shocking police altercations displaying rough physical interactions (e.g. hitting or pushing civilians down against the floor). 

Violence in sports play 

  • Graphic sports injuries as part of a larger video with context (e.g. compilations involving graphic injuries but not singularly focused on them).

Animal violence

  • Animal violence in nature with portrayals of graphic animal injuries.
    • When clearly visible injuries (e.g. blood or bones) are the central subject of a video.

Animal abuse 

  • Educational or documentary coverage of animal abuse with abuse footage.

Hunting

  • Hunting content featuring fleeting graphic imagery such as dead or injured animals (e.g. bloody body parts) portrayed in the content. 

War and conflict

  • Real, non-graphic raw footage of armed conflict (e.g. war) without educational context, with no bloody scenes or explicit injuries.
    • Raw footage of violent attacks shared without a clear intent.

Definition:

  • Fleeting references are not the focus of content (not focal) and include passing references to violent acts or descriptions. For example, briefly displaying a violent act (e.g. graphic adult fighting in a movie) wouldn't be considered focal, but rather fleeting. 
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Raw footage focused on violent law enforcement; graphic dead bodies in a non-educational video; edited video gameplay that primarily focuses on graphic violence; domestic violence.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

General violence 

  • Focus on blood, guts, gore, bodily fluids (human or animal), crime scene or accident photos with little or no context.
  • Portrayals of gratuitous violence against children, even if dramatised.

Gaming

  • Edited video gameplay that primarily focuses on graphic violence.
    • Focus on the display of graphic violence in dramatised settings, such as 'kill compilations' or compilations of graphic violence from video games or movies.

Death and tragedy

  • Dead bodies or ultra-graphic injury such as decapitations or amputee operations.

Animal violence

  • Animal violence in any context outside of nature.

Animal abuse

  • Cruelty or gratuitous violence toward animals such as abuse (e.g. kicking) or human-controlled violence (e.g. forcing to take part in a cockfight). 

Law enforcement and physical altercation 

  • Graphic violence in the context of physical altercations, public demonstrations or police brutality.

Violence in sports play 

  • Sports videos where the central subject is the display of graphic injuries.

War and conflict

  • Accounts or images of shootings, explosions, executions or bombings.
  • Raw footage of war casualties with graphic depictions of injury or death.

Adult content

Content that features highly sexualised themes is not suitable for advertising, with limited exceptions for non-graphic sexual education videos and music videos. This includes both real and computer-generated visuals. Stating your comedic intent is not sufficient, and that content may still not be suitable for advertising. 

Guide to self-certification

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Romance or kissing; discussions of romantic relationships or sexuality without reference to intercourse; fully censored nudity that is indiscernible and without intent to arouse the audience; sensual dancing in a professional setting without full or partial nudity; non-graphic sex education; or a music video containing sexual content without nudity.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

Sexually gratifying content

  • Romantic scenes that aren't sexually gratifying such as animated, real-life or dramatised kissing or cuddling scenes.
    • Scenes involving sexual tension between characters without explicit depictions of sexual acts.
    • A kissing scene in a larger narrative where the focus is the romance itself and is not intended to be sexually gratifying.
       
  • Discussions of sex in non-sexually gratifying/comedic contexts:
    • Sex education.
    • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and how they are transmitted.
    • Sexual experiences (e.g. dealing with pain after sexual intercourse) that focus exclusively on how sex works and do not recount how to improve performance. 
    • Sperm donation.
    • Scientific representations of reproductive anatomy using diagrams or dummies. 
    • Sexual orientation and/or how sexual identity evolves amid relationships.
    • Fleeting or incidental usage of sexual jokes and innuendos that does not use vulgar terms.
    • Content that refers to fetishes in a non-sexual way (e.g. 'what is your favourite food or food fetish?'). 
       
  • Sensual dance moves in a professional setting that are a part of artistic expressions.
    • Dance moves that resemble sexual acts (e.g. chest-heaving or hip-thrusting) as a part of choreographic dance.
    • Dances typically associated with sensuality (e.g. pole dance) performed in professional settings such as dance studios or street performances.

Nudity

  • Censored nudity where nudity isn't the focus, such as scenes where characters may be nude, but no nipples, bottom or genitalia are visible (e.g. they are pixellated/blurred).
    • Blurred nudity of historical figures wearing limited clothing in educational contexts. 
    • Fully censored genitalia that are indiscernible and shown for non-sexual purposes (e.g. medical procedure).
    • Depictions of breastfeeding (without nipples being visible).
       
  • Depictions of people wearing limited clothing where the presentation isn't intended to be sexually gratifying, such as bikinis worn at the swimming pool.
    • Clothing reviews focused on the form and function of the clothing rather than a sustained focus on body parts underneath, such as breasts.
    • Artistic expressions such as sculptures, sketches or computer-generated graphics involving illustrated nudity, such as characters in classic art or photography of indigenous people in loincloths.
    • Translucent or sheer coverings of female breasts/cleavage, buttocks or male torsos seen in appropriate settings such as fashion show runways, medical exams or at a recreational beach. 
    • Visible partial nudity as part of sports such as boxing where such attire may be required.

