We rely on YouTube community members to flag content that they find inappropriate.
YouTube staff review flagged videos 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and videos that violate our Community Guidelinesare removed from YouTube. Videos that may not be appropriate for all younger audiences are age-restricted.
Flagged videos are not automatically taken down by the flagging system. If a video doesn’t violate our guidelines, no amount of flagging will change that, and the video will stay on the site.
How to flag a video:
- Below the video player, click on the “More” btn
- Highlight and click the “Report” btn in the drop-down menu
- Click on the reason for flagging that best fits the violation within the video.
- Provide any additional details that may help the review team make their decision.
Flagging videos is anonymous – Users cannot tell who flagged a video. However, we do require you to be logged in to use our flagging tools.
Flag a comment
The “Report spam or abuse” link allows the community to control the number of spam comments left on videos they upload or watch. If enough users mark a comment as spam, it becomes hidden under a “Marked as Spam” link. By clicking the “Show link”, you can see the comment again.
Please use the “Report spam or abuse” feature with extreme caution, as those who misuse it may be prohibited from using the site. The video’s uploader has the ability to “unmark” a comment as spam.
If you believe a comment you made wasn’t spam but has been marked as such, you may want to contact the uploader about the issue.
Flag a channel
You may report users, inappropriate background images or profile avatars through the reporting flow located on the bottom of every channel.
How to flag a channel:
- Visit the channel page you wish to report
- Click “About”
- Click the Flag drop down btn
- Select the option that best suits your issue
Other reporting options
If flagging a video does not accurately capture your issue, we have a number of additional reporting mechanisms for you to explore.
Flagging is a great way to report a video that you think violates our Community Guidelines, but sometimes you may need to report more than one piece of content or may wish to submit a more detailed report for review. Using the reporting tool, you can highlight a user’s comments, videos and provide additional information about your concern. If you feel that you have been targeted for abuse, this tool is your best option to report content.
Report abuse via our Reporting Tool.
To file a privacy complaint, start the Privacy Complaint Process. Your privacy is always respected in this process.
If you need to report a legal issue on behalf of yourself or your client, you may contact us via our Legal Webforms. To expedite our ability to investigate your claim, we encourage you to submit your claim using our webform, rather than by fax or post.
Please note, abuse of our legal forms may result in the termination of your YouTube account.
Moment of death or critical injury footage
We attempt to respect the wishes of families in regards to footage of their loved ones being critically injured. If you’ve identified content showing a family member during the moment of death or critical injury, and you wish to request removal of this content, please contact us using our webform. We carefully review each request, but please note that we take public interest and newsworthiness into account when determining if content will be removed.
Appealing video strikes on your channel
Strikes are issued when our reviewers identify a violation of the Community Guidelines. When a strike is issued, an email is sent to the user and an alert will also appear the next time they sign into YouTube in their Channel Settings.
Our reviewers are highly trained, but are human and do sometimes make mistakes. If you feel that your video does not violate our Community Guidelines and was removed in error, you can appeal the strike within your account.
Please note : Deleting the video will not resolve the strike. If you delete your video the strike will remain and you will not be able to appeal.
Appeal a strike
- Visit your Channel Settings
- Click the arrow next to the Community Guidelines section to show your strikes
- Click Appeal this decision link as shown below
If we find that your video did not violate our Community Guidelines, we will reinstate it and remove the strike from your account. In some instances, it is possible that we will remove the strike from your account but your video will remain down from the site. You will receive an email from us informing you of the result of your appeal request.
You may appeal each video strike only once. If we uphold our original decision on the strike, you will be unable to appeal future strikes on your account for a period of 60 days.
If your video was removed for copyright reasons, you can visit the YouTube Copyright Center to learn about your options.
Community guidelines strikes
When we remove content for violating our Community Guidelines, the uploader will typically receive a Community Guidelines strike (which are distinct from Copyright strikes).
If you receive a Community Guidelines strike, you’ll receive a notification via email and in your Channel Settings with information about why your content was removed (e.g. for sexual content or violence). If you feel that a video was removed without just cause, you can appeal the strike on your account.
We understand that users make mistakes, and don’t intend to violate our policies. That’s why strikes don’t last forever — if you don’t receive another strike for six months, your initial strike will expire. If you receive a strike, make sure to review the reason your video or comment was removed to learn from your mistake.
Here’s a bit more information about what happens with each strike you receive:
- First Strike: The first strike on an account is considered a warning.
- Second Strike: If your account receives two strikes within a six month period, you won’t be able to post new content to YouTube for two weeks. If there are no further issues, full privileges are restored automatically after the two week period.
- Third Strike: If an account receives a third Community Guidelines strike before the first strike has expired, the account will be terminated.
Sometimes a video is removed for the safety of the person who posted the video, due to a first-party privacy complaint, court order, or other non-malicious issue. In these cases the uploader will not receive a strike and the account will not be penalized.
Having a Community Guidelines strike on your account can affect whether you are considered in good standing. If your account is not considered in good standing, you may not have access to some features on the site. You can check your account status from the Features page within your Channel Settings.
Copyright strikes are counted separately from Community Guidelines strikes. To learn more about these strikes please read our article on Copyright strike basics.
Some videos don’t violate our policies, but may not be appropriate for all audiences. In these cases, minors or logged out users may not be able to view the content.
When evaluating whether content is appropriate for all ages, here are some of the things we consider:
- Vulgar language
- Violence and disturbing imagery
- Nudity and sexually suggestive content
- Portrayal of harmful or dangerous activities
To learn more about what you can do to avoid having your video age-restricted, please visit our Policy Center.
If you are looking to monetize your video, please review our policies as age-restricted videos will not be eligible for monetization and will also not be shown in certain sections of YouTube.
Users whose accounts have been terminated are prohibited from accessing, possessing or creating any other YouTube accounts. When an account is terminated, the account owner will receive an email detailing the reason for the suspension.
Community Guidelines terminations
Reasons accounts are terminated:
- Repeated violations of the Community Guidelines or Terms of Service
- A single case of severe abuse (such as predatory behavior or spam)
- Accounts dedicated to a policy violation (hate speech, harassment, impersonation, etc)
If you feel that your account has been terminated in error you may appeal the termination by visiting the following form.
If your account was terminated due to claims of copyright infringement and you believe the copyright claims against your account are improper or invalid, you may file a DMCA counter-notification. This process is still available for terminated users – access to your account is not necessary.
For more information on the counter-notification process, please visit the Copyright Center. Please note that there may be adverse legal consequences to filing a false counter-notification.