YouTube Safety Guide

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  1. What is and isn’t allowed on YouTube?
  2. What is considered harassment on YouTube?
  3. What should I do if I am being harassed on YouTube?
  4. How do I report harassment on YouTube?
  5. Who can report harassment on YouTube?
  6. How can I control the comments on my videos and/or channel?
  7. What happens when I block someone on YouTube?
  8. How can I block someone on YouTube?
  9. Will a user know if I have blocked them?
  10. How can I flag content on YouTube?
  11. Someone has posted my personal information (or a video of me) without my consent. What should I do?
  12. How does YouTube determine if content should be removed for a privacy violation?
  13. What does “uniquely identifiable” mean?
  14. What happens after I file a privacy complaint?
  15. What is Restricted Mode?
  16. What is defamation, and how can I submit a defamation report?
  17. Can bystanders submit a defamation report on someone else’s behalf?
  18. What resources does YouTube offer to help combat online harassment?

 

  1. What is and isn’t allowed on YouTube?

    YouTube encourages the free and dynamic expression of ideas and engagement with other users, but it is also important to keep YouTube a safe platform. To protect users’ safety, here is a list of content that is banned on YouTube:

    To learn more about what each item entails, click on the corresponding links.

     

  2. What is considered harassment on YouTube?

    YouTube seeks to be a dynamic and expressive platform, but users should not feel intimidated or threatened. Harassment is behavior or speech that crosses the line into malicious attack. Such content can be reported and will be removed. Harassment may include:

    • Abusive videos, comments, messages
    • Revealing someone’s personal information (i.e., doxxing)
    • Maliciously recording someone without their consent
    • Deliberately posting content in order to humiliate someone
    • Making hurtful and negative comments/videos about another person
    • Unwanted sexualization, which encompasses sexual harassment or sexual bullying in any form

     

  3. What should I do if I am being harassed on YouTube?

    Being targeted for harassment can be difficult and, often, traumatizing. There are several things you can do to protect yourself from harassment:

    1. Delete the offensive comments.
    2. Block the harasser.
    3. Report harassing users and content using YouTube’s reporting tool.

    Sometimes petty criticism and insults can escalate into more serious forms of harassment and cyberbullying. If specific threats are made against you and you feel unsafe, tell a trusted adult and report it to your local law enforcement agency.

     

  4. How do I report harassment on YouTube?

    You can file an abuse report using YouTube’s reporting tool. Using this tool, you will be asked for more detailed information than if you flag content or block a user. You can also report multiple videos, comments or an entire user’s account if needed.

     

  5. Who can report harassment on YouTube?

    Any YouTube community member can report harassment on YouTube via the reporting tool. Those who report harassment can include:

    • a victim of harassment
    • a legal representative of the victim (e.g., family member or attorney)
    • a bystander

    Good bystanders will report harassment and help make YouTube a safer platform. Bystander involvement helps to curb the abusive content on YouTube and shows victims that they are supported by the community.

     

  6. How can I control the comments on my videos and/or channel?

    When someone comments on your video, you’ll get a notification. Click the arrow in the upper right of the comment to manage comments:

    Remove: Take down the comment and replies from YouTube. If the comment was also shared on Google+, it will still be visible there.

    Report spam or abuse: Report comments that you believe are spam or abuse to the YouTube team.

    Hide from channel: Block the user from posting comments on videos on your channel. If you change your mind, you can remove the user from the hidden users list in your community settings.

    You can also require that all new comments get approved before they are posted to your video or channel. To activate this feature for video comments:

    1. Find the video in the Video Manager.
    2. Under the video, click Edit.
    3. Click Advanced Settings.
    4. Under “Allow comments,” select Approved.

    To activate this feature for channel comments, go to your Channel Navigation settings and follow these instructions.

     

  7. What happens when I block someone on YouTube?

    When you block someone, they will no longer be able to make comments on your videos or channel, or send you private messages.

     

  8. How can I block someone on YouTube?

    You can block someone by following these instructions:

    1. Visit their channel page, which should have a URL similar to www.YouTube.com/user/NAME.
    2. On their “About” tab, click the flag icon .
    3. Click Block User.

     

  9. Will a user know if I have blocked him/her?

    Users are not notified when you block them, but they may realize it on their own when they are prevented from making comments on your videos or channel, or from sending you a private message.

     

  10. How can I flag content on YouTube?

    YouTube community members can flag content they find inappropriate.

    To flag a video:

    1. Below the video player, click on the More button.
    2. Highlight and click the Report button in the drop-down menu.
    3. Click on the reason for flagging that best fits the violation within the video.
    4. 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, YouTube does require that you be logged in to use the flagging tool. YouTube staff review flagged videos 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and videos that violate the Community Guidelines are removed from YouTube.

