Rate your content against advertiser-friendly content guidelines

Updated January 2020:  Based on feedback from gaming and music creators, we're clarifying some rating options for content. The following is a brief overview of the rating options that we clarified: 
 
Inappropriate language: We removed 'Strong profanity used in a hateful or derogatory way' because it's already covered under our hateful content guidelines. We also added more guidance to rating options to help music creators understand how profanity in lyrics might change a video's ad suitability. 
 
Violence: We updated all rating options to guide gaming creators who upload content that features violence.
 
Drug-related content: We updated rating options to make it clearer what kind of drug-related music content can monetise. 
 
Firearms-related content: We updated rating options to outline what kinds of content featuring a firearm can monetise. 

This article will help you self-rate your content and understand whether a video meets our advertiser-friendly content guidelines.

You'll see three options in this article:

  • You can turn on ads for this content: This type of content meets our advertiser-friendly content guidelines.
  • You can turn on ads but many brands may choose not to advertise: This type of content is suitable for some advertisers, but some brands may choose to opt out. This means that you may earn less revenue on this content (because fewer ads are likely to appear) compared to content that's suitable for all advertisers.
  • You should turn off ads for this content: This type of content is not suitable for any of our advertisers. You should turn off ads.

Keep in mind that anything that you post on YouTube must meet our Community Guidelines. Our advertiser-friendly content guidelines are an extra set of rules on top of the Community Guidelines. They tell you whether or not advertisers want to have their brands seen with this content. If it's not ad-friendly, then you should turn off ads.

We're not telling you what to create. Each and every creator on YouTube is unique and contributes to the vibrancy of YouTube. These guidelines aim to help you understand more clearly the types of content that advertisers may not wish to appear against. While certain types of content may not be suitable for all brands, you could still earn money from YouTube Premium and features like Super Chat and channel memberships.

Self-rate your content

Inappropriate language

Frequent use of strong profanity.

You can turn on ads for this content

None, or light profanity (like 'hell' or 'damn'); censored profanity in the title, thumbnail or opening of the video; strong profanity (like the 'f-word') after the opening; or strong profanity in a music video.
You can turn on ads but many brands may choose not to advertise Strong profanity in the title, thumbnail or opening of a video; strong profanity in the title or thumbnail of a music video.

Adult content

Sexual behaviour, language or expressions.
You can turn on ads for this content None, or romance or kissing; discussions of romantic relationships or sexuality without reference to intercourse; moderately sexually suggestive content that may include limited clothing; sensual dancing, non-graphic sex education or a music video containing sexual content without nudity.
You can turn on ads but many brands may choose not to advertise Blurred or censored nudity, even if used for education, news, or in other contexts; focus on sexual body parts (even if covered), discussions of intimate sexual experiences, implied sexual acts, sex toys without human contact or nudity or realistic representations of genitalia.
You should turn off ads for this content Exposed breasts or full nudity, sexual acts, animal mating, discussion of fetishes or a video thumbnail with sexual content.

Violence

Situations showing hurt, damage or injury.

You can turn on ads for this content None, or mild violence; injury without showing blood or graphic content; dramatised violence as part of animation, comedy, drama or music videos; violence that occurs as part of unedited video gameplay 
You can turn on ads but many brands may choose not to advertise Real injury or violence with blood shown as part of sports, accidents, pranks, 'fails' or animal videos; dramatised violence showing excessive blood and gore as part of animations, comedy, drama, video games or music videos; edited video gameplay with some clips that focus on graphic violence
You should turn off ads for this content Severe real injury, real death, harm to minors or abuse of animals; depictions or discussions of sexual abuse or domestic violence; edited video gameplay that primarily focuses on graphic violence

Harmful or dangerous acts

Situations that may endanger participants.
You can turn on ads for this content None, or stunts or acts that are slightly dangerous, but performed in a professional and controlled environment where no one is seriously injured.
You can turn on ads but many brands may choose not to advertise Content showing but not focusing on physical harm or distress, including acts done in a non-professional, non-controlled environment. 
You should turn off ads for this content 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.

Drug-related content

Illegal, recreational or regulated substances.
You can turn on ads for this content None, or education, music, statements or humorous references about drugs or drug paraphernalia that do not glorify them; drugs in a music video.
You can turn on ads but many brands may choose not to advertise Content focusing on the display or effects of drug consumption; or the creation or distribution of drugs or drug paraphernalia in a comedy, documentary, news or educational video.
You should turn off ads for this content Content showing or discussing abuse, buying, making, selling or finding of drugs or drug paraphernalia in a graphic and detailed way.

Hateful content

Content likely to offend a marginalised individual or group.
You can turn on ads for this content None, or references to a marginalised group that are made in a non-hurtful manner as part of a public debate or comedic context. 
You can turn on ads but many brands may choose not to advertise Content that may be offensive to a marginalised group but is used for education, news or a documentary. 
You should turn off ads for this content Hate or discrimination towards a protected group based on race, age or other natural characteristics. 

Firearms-related content

Showing or discussion of real or fake guns.
You can turn on ads for this content None, or hunting-related content or guns shown in a safe environment like a shooting range.
You can turn on ads but many brands may choose not to advertise 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.
You should turn off ads for this content Content that shows gun creation or modification, promotes gun makers or sellers, or facilitates the sale of a gun, minors using guns without adult supervision

Sensitive issues

Recent events dealing with war, death or tragedy.
You can turn on ads for this content None, or analysis of or opinion around serious and topical events not described below.
You should turn off ads for this content Discussions of modern acts of terror, events resulting in the catastrophic loss of human life, or controversial social issues.

Disclaimer: These questions help us better understand how your video aligns with our advertiser-friendly content guidelines. Keep in mind that YouTube has the right, not the obligation, to display any advertisements alongside your videos. These guidelines are not prescriptive or exhaustive, and apply to all aspects of your video including title, thumbnail, images and description.

YouTube reserves the right, at its discretion, to not show ads on videos and watch pages – including ads from certain advertisers or certain formats. Serious or repeated violations of these policies may lead to ads being disabled for your channel or suspension from the YouTube Partner Programme.

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