Definitions:

  • Sexually gratifying: Content likely to or intended to sexually arouse the viewer.
  • Sexual innuendo: Any use of a phrase to jokingly hint at something sexual.
  • Sexually suggestive: Visual, verbal or textual material with sexual undertones, implying sexual intent in order to provoke sexual arousal.
  • Graphicness: How explicitly the sexual act or nudity is portrayed in order to excite the audience.
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Discussions of intimate sexual experiences; focus on sexual body parts (even if covered); blurred or censored nudity with discernible body parts, even when used in an educational context or news reporting; implied sexual acts; sensual dancing in a professional setting with limited clothing; sex toys without human contact or nudity; or realistic representations of genitalia.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

Sexually gratifying content 

  • Titles or thumbnails with sexualised themes (including misleading signals). 
    • Descriptions of or implicit references to sexual activities (e.g. implicit reference to sexual body parts using emoji or graphics). 
    • Circling out or otherwise calling attention to something in a thumbnail that suggests implied sexual acts.
    • Misleading title where a video promises sexual content but doesn't contain it (e.g. a cooking video with the title 'watch porn').
    • Computer-generated nudity in a medical context without the intent to gratify viewers. 
  • Depictions of non-arousing sexual activities in educational, documentary or dramatised content.
    • Sexual activities and their histories explained for educational purposes such as with medical topics.
       
  • Implicit sexual act or behaviour.
    • Certain signs in a video that suggest sexual activity is occurring, such as with shaking objects, moaning sounds, etc. 
       
  • Depictions of sex toys, sexual devices or other products intended to enhance sexual activity even where they aren't in use. 
    • Unintentional display of a sexual device in a video that is irrelevant to sexual topics (e.g. displayed in the background).
    • A medical object that resembles genitalia introduced during a discussion.
       
  • Scenes with sexual tension like gratifying sensual dancing, groping or kissing to sexually arouse audiences.
    • Short scenes on sexual activities (including implied sex acts) as a part of a larger narrative. 
    • Scenes where the main focus is to showcase sexual tension.
    • Professional dance choreography that frequently features sexually gratifying poses or moves (e.g. grinding) in limited clothing (e.g. sheer breast coverings).
       
  • Discussions of intimate sexual experiences such as masturbation, orgasm, intercourse, tips or other sexual acts. This may also include sexual innuendos or sexually explicit text or audio, such as detailed conversations about sex.
    • Audio or sound compilations of sexual acts without pictures or visual scenes of the act (e.g. ear licking and nibbling sounds).
    • Descriptions of sexual activities that intend to sexually arouse audiences.
    • Mentions of sexual fetishes even when it's not descriptive. 
    • Titles referencing adult content such as 18+, 21+, 'adult only', 'porn', etc., unless it's educational or documentary in context.
    • Usage of emoticons or emoji in text representing sexual body parts or acts to gratify viewers.
    • Crude jokes that use vulgar terms (e.g. tits, cum). 
  • Sex-related content, such as documentaries about the sex industry or paid subscription adult content platforms.
  • Sexual innuendos using non-sexually gratifying objects: 
    • Objects resembling genitalia, such as packing devices, or human figurines with realistic genitalia.
    • The use of daily objects (e.g. an aubergine) or emoji intended to resemble genitals and sexually arouse audiences. 

Nudity

  • Educational or documentary content featuring full nudity. 
    • History or industry overviews relating to sex or nudity, such as showcasing full body paintings. 
  • Pixellated or censored nudity where the sexual body parts are still recognisable.
    • Scenes with naked bodies starred or blurred, but still identifiable from their silhouettes.
  • Non-fleeting depictions of nudity (animated, real-life or dramatised). 
    • Sexualised limited clothing (e.g. bikini, lingerie) worn and shown repeatedly as a central subject. 
  • Depictions of sexual body parts, such as recurring or focal shots of cleavage or bulges intended to sexually arouse audiences. 
    • Compilations of visibly recognisable turgid genital outlines. 
    • Minimally covered (e.g. thong) sexual body parts (e.g. breasts, cleavages, buttocks) frequently appearing.
    • How-to videos on breastfeeding with visible nipples.
    • Sensual dancing (e.g. twerking) with minimal clothing in a professional setting. 

