Skip to Content

What will YouTube ban you for?

YouTube has strict policies regarding the type of content that is allowed on the platform. Violating these policies can result in your account or specific videos being banned from YouTube. There are several categories of policy violations that may lead to a ban.

Nudity and Sexual Content

YouTube does not allow nudity or sexually explicit content on the platform. Uploading videos with nudity, graphic sex acts, or sexually suggestive content will very likely result in a ban. Even partially nude or revealing clothing may violate the policy in some cases. YouTube also bans fetish content and blurs potentially mature thumbnail images.

Examples of Bannable Sexual Content

  • Full or partial nudity
  • Sex acts or simulated sex acts
  • Exposed body parts intended to be sexual, like close-ups of breasts or buttocks
  • Pornography or any sexually explicit content
  • Fetish content
  • Inappropriate touching or kissing
  • Sexually provocative posing or dancing

Harmful or Dangerous Content

YouTube aims to prevent any content that appears to risk grave harm, incite violence, or cause cruelty. Uploading videos with such content will likely lead to a permanent ban.

Examples of Bannable Harmful/Dangerous Content

  • Promoting terrorist organizations or extremism
  • Instructional hacking, phishing, or scam content
  • Hard drug use or creation
  • Underage drinking, smoking, or dangerous activities
  • Violent events, rape, murder, torture, or abuse
  • Animal cruelty or extreme violence towards animals
  • Promotion of self-harm or suicide
  • Dangerous or illegal pranks

Hateful Content

YouTube does not permit hate speech on its platform. Content promoting violence or hatred against individuals or groups based on attributes like race, gender identity, or sexual orientation will be banned.

Examples of Bannable Hateful Content

  • Racist, sexist, homophobic, or discriminatory language
  • Belittling or spreading hate about protected groups
  • Claims that specific groups are superior or inferior
  • Justifying violence or discrimination against a group
  • Promoting segregation or condemning inter-racial marriage
  • Denying tragic historical events like the Holocaust
  • Repeated malicious personal attacks

Harassment and Cyberbullying

YouTube does not allow content that threatens, harasses, bullies, or intimidates individuals. Repeatedly targeting an individual across multiple videos in a harmful manner will result in a ban.

Examples of Bannable Harassing/Bullying Content

  • Revealing someone’s personal information like an address
  • Maliciously exposing someone’s search or browser history
  • Making hurtful and negative physical comments about someone
  • Suggesting a person should commit suicide
  • Making inflammatory remarks about a person’s family members
  • Excessive and repeated derogatory remarks about an individual
  • Menacing remarks like threats of physical harm

Spam, Deceptive Practices, and Scams

YouTube aims to protect its users from spam, scammers, and other deceptive or misleading content. Repeatedly uploading such content can lead to a ban.

Examples of Bannable Spam/Scams

  • Comments or links promoting online scams
  • Misleading descriptions, tags, titles, or thumbnails
  • Creating multiple channels to upload the same content
  • Links to malware/virus-infected files
  • Excessive irrelevant tags or comments to boost views
  • Giving away free products or money in exchange for a donation
  • Affiliate marketing without disclosing paid relationships
  • Repeating the same content across multiple videos

Violent Criminal Organizations

Content promoting criminal organizations or their harmful acts is not allowed on YouTube. Promoting gang violence, organized criminal activity, or drug cartels will likely result in a ban.

Examples of Bannable Criminal Content

  • Depicting violence by criminal gangs or cartels
  • Promoting recruitment or funding for gangs
  • Showing how to take part in gang initiations
  • Displaying gang hand signs or symbols as affiliation
  • Glorifying violence committed by gangs
  • Claiming responsibility for violent acts

Regulated Goods

YouTube does not allow videos promoting the sale or use of regulated goods. Content related to purchasing guns, ammunition, or controlled substances will very likely lead to a ban.

Examples of Bannable Regulated Goods Content

  • Gun assembly or modifications
  • Instructions on manufacturing ammunition
  • Promoting the sale of firearms or ammunition
  • Displaying or naming websites selling regulated goods
  • Consuming or purchasing recreational drugs
  • Promoting the sale or trade of illegal drugs
  • Instructions on producing illegal drugs

Children’s Content Rules

YouTube has strict policies around protecting minors. Content that endangers children, exposes them to mature themes, or exploits them will result in a ban.

Examples of Bannable Children’s Content Violations

  • Sexualization of minors
  • Inflicting emotional distress on children
  • Using children in illegal activities
  • Creating content meant to attract pedophiles
  • Depicting harmful or dangerous acts involving kids
  • Targeting children for personal information collection
  • Using popular children’s characters without permission in the content

Spamming, Manipulating, or Misleading Metadata

YouTube bans excessively posting repetitive content or misleading metadata meant to artificially boost views, likes, or rankings. This includes coordinated efforts around view/subscriber manipulation.

Examples of Bannable Metadata Violations

  • Creating clickbait titles and thumbnails
  • Using excessive tags unrelated to the video
  • Fake engagement tactics like sub4sub
  • Redirecting end screens/links to irrelevant websites
  • Buying views, likes, or channel subscribers
  • Repeatedly re-uploading the same content
  • Misrepresenting identity or purpose on YouTube

Copyright Infringement

Uploading videos using copyrighted content without authorization or a fair use rationale will likely get your content and channel banned from YouTube.

Examples of Bannable Copyright Infringement

  • Reposting a video clip from a movie or TV show
  • Using an artist’s song without permission
  • Performing live cover songs on guitar, piano, etc. without rights
  • Reuploading a popular YouTube video
  • Using news clips or sports highlights without authorization
  • Posting a brand’s trademarks or logos without consent


YouTube bans channels that impersonate another creator or company. Parody and commentary may be acceptable if it’s clear you’re not the real entity.

Examples of Bannable Impersonation

  • Creating a channel pretending to be a celebrity
  • Copying a popular YouTube channel’s name, logo, style
  • Implying affiliation with a brand/company you don’t represent
  • Using another entity’s assets without permission
  • Misleading titles/descriptions implying imitation
  • Intentionally confusing users into thinking you’re associated with an entity


YouTube aims to provide a safe, engaging platform for its billions of users. Its policies prohibit any content that harms users, promotes hatred or violence, or infringes on copyright law. Repeatedly violating these policies through videos or comments will result in your account and channels being banned from the platform.

Avoiding bans comes down to uploading original content that brings value to viewers. Steer clear of harmful, dangerous, hateful, explicit or misleading material – and get express permission for copyrighted works. Responsible creators who respect YouTube’s policies and community guidelines can feel confident sharing their videos without risk of getting banned.