10 Indian YouTube channels banned: Why Google-owned platform bans content

In the last 12 months or so, the Indian government has cracked down on YouTube channels spreading fake news or malicious content. While in the past, the government was targeting Pakistan-based channels, it recently banned 10 Indian YouTube channels as well. YouTube, on its part, has pretty thorough guidelines in place and if someone violates them then chances are they could get banned. Here we explain what sort of content on YouTube can get you in trouble or lead to a ban:
YouTube divides its community guidelines into the following categories

Spam and deceptive practices

This is further sub-categorised into spam, deceptive and scam policies; impersonation; external links; fake engagement; and additional policies. YouTube doesn’t allow spam, scams, or other deceptive practices that take advantage of the YouTube community. It also doesn’t allow content where the main purpose is to trick others into leaving YouTube for another site.


Examples of spam videos:

Content that is excessively posted, repetitive, or untargeted could be a problem. Content offering cash gifts, “get rich quick” schemes, or pyramid schemes (sending money without a tangible product in a pyramid structure) is another no-go area. If any content promises viewers they’ll see something but instead directs them off site. Or gets clicks, views, or traffic off YouTube by promising viewers that they’ll make money fast. Further, if any content sends audiences to sites that spread harmful software, try to gather personal info, or other sites that have a negative impact will lead to trouble.


Sensitive content

Explicit content meant to be sexually gratifying is not allowed on YouTube. Posting pornography may result in content removal or channel termination. Videos containing fetish content will be removed or age-restricted. In most cases, violent, graphic, or humiliating fetishes are not allowed on YouTube.


Some examples:

  • Celebrity wardrobe accidents or nude photo leaks
  • Nudity or partial nudity for the purpose of sexual gratification
  • Using or displaying sex toys to provide viewers with sexual gratification Content promoting or glorifying suicide or self-harm
  • Instructions on how to die by suicide or engage in self-harm
  • Content related to suicide or self-harm that is targeted at minors

Violent or dangerous content

YouTube doesn’t allow content that encourages dangerous or illegal activities that risk serious physical harm or death.
Some examples of what’s not allowed

  • Extremely dangerous challenges: Challenges that pose an imminent risk of physical injury.
  • Dangerous or threatening pranks: Pranks that lead victims to fear imminent serious physical danger, or that create serious emotional distress in minors.
  • Instructions to kill or harm: Showing viewers how to perform activities meant to kill or maim others. For example, giving instructions to build a bomb meant to injure or kill others.
  • Hard drug use or creation: Content that depicts abuse of or giving instructions on how to create hard drugs such as cocaine or opioids. Hard drugs are defined as drugs that can (mostly) lead to physical addiction.
  • Eating Disorders: Content that praises, glorifies, or encourages viewers to imitate anorexia or other eating disorders. Eating disorders are characterised by abnormal or disturbed eating habits which negatively affect a person’s health (including eating non-food items).

Sale of illegal or regulated goods

Content intended to sell certain regulated goods and services is not allowed on YouTube. Don’t post content on YouTube if it aims to directly sell, links to, or facilitate access to any of the regulated goods and services. Making the sale of these items or facilitating the use of these services possible by posting links, email, phone number or other means to contact a seller directly is not allowed.
Some examples of illegal goods and services

  • Linking to an online gambling or sports betting site that is not approved.
  • Selling counterfeit passports or providing instructions on creating forged official documents.
  • Advertising escort, prostitution, or erotic massage services.
  • Content instructing how to purchase drugs on the dark web.
  • A video of a user making a purchase with software that generates fake credit card numbers.
  • Including a link to an online pharmacy that does not require prescriptions.

Misinformation or fake news

Certain types of misleading or deceptive content with serious risk of egregious harm are not allowed on YouTube. This includes certain types of misinformation that can cause real-world harm, like promoting harmful remedies or treatments, certain types of technically manipulated content, or content interfering with democratic processes. YouTube doesn’t allow content about COVID-19 that poses a serious risk of egregious harm. YouTube doesn’t allow content that spreads medical misinformation that contradicts local health authorities’ (LHA) or the World Health Organization’s (WHO) medical information about COVID-19.
Some examples of misinformation

  • Promoting dangerous remedies or cures: Content that claims that harmful substances or treatments can have health benefits.
  • Content that promotes prevention methods that contradict local health authorities or WHO.
  • Claims that there is a guaranteed prevention method for COVID-19
    • Claims that any medication or vaccination is a guaranteed prevention method for COVID-19
  • Claims that wearing a mask is dangerous or causes negative physical health effects
  • Claims that masks do not play a role in preventing the contraction or transmission of COVID-19
  • Claims about COVID-19 vaccinations that contradict expert consensus from local health authorities or WHO
    • Claims that an approved COVID-19 vaccine will cause death, infertility, miscarriage, autism, or contraction of other infectious disease

What happens if you post videos that have any of the above content

If your content violates this policy, YouTube will remove the content and send you an email to let you know. If this is your first time violating the Community Guidelines, you’ll likely get a warning with no penalty to your channel. If it’s not, we may issue a strike against your channel. If you get 3 strikes within 90 days, your channel will be terminated.

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