Illegal or regulated goods or services 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 intended to sell certain regulated goods and services is not allowed on YouTube.

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.

You can also find additional resources.

What this policy means for you

If you're posting content

Don't post content on YouTube if it aims to directly sell, link to, or facilitate access to any of the regulated goods and services listed below. Making the sale of these items or facilitating the use of these services possible by posting links, email, phone number or other means to contact a seller directly is not allowed.

  • Alcohol
  • Bank account passwords, stolen credit cards, or other financial information
  • Counterfeit documents or currency
  • Controlled narcotics and other drugs
  • Explosives
  • Organs
  • Endangered species or parts of endangered species
  • Firearms and certain firearms accessories
  • Nicotine, including vaping products
  • Online gambling sites not yet reviewed by Google or YouTube
  • Pharmaceuticals without a prescription
  • Sex or escort services
  • Unlicensed medical services
  • Human smuggling

Note: If you're providing links or contact information such as phone numbers, emails, or other means of contact where hard drugs can be purchased, or where pharmaceuticals can be purchased without a prescription, your channel may be terminated. See examples below. 

Additionally, the following content isn’t allowed on YouTube:

  • Hard drug use or creation: Hard drug use or creation, selling or facilitating the sale of hard or soft drugs, facilitating the sale of regulated pharmaceuticals without a prescription, or showing how to use steroids in non-educational content. 
  • Instructional cheating: Content which provides instructions for academic cheating.

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. 


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

Keep in mind that this isn’t a complete list. 

  • Linking to an online gambling or sports betting site that is not approved.
  • Selling counterfeit passports or providing instructions on creating forged official documents.
  • Advertising escort, prostitution, or erotic massage services.
  • Content instructing how to purchase drugs on the dark web.
  • A video of a user making a purchase with software that generates fake credit card numbers.
  • Including a link to an online pharmacy that does not require prescriptions.
  • Content that promotes a product that contains drugs, nicotine, or a controlled substance.
  • Displays of hard drug use: Non-educational content that shows the injection of intravenous drugs like heroin, huffing/sniffing glue, or taking tabs of acid.
  • Making hard drugs: Non-educational content that explains how to make drugs.
  • Minors using alcohol or drugs: Showing minors drinking alcohol, using vaporizers, e-cigarettes, tobacco or marijuana, or misusing fireworks.
  • Steroid use: Non-educational content that shows how to use steroids for recreational purposes, like bodybuilding.
  • Selling soft drugs: Such as providing links to sites facilitating sale of marijuana or salvia.
  • Selling hard drugs: Featuring hard drugs with the goal of selling them. Some types of hard drugs include (note that this is not a complete list, and these substances may also be known under different names):
    • Amphetamine
    • Cocaine
    • Dextromethorphan (DXM)
    • Flunitrazepam
    • Fentanyl
    • GHB
    • Heroin
    • Ketamine
    • K2
    • LSD
    • MDMA/ecstasy
    • Mescaline
    • Methamphetamine
    • Isotonitazene (ISO)
    • Opium
    • PCP
    • Psilocybin & Psilocybe (magic mushrooms)

Note: If you're providing links or contact information such as phone numbers, emails, or other means of contact where hard drugs can be purchased, or where pharmaceuticals can be purchased without a prescription, your channel may be terminated.

Please remember these are just some examples, and don't post content if you think it might violate this policy.

Age-restricted content

Sometimes content doesn't violate our policies, but it may not be appropriate for viewers under 18. 

Examples of age-restricted content

  • Content that promotes a cannabis dispensary.
  • Content that reviews brands of nicotine e-liquid.

What happens if content violates this policy

If your content violates this policy, we will 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. Note that violative URLs posted within the video itself or in the video’s metadata may result in the video being removed.

If this is your first time violating our Community Guidelines, you'll likely get a warning with no penalty to your channel. You will have the chance to take a policy training to allow the warning to expire after 90 days. The 90 day period starts from when the training is completed, not when the warning is issued. However, if the same policy is violated within that 90 day window, the warning will not expire and your channel will be given a strike. If you violate a different policy after completing the training, you will get another warning.

If you get 3 strikes within 90 days, your channel will be terminated. Learn more about our strikes system.

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. We may prevent repeat offenders from taking policy trainings in the future. Learn more about channel or account terminations.

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