Definitions:

  • 'Censored nudity' refers to things like blurring, covering nudity with black bars or pixellation.
  • Implied sexual act: behaviour that mimics sexual intercourse such as dry humping.
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Exposed breasts or full nudity, sexual acts, discussion of fetishes or a video thumbnail with sexual content.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

Sexually gratifying content 

  • Sexually explicit audio, text or dialogue: 
    • Sex-related entertainment such as porn or other sexual services.
    • Graphic sexual acts or simulations intended to gratify.
    • Depictions or discussions of fetishes (e.g. guides or walkthroughs).
    • Focus on sex scandals or the leaking of private intimate material.
    • Imitating or mimicking sexual activities (e.g. pornographic media).
    • Promotions of sexual acts in exchange for compensation. 
    • Sensual dance in a non-professional setting such as at home.
      • Grinding or daggering moves calling for sexual tension. 
    • Actual usage of sex toys (or other products intended to enhance sexual activity).

Nudity

  • Mature activity such as full exposure of sexual body parts or sex acts.

Shocking content

Content that may upset, disgust or shock viewers may not be suitable for advertising. Uncensored shocking elements won't necessarily result in your video being unsuitable for advertising, but context matters.

Guide to self-certification

Ads guidance Questionnaire options and details
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Light or moderately shocking content that is censored or shown in context for educational, documentary or other purposes.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

Body parts, liquids, waste

  • Body parts, liquids or waste that is Made for Kids or presented in an educational, scientific, documentary or artistic context, and where intent is not to shock.
  • Dramatised body parts, liquids or waste where intent is to shock, mostly for entertainment purposes (like a magic trick) but where legitimate context must be given.

Medical and cosmetic procedures

  • Medical or cosmetic procedures that are educational, focusing on the procedure itself rather than on bodily parts, liquids or waste.
  • Body parts, liquids or waste that are censored or fleeting in comparison to the procedure itself.
  • Human and animal birth videos educating viewers without extra focus on body parts, fluids or waste.

Accidents and injuries

  • Accidents where no exposed injury is visible (such as internal tissue, bleeding wounds).
  • Accidents that do not cause real upset due to only mild or moderate impact being visible.
  • Accidents where no real distress is visible as a result of the accident.
  • Accidents in which there's no evident injury or long-term medical care necessary.
  • Accidents and injuries that are presented in a news, documentary or artistic context (such as a film or music video).

Animal preparation and eating

  • Portrayals of meat or fish in a raw or prepared-to-eat manner, including cooking techniques and demonstrations for recipes (such as how to fillet a fish or BBQs).
  • Portrayals of animal preparation for eating by professionals focusing on the trade and act of cutting animals.
  • Educational, documentary, scientific or artistic portrayal of religious rituals involving animal eating where there's no focus on gruesome or gory visuals.
  • EDSA portrayal focusing on cultural eating and traditions and not on sensationalising the ingestion of eating animals/insects or mishandling thereof.
  • Animal parts with no presentations of discernible features of a living being (excluding fish and crustaceans).

Definitions

  • 'Intent to shock' refers to the purpose of the video, which is determined by what context is given as well as the focus of elements.
  • 'Dramatised' refers to scripted content (like movies or music videos) or fictional settings including animated content.
  • 'Accidents' refers to unfortunate incidents typically resulting in damage or injury, including where injury itself may not be clearly visible (such as vehicle accidents).
  • 'Exposed' refers to bodily parts, liquids or waste (such as tissue or blood).
  • 'Upset' refers to unsettling or surprised emotion arising as a result of a visible or reasonably assumed detrimental impact or injury.
  • 'Distress' refers to the visible, audible or perceived presentation of human suffering as a result of pain. In this case, it's related to individuals involved in accidents and individuals undertaking or experiencing medical or cosmetic procedures (including births).
  • 'Cultural eating and traditions' refers to the customs and social behaviour of societies in relation to food type consumption.
  • 'Sensational' in relation to exposed animal parts or animal/insect eating – to present in a manner intended to arouse curiosity or broad interest, especially through the inclusion of exaggerated or vivid details.
  • 'Mishandling' in relation to how the animal is being prepared or eaten in a brutal or savage manner.
  • 'Professional context' in relation to the profession of being a butcher or fishmonger and the contexts where they cut and handle dead animals.
  • 'Discernible features of a living being' includes features that confirm that the animal was/is a living being, including features such as nose, ears or mouth.
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Shocking content, like graphic images of human or animal body parts, that is uncensored or intended to shock.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

Body parts, liquids, waste

  • Focus on real body parts, liquids or waste where intent is to shock.
  • Dramatised presentations of body parts, liquids and waste focusing on gruesome and gory details.

Medical and cosmetic procedures

  • EDSA medical or cosmetic procedures focusing on exhibiting uncensored bodily parts, fluids or waste in detail, during or after the procedure.
  • Births that contain a focus on extra bodily parts, fluids or waste, or where there's strong apparent distress.

Accidents and injuries

  • Accidents where there's a strong moment of impact such that it's likely to cause upset.
  • Accidents in which injury is visible or where long-term medical care can be reasonably assumed.
  • Accidents with strong apparent distress as a result of the accident's impact.
  • Accident compilations.

