Thumbnails and other images that violate our Community Guidelines aren’t allowed on YouTube. Images include banners, avatars, Community posts, and any other YouTube feature that has images.
What this policy means for you
Don’t post a thumbnail or other image on YouTube if it shows:
- Pornographic imagery
- Sexual acts, the use of sex toys, fetishes, or other sexually gratifying imagery
- Nudity, including genitals
- Imagery that depicts unwanted sexualization
- Violent imagery that intends to shock or disgust
- Graphic or disturbing imagery with blood or gore
- Vulgar or lewd language
- A thumbnail that misleads viewers to think they’re about to view something that’s not in the video
Note: The above list isn’t complete.
Age-restricted thumbnails and thumbnail removal
Sometimes, a thumbnail may not be appropriate for all audiences, but it doesn’t violate our Community Guidelines. When that happens, we may age-restrict the video, or we may remove the thumbnail, but we don’t issue a strike on your channel. If we remove a thumbnail, we let you know, and you can upload another thumbnail.
Here’s what we consider when we remove or age-restrict these kinds of thumbnails:
- Whether breasts, buttocks, or genitals are the focal point of the thumbnail
- Whether the subject is depicted in a pose or clothing that is intended to sexually arouse the viewer
- Whether violent or gory imagery is the focal point of the thumbnail
- Whether written text is intended to be vulgar or shock or disgust viewers
- Whether the title, description, tags, or other data indicate an intent to shock or disgust viewers
What happens when thumbnails violate our policies
If your thumbnail contains pornography, we may terminate your channel. If your thumbnail violates other policies, we remove the thumbnail and may issue a strike against your account. If it's the first time you’ve posted content that violates our Community Guidelines, you get a warning with no penalty to your channel. If it’s not the first time, we issue a strike against your channel. If you get three strikes in 90 days or your channel is dedicated to violative content, 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. You can learn more about channel or account terminations here.