YouTube have just made some sweeping changes to their Community Guidelines which affect every creator. Find out how you can stay on the right side of the new rules.
YouTube have updated their Community Guidelines which cover a multitude of sins video creators might break be it nudity, harmful, hateful, violent content, harassment and bullying, or spam. Creators can quickly find themselves in trouble if they cross the line on any of these topics.
There are many different Community Guidelines and also a number of places where creators can break them such as:
In the past, the punishment from YouTube differed depending on where the crime was committed. It might be that you lose livestream privileges or that you couldn't post videos for a certain length of time. The rules were somewhat chaotic, so YouTube have cleared up the confusion for creators and made it crystal clear what violates a Community Guideline (NOTE: we’re covering Community Guidelines in the post and not copyright strikes which is a whole different topic and one we’ll be covering soon).
YouTube Community Guidelines February 2019
As of February 19th 2019, the new Community Guidelines are in place for all creators on the platform. YouTube are keen not to punish first time offenders who may not be up to speed with the rules, and as a result, all channels will receive a one-time warning the first time they post content that crosses the line with no penalties to their channel except for the removal of that content. The good news is that this one time warning applies to all channels so even if you do have an existing strike you still get this warning before further penalties. It doesn't matter where you break the Community Guideline whether it be on a thumbnail, video content, playlists, or via the comments - the penalty is always going to be the same.
Strike #1: The second time you break Community Guidelines will be considered your first official strike. That will result in your content being removed as before. On top of this all your YouTube content posting privileges will be frozen for one week. This includes videos, live-streams, YouTube stories, and community posts. However, you’ll still be able to post comments. After a week you will get all of the posting features back but the strike remains on your account for 90 days in total.
Strike #2: If you commit another Community Guideline violation within a 90 day period this is your second strike with the same penalties applied except that instead of a one week ban you get a two week ban on publishing content.
Strike #3: If you fall foul of the Community Guidelines for a third time, YouTube isn’t here to play. Your channel will be terminated!
Obviously the termination of your channel is pretty drastic so YouTube have now promised to be more transparent about the guideline you violated so it doesn’t get to that stage. They will be more specific with information about that violation, communicate it to you through notifications and emails and via the Creative Studio. There will also be an appeals process in place as before.
We applaud all of the changes that YouTube are making here. I think that the first time warning is a fantastic idea because many video creators get terrified over making any strike at any point in their YouTube journey. I think a consistent penalty system makes it very clear to the user. It also eliminates the extremely harsh 90 day livestream penalty there used to be.
In effect, creators are getting an extra strike out of the new rules but you shouldn’t take advantage of that. After your first warning you shouldn't be making any further strikes on your YouTube channel.
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Carla Marshall is the Head of Content Marketing at vidIQ. She has 10+ years of experience in video marketing, social media management, content marketing, DRM, and SEO. She was previously Editor in Chief at ReelSEO.com, and as a journalist and video marketer, she's covered news stories, creator journeys, and digital-first publishing initiatives across all the major online video platforms. She is YouTube Certified and a judge for the Shorty Awards, as well as the UK, US, Canadian, Global, and EU Search Awards.