Animal preparation and eating

  • Animal preparation or eating that is intended to shock.
  • Focal EDSA mishandling of unskinned or whole animals.
  • Focal discernible features of a living being (such as cooking without context).
  • Sensational presentation or ingestion (such as sensational mukbang, ASMR animal eating).
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Highly shocking content that's clearly visible or audible, or where the whole purpose of the video is to shock viewers.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

Body parts, liquids, waste

  • Disgusting, gruesome or gory presentations of bodily parts, fluids or waste with little to no context.
  • Dramatised shocking elements presented with little context, solely with the intent to shock.

Medical and cosmetic procedures

  • Raw footage of medical or cosmetic procedures with no context or focusing on exposed body parts, fluids or waste.
  • Raw footage of birth videos exposing bodily parts, fluids or waste, or distress, with little to no context.

Accidents and injuries

  • Upsetting presentations of accidents and extreme injuries where exposed body parts are visible or where extreme injury can be reasonably assumed.
  • Raw footage of extreme accidents with no context.
  • Footage of children involved in accidents.
  • Compilation accident videos where the sole intent is to repeatedly shock viewers.

Animal preparation and eating

  • Real animal preparation and eating where the sole intent is to shock viewers, where the presentation is gruesome and gory or has no context.
  • Graphic depictions of skinning or slaughtering animals.
  • Non-EDSA portrayals of a live animal in distress as a result of being prepared to be eaten.
  • Non-EDSA animal eating where there's a focus on discernible features of a living being.

Harmful or dangerous acts

Content that promotes harmful or dangerous acts that result in serious physical, emotional or psychological injury is not suitable for advertising. 

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Stunts or acts that are slightly dangerous but performed in a professional and controlled environment where no one is seriously injured.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

General harmful or dangerous acts

  • Activities where risk is involved with no visible injuries, such as:
    • Professional stunts or extreme sports such as wingsuit flying.
    • Footage of a person doing wheelies or ground-level parkour.
    • Motor vehicles speeding or drifting without doing dangerous tricks (e.g. stand-up wheelie or free hands) or causing frequent disruptions to others (e.g. driving in between lanes).

Fail compilations

  • Fail compilation videos without a focus on graphic injuries (e.g. walking into a glass door). 

Pranks and challenges

  • Pranks or challenges where there is perplexity, confusion or discomfort, but no risk or long-term harm is involved, such as the ice bucket challenge.
  • Discussions or reports about harmful pranks or challenges with no footage or audio of the moment of harm (e.g. reports on a fire challenge without the details of the incident).
  • Educational, documentary or news report content showcasing pranks or challenges that cause extreme emotional distress (e.g. physical fights, abusive language and insults, such as 'you're fired!' pranks).

Medical misinformation

  • Neutral content about viruses, infectious diseases and COVID-19 without the intent of inciting fear (e.g. a video for children on the difference between viruses and bacteria).

Harmful misinformation

  • Educational or documentary content seeking to explain how groups promoting harmful misinformation gain traction, rise to prominence and/or spread misinformation.
  • Educational or documentary content with a focus on debunking harmful misinformation such as Pizzagate, QAnon, StopTheSteal, etc.

Vaping and tobacco 

  • Public service announcements for preventative actions.
  • Dramatised content with focal depiction of usage.
  • Educational or documentary content showcasing industries involving vaping/tobacco.

Alcohol

  • Presence of alcohol or adults drinking alcohol in content without promoting or glorifying irresponsible drinking.

Definitions:

  • 'Seriously injured' refers to injuries that cannot be treated without proper medical care or cannot be treated at home, such as broken bones, visible dislocations or significant amounts of blood.
  • Body modification may include things like tattoos, piercing or medical surgery.
  • 'Dramatised' refers to scripted content such as movies or fictional settings.
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Content showing but not focusing on physical harm or distress, including acts done in a non-professional, non-controlled environment.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

General harmful or dangerous acts

  • Acts involving high-risk activities such as skyscraper parkour or depicting serious injury like skate slam aftermath.
  • Educational, documentary or news report on: 
    • Harmful or dangerous acts with graphic injury.
    • Children involved in gambling or driving motor vehicles designed for use by adults. 
  • Motor vehicles speeding or drifting and doing dangerous tricks (e.g. stand-up wheelie or free hands) or causing frequent disruptions to others (e.g. driving in between lanes). 

Fail compilations

  • Focal depictions of moments with graphic injuries that do not lead to death or terminal conditions (e.g. video compilation of road bike crashes).

