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Not a part of the #BBTVfam and don’t have access to VISO? We’ll be offering articles like the one below from time to time for non-BBTV partners to ensure you’re getting access to important information as the YouTube platform continues to evolve.
UNSAFE CONTENT: DANGEROUS STUNTS & HARMFUL ACTS
So, what does YouTube really mean by “dangerous stunts and harmful or dangerous acts”? Why might it not be safe for advertising? One way we like think about it is by putting ourselves in the shoes of an advertiser:
“We sell street helmets and we’re looking for skateboarding videos to place our ads on. Can we target how-to videos, without encouraging unsafe or illegal stunts?”
Not only does YouTube want to support this kind of targeting to help the advertiser in the short term for their campaign, but also supporting the health of the platform like this overall draws in more advertisers and more monetization potential for years to come. It’s a tough balance, but doing it right is beneficial for creators, advertisers, and audiences alike.
TLDR – What’s Considered Dangerous?
In short, “harmful and dangerous acts” include content that promotes, portrays, or showcases activities where an individual could be hurt physically, emotionally, or psychologically. Here are some examples that have historically been unsuitable for YouTube. All of these content types may be ineligible for advertising:
- Videos depicting painful or invasive surgical or cosmetic procedures
- Motor vehicle related stunts
- Car crash compilations
- Excessive speeding
- Reckless driving
- Driving without precautions (e.g., unfastened seat belts)
- Fights and combat-related violence
- Dangerous challenges (e.g., cinnamon challenge, blue whale, Tide Pod challenge, etc.)
- Illegal acts
- Trespassing (e.g., exploring an abandoned building)
- Public mischief (e.g., terrorizing normal citizens)
- Pranks involving sexual harassment or humiliation
Did you know that pranks depicting unsuspecting people in a compromising position are called “bait pranks,” and are also being flagged by YouTube?
If you’re creating content that sounds similar to anything above, you may be treading on territory that goes against YouTube’s advertiser-friendly guidelines, or even its policies.
We’ve all seen these on YouTube before, and they’re really a step-up to what’s considered a “dangerous act”. Stunts pretty much encompass any deliberate activity that could result in bodily harm, and it’s not just that you or the people in the video could get hurt, but also also the audience members who might be encouraged to do the same.
More importantly, stunt videos don’t often make notice of safety precautions that viewers might overlook. This is where a lot of the issues come from…
Parkour’s a common example that we’ve seen many creators struggle to monetize, as it can also be seen in some cases to encourage trespassing or vandalism in addition to danger.
Firearms or Weapons
While YouTube seems ok with some content featuring firearms or weapons, it doesn’t allow for content or links that promotes the private sale of weapons or firearms and their accessories. How-to videos on manufacturing or modifying firearms, ammunition, and/or related accessories face similar issues. YouTube even has dedicated guidelines to firearms content.
As you might have guessed, sharing content with any of the issues above may result in community guidelines strikes, the removal of your videos from the platform, a YPP suspension, or even channel termination. As a result, it may affect your ability to monetize this content as well as future videos.
Not sure if your content falls into these categories? Here are some easy questions to ask yourself:
- Could I or someone else get hurt in the making of my content? (think: physically, emotionally, or psychologically)
- Am I giving the audience an impression that my activity is less dangerous than it looks?
- Have I taken the necessary precautions to make my activity as safe as possible? (think: helmets, seatbelts, mats, spotters, etc.)
- Am I age restricting everything that might not be suitable for all ages, with special attention to unsuitable content for minors?
Remember, at the end of the day, this isn’t just about monetization, this is about supporting a healthy environment for all parties long-term.
None of the above are surefire ways to avoid issues if you create content that treads on being dangerous, but they’re geared to help you align your authentic content with the goals of platforms and advertisers in an evolving space.
The above article reflects BBTV’s understanding of YouTube’s various content policies as of the date of this article’s publication. Due to the fact that YouTube may, and does, update its policies from time to time, the above article is provided for information only, and does not constitute, nor should be taken as, any form of legal or business advice. All recommendations should be considered at your discretion, and BBTV disclaims any and all responsibility with respect to any acts or omissions you take based on the above article.