How to Manage Uploads for Your YouTube Channel

By Rob Ciampa, Theresa Moore, John Carucci, Stan Muller, Adam Wescott

Arguably, the most important part of building your YouTube channel is adding video content. That is, after all, why YouTube was created. Before you upload anything to YouTube, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the kinds of things that you can’t upload to the site.

There are several types of content that YouTube doesn’t allow, and uploading content that violates these guidelines can get you in trouble. You can even lose your account. YouTube reserves the right to remove any video at any time, but these types of videos are explicitly banned and will get you in trouble with the YouTube authorities:

  • Pornography: YouTube doesn’t tolerate pornography or any sort of sexually explicit content. YouTube also points out that the company will report any videos of child exploitation to law enforcement if they are uploaded to the site.

  • Illegal behavior: YouTube removes videos that show drug abuse, underage drinking or smoking, animal abuse, bomb making, and a host of other illegal behaviors that people might want to document and share.

  • Gratuitous violence: Videos that show people being attacked, hurt, or humiliated are also banned from the site.

  • Hate speech: Videos that demean a group based on race, ethnic origin, disability, gender, age, or sexual orientation will be removed if flagged by the community.

  • Threats or harassment: YouTube is also not a place for stalking, harassing, or predatory behavior. Content of this type will be removed.

  • Spam: Videos with misleading titles, descriptions, thumbnails, or other metadata will be removed. Misleading means that the title does not match the content of the video. A good example for a misleading title might be “Katy Perry at my house,” when the video is actually about a cat riding a skateboard.

    It is also unacceptable to post spam comments on videos — for example asking people to subscribe to your channel or to visit your website if it has nothing to do with the video you’re commenting on. This will typically lead to the comment being flagged as spam, and this will make it invisible to other users.

  • Copyrighted material: You should only upload content that you own or have the appropriate licensing rights to use. Though the other community guidelines are important to the smooth functioning of the YouTube community, the copyright restriction is hugely important to YouTube as a business.