    To flag a comment:

    The “Report spam or abuse” link allowed the YouTube 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 “Show link,” you can see the comment again.

    Please use the “Report spam or abuse” feature with caution, as those who misuse it maybe be prohibited from using the site. The video’s uploader has the ability to “unmark” a comment as spam.

    To flag a channel:

    You may report users, inappropriate channel art or profile avatars through the reporting flow located on the bottom of every channel.

    1. Visit the channel page you wish to report.
    2. Click About.
    3. Click the Flag drop down button.
    4. Select the option that best suits your issue.

     

  11. Someone has posted my personal information (or a video of me) without my consent. What should I do?

    Start by contacting the uploader and asking them to remove the content. If you can’t reach an agreement with the uploader, or if you uncomfortable contacting them, you can request removal of content based on YouTube’s Privacy Guidelines.

     

  12. How does YouTube determine if content should be removed for a privacy violation?

    For content to be considered for removal, an individual must be uniquely identifiable by image, voice, full name, Social Security number, bank account number or contact information (e.g., home address, email address). Examples that would not violate YouTube’s Privacy Guidelines include gamer tags, avatar names, and address information in which the individual is not named. YouTube also takes public interest, newsworthiness, and consent into account when determining if content should be removed for a privacy violation.

     

  13. What does “uniquely identifiable” mean?

    To be considered uniquely identifiable, there must be enough information in the video that allows others to recognize you.

    Note: Just because you can identify yourself within the video does not mean you are uniquely identifiable to others. A first name without additional context or a fleeting image, for example, would likely not qualify as uniquely identifiable.

     

  14. What happens after I file a privacy complaint?

    After a complaint is filed, YouTube will give the uploader the opportunity to remove or edit the private information within their video. They will be given 48 hours to take action on the complaint. If the video is removed within 48 hours, the complaint filed will be closed. If the potential privacy violation remains after 48 hours, then the YouTube Team will review the complaint. Communications about the process will be sent to your registered email address.

    YouTube’s Privacy Complaint Process also accounts for cases that warrant the urgent removal or contact or financial data.

     

  15. What is Restricted Mode?

    Restricted Mode is a setting available on the computer and mobile site that helps screen out potentially objectionable content that you may prefer not to see or don’t want others to stumble across while enjoying YouTube. While it’s not 100 percent accurate, YouTube uses community flagging, age-restrictions, and other signals to identify and filter out inappropriate content. You can enable or disable Restricted Mode on a/an:

    • Computer
    • Mobile site
    • Android
    • iOS
    • Android TV

    Restricted Mode is enable on a browser or device level, so you must enable it for each browser you use on your computer. Once enabled, Restricted Mode will remain on regardless of whether you are logged in or not, or if another person is logged into a different YouTube account. If you remain logged in to the YouTube account which locked Restricted Mode, other user will be able to adjust this setting. The ensure that this lock is not tampered with, you will have to logout of the account that enabled Restricted Mode.

    Learn more about how to enable or disable Restricted Mode on the different devices.

     

  16. What is defamation, and how can I submit a defamation report?

    Although the definition of defamation varies around the world, in general, defamation is any untrue statement that is harmful to someone’s reputation or causes someone to be shunned or avoided.

    For YouTube to be able to process a defamation blocking request, the claim needs to be specific and strongly supported. For example, it needs to explain why you believe the statements are untrue and how it damages your reputation.

    If you’ve attempted to contact the uploader, and you believe a defamation claim is more appropriate than a privacy or harassment complaint, please fill out the webform. YouTube also accepts free-form defamation complaints, submitted by email, fax and mail.

     

  17. Can bystanders submit a defamation report on someone else’s behalf?

    No, YouTube only considers defamation reports that have been submitted by the party in question, or their authorized legal representative. However, bystanders can report violations of YouTube’s Community and Privacy Guidelines via the reporting tool or by flagging inappropriate content.

     

  18. What resources does YouTube offer to help combat online harassment?

    YouTube offers several resources to help with this issue. The Safety Center is an excellent resource that provides tools, tips and instructions for a variety of safety issues. It provides assistance for:

    Some of the additional resources include:

    YouTube Digital Citizenship Curriculum: This interactive and user-friendly curriculum is aimed and teachers and secondary school students. Participants can learn about privacy on YouTube, policy and how to be a responsible cybercitizen in a few short lessons.

    Google Family Safety Center: This safety center provides tips and advice for keeping your family safe online.