YouTube is a wild west of content. There are some great videos there, but also some truly awful ones. You can help out by reporting questionable content.

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With 300 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute, there’s just no way for Google to effectively police it all. That’s where you, the viewer, come in. If you think a video is against YouTube’s Community Guidelines, you can report it. YouTube’s human moderators (who are on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year) will then review it. If it is against the Guidelines, it will get removed and the YouTube Channel will face sanctions. Too many violations (or ones that are too objectionable) and the whole Channel can be removed. Let’s look at how to do it.

What Is Against YouTube’s Community Guidelines

YouTube’s Community Guidelines are pretty vague—and for good reason. The vagueness allows Google some leeway in determining what content they allow on the platform. The things they explicitly cover under the guidelines include:

  • Nudity or sexual content
  • Harmful or dangerous content
  • Hateful content
  • Violent or graphic content
  • Harassment and cyberbullying
  • Spam and scams
  • Threats
  • Copyright infringement
  • Privacy violations
  • Impersonation
  • Child endangerment

If you see videos that go against these guidelines (or other stuff you think is questionable), you can report it.

How to Report a YouTube Video

For a feature that’s so important, the option to report a video on YouTube is actually slightly hidden, so it’s easy to overlook if you don’t know it’s there.

First off, you do need to be logged in to your Google account to report a video. After you log in, click the three little dots beneath the video.

In the popup menu, click the “Report” option.

To report a video using the YouTube mobile app, you need to first tap the video to bring up all the options and controls. Next, tap the three little dots in the top right corner, and then click the “Report” option.

Whichever platform you report the video on, you need to provide YouTube with a little more information. Select the reason you think it violates the Community Guidelines, and then click the “Next” button.

Add in any additional information that explains the issues with the video, and then click “Report.”

YouTube’s moderators will review your report as soon as possible.

How To Report a YouTube Comment

Videos aren’t the only place you find questionable content on YouTube; the comment section is famously awful. If you see a comment that goes against the Community Guidelines—or looks like it’s spam—here’s how to report it.

Once again, on the website, the option is a little hidden. If you just look at a comment, there’s no obvious way to report it.

Once you hover your mouse over it, however, three little dots appear on the right hand side.

Click those dots, and then select the “Report Spam or Abuse” option.

Select the reason you’re reporting the comment, and then click “Report.”

In the mobile app, things are a little more obvious. The three little dots aren’t hidden, so just tap them, and then tap “Report.”

YouTube has serious content issues. With so many thousands of hours of videos uploaded everyday, it’s no wonder that some portion of them is pretty awful. There’s also the ongoing abuse that happens in the comments. Now at least, you know how to do something about it.

Profile Photo for Harry Guinness Harry Guinness
Harry Guinness is a photography expert and writer with nearly a decade of experience. His work has been published in newspapers like The New York Times and on a variety of other websites, from Lifehacker to Popular Science and Medium's OneZero.
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