Pranks and challenges

  • Educational, documentary or news reports on prank or challenge content with:
    • Threats or advocacy for physical or psychological harm against oneself or others, such as lying down between railway tracks. 
    • Acts that should not be imitated and may result in immediate and critical harm to one's health, such as a challenge to drink bleach.
  • Pranks or challenges that create extreme emotional distress, such as physical altercations, abusive language and insults. These can also include threatening an individual's life status, such as layoff pranks or by emotionally evoking or threatening someone in the context of a relationship (e.g. break-up pranks where one person becomes emotionally volatile, or arrest pranks against relatives).
  • Pranks involving gratuitous amounts of body fluids or graphic violence.
  • Challenges that include eating non-toxic, non-edible substances, such as ingesting a glue stick or pet food. Eating edible substances that are harmful in large volumes such as the Carolina Reaper pepper, or ones that depict a mild physical reaction. 

Vaping and tobacco

  • Product reviews of or comparison between tobacco products (e.g. vaping juice comparison).
  • Educational or documentary mention of addiction services.

Alcohol

  • Educational, documentary or dramatised content featuring minors consuming alcohol or alcohol-focused products. 

Definitions:

  • 'Mild physical reaction' refers to things like dry heaving or vomit-inducing cough.
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Focus on accidents, pranks or stunts that have health risks, like drinking or eating non-edibles; or discussions of trending videos that show this type of content.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

General harmful or dangerous acts

  • Glorification of harmful or dangerous acts or acts perceived to be dangerous.
    • Motor vehicle accidents with shocking scenes and injuries (e.g. of the moment of impact or showing someone in an unconscious state on a road after getting hit by a truck).
  • Children involved in gambling or driving motor vehicles designed for use by adults.

Fail compilations

  • Fail compilations that include activities resulting in death or grievous damage (irreversible or puts the person into coma, seizure, paralysis, etc.). 

Pranks and challenges

  • Pranks or challenges that should not be imitated and may result in immediate and critical harm to one's health, such as a challenge to drink chlorine.
  • Pranks or challenges relating to: 
    • Suicide, death, terrorism, such as fake bomb scare pranks, or threats with lethal weapons.
    • Sexually unwanted acts such as forced kissing, groping, sexual abuse or spy cams in changing rooms.
    • Physical harm or distress, but where such distress is not the focus of the video.
    • Prolonged emotional distress of a minor, such as a prank that lasts for an extended period of time leading to a child being scared or upset. This could include pranking children into believing that their parents are dead.
    • Threats or advocating for physical or psychological harm against oneself or others, such as lying down between rail tracks.
    • COVID-19, promoting dangerous activities such as purposeful exposure to the virus or that incite panic (e.g. an anti-quarantine movement or pretending to have tested positive while in a public space).
    • Promoting the use of weapons to inflict harm on others.
    • Showing the consumption of substances in such quantities that it results in a graphically shocking physical reaction, such as vomiting after eating a ghost pepper.
    • Challenges that, if replicated, could result in serious harm, such as fire challenge or Bird Box challenge.
    • Encouragement of fraudulent or illicit activities (e.g. breaking and entering).

Medical misinformation

  • Promoting or advocating for harmful health or medical claims or practices: 
    • Videos that advocate for or provide instructions on non-scientifically proven medical info such as how to heal cancer at home.
    • Untrue statements about the cause, origin or spread of COVID-19.
    • Spreading myths against what is accepted as normal and regular medical protocol, such as anti-vaccination. 
    • Denying that certain medical conditions exist, such as HIV or COVID-19.
    • Content that discourages taking a COVID-19 vaccine that includes false or misleading claims about the effects or distribution of the vaccine
      • Examples: Content claiming that the vaccine will cause infertility, contain a microchip or be used to euthanise parts of a population. 
    • Content that promotes, condones or otherwise advocates for gay conversion therapy programmes or services.

Harmful misinformation

  • Promoting harmful misinformation (e.g. Pizzagate, QAnon, StopTheSteal).
  • Advocating for groups who promote harmful misinformation.

Vaping and tobacco 

  • Promoting tobacco and tobacco-related products and their consumption.
  • Footage of minors consuming vaping/tobacco products.
  • Facilitating the sale of vaping/tobacco products.
  • Usage of vaping/tobacco products in a manner not intended by the manufacturer (e.g. drinking vape juice). 

Alcohol

  • Portrayal of minors consuming alcohol, even if it's not the central subject of the video. 
  • Promoting alcohol consumption to minors.

Hateful and derogatory content

Content that incites hatred against, promotes discrimination, disparages or humiliates an individual or group of people is not suitable for advertising. Content that is satire or comedy may be exempt. Stating your comedic intent is not sufficient and that content may still not be suitable for advertising.

Guide to self-certification

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Content referencing protected groups or criticising an individual's opinions or actions in a non-hurtful manner.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

  • News content that describes a protected group or reports in a non-hateful way on discrimination that such a group may face, such as a news report on homophobia.
  • Comedic content that condemns or alludes to ridicule, humiliation or other disparaging comments towards protected groups.
  • Public debates on protected groups without inciting hatred and violent confrontation against them.
  • Artistic content that uses sensitive terminology in a non-hateful way, such as popular music videos.
  • Educational or documentary content:
    • Censored racial slurs or derogatory terms with the intent to educate the audience (e.g. n***er). 
    • Containing focal hate imagery.
  • Criticising an individual's or group's opinion, views or actions without any incendiary or demeaning intent.

