Jul 31, 2023

An update to Community Guidelines warnings

Inside YouTube

Aug 29, 2023 – minute read

Since the earliest days as a company, our Community Guidelines have protected the YouTube community from harmful content. Today, the vast majority of creators upload content in good faith and don’t violate our policies. But to better help those who unintentionally cross the line, we’ve steadily worked to introduce new tools to help creators avoid Community Guidelines strikes. And now, we’re taking another step that we think will benefit the millions of creators who call YouTube home, while preserving the policies and systems that protect the YouTube community.

More than 80% of creators who receive a warning now never violate our policies again.

We believe educational efforts are successful at reducing the number of creators who unintentionally violate our policies. We started giving a one-time warning for a first policy violation in 2019, which gave creators the chance to review what went wrong before facing more penalties. Now more than 80% of creators who receive a warning now never violate our policies again.

Still, as we continuously update our Community Guidelines to respond to changes both on and off our platform, creators have told us they want more resources to better understand how we draw our policy lines. We also know receiving a strike can be disruptive to a creator’s posting schedule, and for the creators building businesses through our YouTube Partner Program, receiving an unintentional strike is not only frustrating, but can financially impact their bottom line.

Starting today, creators will have the option of taking an educational training course when they receive a Community Guidelines warning. These resources will provide new ways for creators to understand how they can avoid uploading content that violates our policies in the future. Completion of the course will lift the warning from a creator’s channel — so long as they don’t violate the same policy for 90 days.

We believe this update will help the vast majority of creators who strive to produce content that complies with our Community Guidelines, and will help keep YouTube a safe and responsible platform for everyone.

YouTube’s Creator Liaison, Rene Ritchie discusses with Jennifer Flannery O’Connor, YouTube’s VP of Product Management.

We’ve designed each training course to provide creators with more clarity about the type of content that violates our policies. For example, take a creator who posts a video meant to educate about sexual health, but we determine it violates our Community Guidelines because it lacks sufficient context under our nudity and sexual content policy.

Previously, we’d remove the video and apply a lifetime warning to the channel. Going forward, while we’ll still remove the violative content from YouTube, creators who choose to take our course will review a series of questions about our sexual content policies and learn how to better stay within our policy lines.

Here’s what happens after completing the course:

Finally, while creators previously received one warning throughout the lifetime of their channel, now they’ll get individual warnings depending on the specific policy they violate. This means more opportunities to learn why their content may have crossed the line, and they’ll also have the ability to take multiple learning courses at the same time.

While we’re introducing ways to help good-faith creators better understand our policies, we’re not changing our Community Guideline standards or relaxing our three-strikes approach. We’ll continue to remove any content that violates our policies, and creators who receive three strikes within a period of 90 days will still be subject to termination from YouTube.

Additionally, our policies around issuing strikes or terminating channels altogether when uploaders repeatedly violate our policies or post a single case of severe content still stand (this remains true in cases where creators have previously taken training courses). We may also prevent repeat offenders from taking training courses in the future.

Looking ahead, we’ll keep working to make our policies easier for creators to understand. We ultimately want creators to have the clarity they need to stay strike free on our platform — while maintaining a healthy experience for YouTube’s entire community.