YouTube is known as the go-to platform for user-generated content. But did you know that a significant portion of the content on YouTube is created by regular people like you and me? While this gives us the freedom to share our thoughts with the world, it also comes with risks. Some channels may post inappropriate content that goes against YouTube’s community guidelines. So, it’s important to recognize these channels and report them to maintain a safe and positive environment for all viewers.
Understanding YouTube Community Guidelines
Before you start reporting channels, it’s essential to understand YouTube’s Community Guidelines. These guidelines determine what is allowed and what is not on the platform, ensuring the safety of its users.
Below are some key points from the guidelines:
Guidelines for Spam and Deceptive Practices
YouTube considers content that engages in fake engagement, impersonation, and promoting scams as spam and deceptive practices.
- Fake Engagement: This includes any content that artificially boosts views, likes, or subscribers, as well as channels that require mutual subscriptions.
- Impersonation: Channels that mimic other channels or post content that seems to be from someone else fall under impersonation.
- Links in Content: Posting external links to prohibited content like pornography, malware, or phishing sites is considered spam.
- Scam: Content that spreads fake redirections, false promises of money, misleading metadata, or engagement in scams is classified as spam.
Guidelines for Sensitive Content
Sensitive content, such as child endangerment, custom thumbnails, nudity, sexual content, self-injury, and suicide, is strictly prohibited on YouTube.
- Child Safety: Any content that harms minors, including sexualizing them or promoting abusive behavior towards minors, is taken seriously.
- Custom Thumbnails: Thumbnails that contain explicit or misleading content, violence, or gore are not allowed.
- Nudity and Sexual Content: Content that sexually exploits or objectifies individuals, including text, audio, images, or videos, is considered a violation.
- Suicide and Self-Injury: Any content that encourages self-harm or contains explicit information about suicide is strictly prohibited.
Guidelines for Violent Content
YouTube encourages users to flag content that involves harassment, dangerous activities, hate speech, violent criminal organizations, violent graphic content, or COVID-19 misinformation.
- Harassment and Cyberbullying: Channels that use insults, racial slurs, or intend to shame and insult minors are not acceptable.
- Harmful or Dangerous Content: Content that promotes dangerous challenges, pranks, self-harm, eating disorders, or violent acts is strictly prohibited.
- Hate Speech: Any content promoting hatred, violence, or discrimination based on age, gender, caste, class, ethnicity, disability, race, religion, or sexual orientation is not allowed.
- Violent Criminal Organizations: Content that supports criminal organizations, justifies their actions, or depicts terrorism is strictly prohibited.
- Violent or Graphic Content: Content that encourages or exhibits acts of violence, such as beatings or brawls, is considered a violation.
- COVID-19 Misinformation: Content that spreads false information about COVID-19, including treatments, prevention, diagnosis, or transmission, is not permitted.
Content related to firearms and other illegal goods is against YouTube’s guidelines.
- Content Featuring Firearms: Videos that sell firearms, provide instructions on firearm manufacturing, or promote firearms are not allowed.
- Sale of Illegal and Regulated Goods: Content created to sell illegal items like drugs, stolen credit cards, organs, or endangered species violates the guidelines.
YouTube has additional policies that focus on account activity rather than specific content.
These include channel removal for inactivity, reposting content that was previously removed, and encouraging violations of the terms of service.
How to Report a Channel Anonymously?
Reporting inappropriate content is crucial, and you need not worry about your identity being revealed during the reporting process. Reporting on YouTube is always anonymous.
Let’s now dive into the step-by-step process of reporting a channel.
Reporting a Channel on Mobile Phones
While reporting a channel directly on a mobile phone is not possible, you can report specific videos, playlists, thumbnails, comments, and live chat messages using your phone.
Simply locate the three dots on the content you want to report, tap on “Report,” and follow the instructions.
Reporting a Channel on PC
To report a channel on your PC, follow these simple steps:
- Search for YouTube in your web browser and go to the official website.
- Sign in to your YouTube account.
- Visit the page of the channel you want to report.
- Click on the “About” section of the channel.
- Look for the “Report” option, usually represented by a flag next to it.
- Choose the specific problem or violation category that applies to the channel.
- Submit your report.
Remember, it’s important to report inappropriate content but avoid reporting channels unnecessarily.
Other Reporting Options
In addition to reporting a channel, you can report individual elements, such as videos, playlists, thumbnails, comments, or live chat messages.
Here’s how you can report each element:
Reporting a Video
To report a video, click on the three dots below the video player, select “More,” then “Report.” Provide the reasons for reporting and submit your report. YouTube’s review team will handle the reported video.
Reporting a Playlist
If you believe a playlist violates the Community Guidelines, sign in to your YouTube account, go to the specific playlist page, click on the three dots next to the playlist’s title, select “Report,” and submit your report.
Reporting a Thumbnail
If you come across a thumbnail that needs reporting, click on the thumbnail, click “More,” then “Report.” State the reason for reporting and submit your report.
Reporting a Comment
To report a comment that you find offensive or inappropriate, click on “More” below the comment, select “Report spam or abuse,” and provide your reason for reporting.
Reporting a Live Chat Message
If you notice an inappropriate message in a live chat, click on the message, select “More,” explain your reason for reporting, and submit your report.
An Insight into YouTube Trusted Flagger Program
YouTube’s Trusted Flagger program empowers trusted individuals and organizations to identify violations of the community guidelines more easily. Participants gain access to valuable tools, such as the option to flag multiple videos at once.
Government agencies are an integral part of this program, and YouTube prioritizes their flags. Non-government organizations can also become trusted flaggers by undergoing occasional online training.
To become a trusted flagger, you must show a genuine passion for maintaining a safe YouTube community by consistently reporting content that violates the guidelines. You should have expertise in the categories covered in the YouTube Community Guidelines, and your flagging should be accurate. YouTube reserves the right to remove participants who do not actively engage in the program.
If you’re interested in becoming a trusted flagger, provide YouTube with your email or point of contact’s email. Once you join the program, all activities fall under a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).
Safeguarding YouTube Together
With over 1.9 billion users, YouTube is one of the largest social media platforms in the world. Ensuring a clean and safe environment on YouTube is a shared responsibility.
Remember, protecting children from harmful content should be our priority. If you see something that goes against the guidelines, report it. Together, we can create a positive online community.
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