Definitions:

'Protected group' is defined based on the characteristics below. Inciting hatred against, promoting discrimination against, disparaging or humiliating an individual or group of people based on the below characteristics are not advertiser-friendly practices: 

  • Race
  • Ethnicity or ethnic origin
  • Nationality
  • Religion
  • Disability
  • Age
  • Veteran status
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender identity
  • Any other characteristic associated with systemic discrimination or marginalisation.
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Content that may be offensive to individuals or groups, but is used for education, news or in a documentary.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

  • Political discourse or debate that may include offensive language but is intended to educate, such as a political debate on trans rights.
  • Educational content:
    • Uncensored racial slurs or derogatory terms with the intent to educate the audience (e.g. uncensored or fully spelled-out usage of the N-word).
    • Containing raw footage of someone conducting the following acts without explicitly promoting or glorifying the acts: 
      • Focuses on shaming or insulting an individual or group. 
      • Singles out someone for abuse or harassment.
      • Denies that tragic events happened and are cover-ups. 
      • Malicious personal attacks and defamation. 
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Hate or harassment towards individuals or groups. 

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

  • Statements intended to disparage a protected group or imply/state its inferiority, such as 'all people from this country are disgusting'.
  • Promoting, glorifying or condoning violence against others.
  • Promoting hate groups or hate group paraphernalia.
  • Content that shames or insults an individual or group.
  • Content that singles out an individual or group for abuse or harassment.
  • Denies that tragic events happened, frames victims/survivors as crisis actors.
  • Malicious personal attacks, slander and defamation.

Recreational drugs and drug-related content

Content that promotes or features the sale, use or abuse of illegal drugs, regulated legal drugs or substances, or other dangerous products is not suitable for advertising.

Guide to self-certification

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Education, music, statements or humorous references to drugs or drug paraphernalia that do not glorify them; drugs in a music video.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

  • Discussing drugs or drug paraphernalia within the context of science, such as the scientific effects of drug use.
  • Discussing drugs where the intent is not to promote or glorify drug usage, such as a personal story about the opioid crisis.
  • Focus on drug raids or the drug trade within the context of news content but with no visible consumption or distribution.
  • Music videos with fleeting depiction of drugs.
  • Focus on the purchase, fabrication or distribution of drugs, such as the fabrication of home-made opioids or news reports about cannabis farms.
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Content focusing on the display or effects of drug consumption; or the creation or distribution of drugs or drug paraphernalia in a comedic, non-educational or non-documentary context.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

  • Dramatised content showing the consumption of recreational drugs.
  • Music videos with a focal depiction of drugs.
  • Consumption of drugs in a news report without their glorification or promotion.
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Content showing or discussing abuse, buying, making, selling or finding of drugs or drug paraphernalia in a graphic and detailed way.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

  • Promotion or glorification of recreational drugs.
  • Tips or recommendations on drug use.
  • Focus on the recreational drug industry, such as cannabis coffee shops, head shops or cannabis farming.
  • Providing how-to guides on usage (including consumption and effects), purchase, fabrication and/or distribution of drugs, such as how to find a dealer or best places to get high.

Firearms-related content

Content focused on the sale, assembly, abuse or misuse of real or fake firearms is not suitable for advertising.

Guide to self-certification

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Hunting-related content or guns shown in a safe environment like a shooting range.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

  • Footage of shooting in the course of a hunting trip in an unpopulated location such as a forest.
  • Discussions on gun legislation or the issue of gun control.

Definitions:

  • A 'safe environment' refers to locations like shooting ranges or enclosed areas that are purpose-built for target practice.
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Use of guns outside a controlled environment; display of homemade, 3D-printed or previously modified guns; use of airsoft or ball bullet (BB) guns against others without protective gear.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

  • Showing guns being used in unprepared or uncontrolled environments (e.g. on a public street outside a home, inside a building that's not a shooting range).
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Content that shows gun creation or modification (including assembly or disassembly), promotes gun makers or sellers, facilitates the sale of a gun or shows minors using guns without adult supervision.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

  • Guides as to how to add bump stocks to a firearm.
  • Recommendations of top gun manufacturers or companies from which to purchase firearms (e.g. '15 best gun shops').
  • Referring users directly to a site facilitating gun sales.
  • Promotions of the sale of a firearm or component, including but not limited to:
    • Sale of a firearm-related part or component that is essential to or enhances the functionality of a firearm, including:
    • 80% finished gun parts
    • Ammunition
    • Ammunition clips
    • Silencers
    • Ammunition belts
    • Stocks
    • Conversion kits
    • Gun grips
    • Scopes
    • Sights
  • Videos that promote content for gun shops.
  • Videos that promote manufacturers or discount codes for gun shops.
  • Videos containing firearm-making instructions (e.g. replicable gun assembly/disassembly or steps on gun modifications), guides or software, or equipment for 3D printing of guns or gun parts.

