YouTube updates its strike system to make it 'clear and consistent'

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Following criticism of how its strike system was implemented, YouTube has announced an update to its Community Guidelines that helps to make things clearer.

In the past it was often the case that strikes were handed inconsistently, and it was not always clear what misdemeanour had occurred. The updated system comes into force in the next few days, and it is slightly more lenient on first-time offenders.


YouTube says that it has worked with creators to get an idea of which aspects of the system worked and which did not. As a result, it says it is "introducing more opportunities for everyone to understand our policies, a consistent penalty for each strike, and better notifications".

The three-strike system remains in place, but first-time violations are treated with a lighter touch:

We want to give you even more opportunities to learn about our policies, so starting February 25, all channels will receive a one-time warning the first time they post content that crosses the line, with no penalties to their channel except for the removal of that content. This is to make sure everyone takes the time to learn about our Community Guidelines, and then can quickly get back to creating great content and engaging with their audience in a way that complies with our rules.

YouTube is applying the system more consistently, as it explained in a blog post:

We're also making the penalty for violating our Community Guidelines the same wherever it happens. While most strikes result from videos, our Community Guidelines cover all content on YouTube, including stories, custom thumbnails, or links to other websites included in a video’s description or infocard.

The reasons for strikes will be properly revealed to offenders, and YouTube shares details of the implications of strikes:

  • The first strike will result in a one-week freeze on the ability to upload any new content to YouTube, including live streaming, and other channel activities. Strikes will expire after 90 days.
  • The second strike in any 90-day period will result in a two-week freeze on the ability to upload any new content to YouTube.
  • The third strike in any 90-day period will result in channel termination.

More details of the updates system are included in the following video:

The new strike system comes into force February 25.

Image credit: Riccosta / Shutterstock

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