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 that you understand our Community Guidelines and the role that they play in our shared responsibility to keep YouTube safe. Take the time to carefully read the policy below. You can also take a look at 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'd like to report, you can report the channel.

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, emails, phone numbers 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

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. Generally, hard drugs are defined as drugs that can lead to physical addiction, such as cocaine or opioids. Soft drugs include marijuana and salvia.
  • 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. Bear in mind that this isn't a complete list. Please note that these policies also apply to external links in your content. This can include clickable URLs and verbally directing users to other sites in a video, as well as other forms. 


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

  • 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 or huffing/sniffing glue.
  • Making hard drugs: Non-educational content that explains how to make drugs.
  • Minors using alcohol or drugs: Showing minors drinking alcohol, using vaporisers, e-cigarettes, tobacco or marijuana, or misusing fireworks.
  • Selling hard or soft drugs: Featuring drugs with the goal of selling them. If you're using links in your description to sell hard drugs, your channel will be terminated.
  • Steroid use: Non-educational content that shows how to use steroids for recreational purposes, like bodybuilding.

Please remember that these are just some examples, and don't post content if you think that 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 that you post is safe, we may remove the link.

If this is the first time that you've violated our community guidelines, you'll likely get a warning with no penalty to your channel. You will have the chance to take policy training to allow the warning to expire after 90 days. 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 three 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 training in the future. Learn more about channel or account terminations.

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