Controversial issues

'Controversial issues' refers to topics that may be unsettling for our users and are often the result of human tragedy. This policy applies even if the content is purely commentary or contains no graphic imagery. 
 

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Content discussing preventing controversial issues. Content where the controversial issues are mentioned fleetingly in a video and are neither graphic nor descriptive.

Title and thumbnail: 

  • References to controversial issues that are non-graphic (e.g. text or image of a razor). 

Some examples of content that also falls into this category: 

  • Objective coverage from a news source (can be the main topic and descriptive, but cannot contain graphic depictions). 
  • Content that covers historical or legislative facts related to abortion.
  • Content for minors that raises awareness on eating disorders. 
  • Content that covers topics such as domestic abuse, self-harm or sexual harassment as a main topic without detailed descriptions or graphic depictions (e.g. a research piece on sexual abuse survivors and their lives, but the details on the brutality are not included). 

Definitions

  • Fleeting references are not the focus of content (not focal) and include passing references to topics listed as controversial or sensitive. For example, briefly acknowledging a controversial or sensitive topic (e.g. 'In next week's video, we'll be discussing declining rates of suicide') wouldn't be considered focal, but rather fleeting. 
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Content about controversial issues that are not visually disturbing yet may contain descriptive language. Content that is dramatised/artistic, educational, documentary or containing scientific presentations of these issues.

Title and thumbnail: 

  • Graphic depictions of controversial issues in the thumbnail (including both real and dramatised/artistic depictions). 

Some examples of content that also falls into this category: 

  • Content that covers topics such as child or sexual abuse as a main topic without detailed descriptions or graphic depictions.
  • Personal accounts or opinion pieces related to abortion as a main topic without graphic depiction. 
  • Dramatised or artistic depictions of controversial issues that are not highly graphic (e.g. someone jumping off a bridge in a movie, but the dead graphic body isn't shown).
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Content that focuses on graphic depictions or detailed descriptions of controversial issues. Content is either graphic or highly descriptive with controversial issues being the central topic.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

  • First-person account with shocking details on topics (e.g. a biography or detailed interview on survivors and their pasts), such as: 
    • Child abuse
    • Paedophilia
    • Sexual abuse 
    • Sexual harassment
    • Self-harm
    • Suicide
    • Eating disorder
    • Domestic abuse
  • Promotion or glorification of controversial issues in the content, title or thumbnail (e.g. 'how to kill yourself and die honourably'). 
  • Graphic depiction of self-harm where scars, blood or injury are visible. 
  • Explicit audio of the act taking place.

Definitions:

  • 'Focus' or 'focal' means that a segment or full video is about a given topic. 
  • It also means that there is a sustained discussion. A passing reference to one of the topics listed as controversial or sensitive is not a reason for no ads. For example, briefly acknowledging a controversial or sensitive topic (e.g. 'In next week's video we'll be discussing declining rates of suicide') wouldn't be considered focal, but a segment of a video specifically talking about such a topic would be considered focal. Focus need not be verbal. If there is an image or text that focuses on the sensitive issue, that would be considered focus too.

Sensitive events

A sensitive event is usually an unforeseen event in which there has been a loss of life, typically as a result of a pre-planned malicious attack by foreign terrorist organisations (FTO) or drug trade organisations (DTO). Sensitive events can cause a mournful response from the public or, at times, an extreme or visceral reaction. An event must be relatively recent if it's going to be considered a sensitive event. Context is important: for instance, authoritative news reporting or documentary videos about a historic event may be eligible for monetisation. 

This policy applies even if the content is purely commentary or contains no graphic imagery. 

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Fleeting mention of sensitive events; academic/documentary content on historic acts of terror prior to 9/11; educational content on terrorism or terrorist groups absent of graphic imagery or footage of actual terrorist attacks.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

  • Fleeting references to terrorist acts, armed conflict or tragic events that result in the loss of human lives.
  • Foreign terrorist organisations (FTO): 
    • Educational, documentary or dramatised content on these groups as a general subject without footage of terrorist attacks.
    • Comedic videos with fleeting references to FTOs or terrorism.
  • Drug trade organisations (DTO), such as drug cartels: 
    • Educational or documentary videos focusing on the international drug trade as a whole (and not a specific DTO).
    • Dramatised content (e.g. movies) portraying FTO/DTOs or their members. 
    • Comedic content covering DTOs or the international drug trade as a subject.

Definitions

  • Fleeting references are not the focus of content (not focal) and include are the opposite of focus. A passing reference to one of the topics listed as controversial or sensitive falls under this definition. For example, briefly acknowledging a controversial or sensitive topic (e.g. 'In next week's video, we'll be discussing declining cases of terrorist attacks') wouldn't be considered focal, but rather fleeting. 
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Educational or documentary content or public service announcements on drug trade organisations (DTOs).

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

  • Drug trade organisations (DTO), such as drug cartels: 
    • Education or documentary content focused primarily on specific DTOs or DTO leaders. 
      • May include non-graphic situations of attacks and/or their aftermath, hostage situations, etc.
    • Public service announcements on the related groups.
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Discussions of terrorist attacks; events resulting in the catastrophic loss of human life; non-educational discussions of foreign terrorist organisations or drug trade organisations; content on these groups featuring graphic imagery in any context, or including the names of these organisations in the title of the video.

Some examples of content that also falls into this category:

  • Focus on sensitive events such as:
    • Atrocious acts or tragic events that result in the loss of human lives, such as mass shootings conducted by foreign terrorist groups or drug trade organisations. 
    • Armed conflict (raw footage)
    • Terrorist acts (e.g. 9/11) 
  • Footage or images from the scene/aftermath of a sensitive event.
  • Foreign terrorist organisations (FTOs): 
    • Non-educational or non-documentary videos focusing on FTOs or the subject of terrorism, such as: 
      • Discussions of a recent terrorist attack. 
      • Relevant imagery or names of the group/leader anywhere in the content (e.g. in the thumbnail). 
    • Content featuring shocking, graphic and/or violent imagery, or scenes of incitement to or glorification of violence. 
    • Content made by or in support of terrorist groups.
    • Content that celebrates or denies terrorist attacks. 
  • Drug trade organisations (DTO), such as drug cartels:
    • Non-educational or non-documentary videos primarily focused on DTOs or the international drug trade. 
    • Non-educational or non-documentary depictions of DTO-related imagery such as flags, slogans, banners, etc. 
    • Recruitment of group members.
    • Glorification or promotion of the group (e.g. artistic expression, including music implying justification for the violent acts).

Definitions:

  • An event must be relatively recent if it's going to be considered a sensitive event, such as the New Zealand mosque shooting. 
  • Focus or focal means that a segment or full video is about a given topic.
  • It also means that there is a sustained discussion. A passing reference to one of the topics listed as controversial or sensitive is not a reason for no ads. For example, briefly acknowledging a controversial or sensitive topic (e.g. 'In next week's video we'll be discussing declining rates of suicide') wouldn't be considered focal, but a segment of a video specifically talking about such a topic would be considered focal. Focus need not be verbal. If there is an image or text that focuses on the sensitive issue, that would be considered focus too.

Incendiary and demeaning

Content that is gratuitously incendiary, inflammatory or demeaning may not be suitable for advertising. This policy falls under 'Hateful and derogatory' in the self-certification questionnaire in YouTube Studio, so make sure that you check that one as well for detailed guidance.

Examples (non-exhaustive)

Category Limited or no ads  
Content that is incendiary and demeaning
  • Content that focuses on shaming or insulting an individual or group
Content that harasses, intimidates or bullies an individual or group of individuals
  • Content that singles out someone for abuse or harassment
  • Content that suggests that a tragic event did not happen or that victims or their families are actors or complicit in a cover-up of the event
  • Malicious personal attacks, slander and defamation

Tobacco-related content

Content that promotes tobacco and tobacco-related products is not suitable for advertising. This policy falls under 'Harmful or dangerous acts' in the self-certification questionnaire in YouTube Studio, so make sure that you check that one as well for detailed guidance.

Examples (non-exhaustive)

Category Limited or no ads  
Promoting tobacco
  • Cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco
Promoting tobacco-related products
  • Tobacco pipes, rolling papers, vape pens
Promoting products designed to simulate tobacco smoking
  • Herbal cigarettes, e-cigarettes, vaping

Adult themes in family content

Content that appears to be appropriate for a general audience but contains adult themes is not suitable for advertising. This guideline applies even if content is done for comedic or satirical purposes. This policy falls under 'Adult content' in the self-certification questionnaire in YouTube Studio, so make sure that you check that one as well for detailed guidance.

Examples (non-exhaustive)

Category Limited or no ads  
Adult themes in family content

Content that is made to appear appropriate for a general audience but contains adult themes, including:

  • Sex
  • Violence
  • Vulgarity
  • Other depictions of children or popular children's characters that are unsuitable for a general audience.
     

 

All videos uploaded to YouTube must comply with YouTube's Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. To be able to monetise with ads, you'll need to follow the YouTube monetisation policies and Google AdSense programme policies

We may reserve the right to disable ads on your entire channel in situations where the majority of your content is not suitable for any advertisers, or where there are repeated, serious violations (e.g. uploading of content which is incendiary, demeaning or hateful).

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