YouTube Appeals Process for Violating Community Guidelines

by Jul 19, 2022Blog

Youtube is a fantastic resource for businesses to upload content for free on a platform that receives millions of visitors every year. Whether you use it to entertain or educate, you can use it to boost your credibility, improve brand recognition, or engage with a wider audience. But sometimes, even with the best content or intentions, the algorithm will flag you, or “trolls” may prey on your downfall. What happens when YouTube incorrectly strikes you for violating Community Guidelines? 

You might think that it will never happen to you, or when it does it actually isn’t that big of a deal. That is not true at all – YouTube has a pretty harsh “three strikes and you’re banned” policy, which means leaving strikes unresolved can quickly lead to termination. Just last week a very beloved channel had been running a music radio station on YouTube for 3 years straight called “lofi hip hop radio – beats to relax/study to.” Even this super popular study music radio got taken down just because some company in Malaysia issued a false copyright claim. There are always people who hate you out there who will want to take down your content for no reason. It’s important to arm yourself with the knowledge to fight against it. 

At marketANDgrow we are committed to bringing you the right information from the right source. We never want to give our readers information that we just made up, we strive for full accuracy. Below are some tips we found from a product manager from YouTube named Laurel. Managing appeals is a huge part of their job, so below, we summarized everything you need to know about navigating your Community Guidelines violation.

How do I appeal my channel?

Uh oh, you just logged into your account, and your video on how to use the cookware product you developed – a new hand mixer – has given your channel a strike! As a small business that takes advantage of YouTube’s free uploading system, you need your channel to be free of violations, and you need that video to not be flagged anymore since it’s one of the top videos linked to your website to educate people on the ins and outs of your product. What do you do? 

There is a difference between a strike on your channel and a strike on a specific video, but they are handled the same way.

YouTube will then email you and one of three things will happen. They will either approve your appeal and reinstate your channel or video, deny your appeal and the violation stands, or decide that your video is only appropriate for adult audiences. In this case, an 18+ age restriction will be set and people below this age or not signed into a channel will not be allowed to see your video. 

It’s important to note that three channel strikes will lead to a permanent ban on your channel. To keep that channel that is so important to your small business, make sure you always stay on top of those strikes and appeals and don’t put it off until it’s too late.

Who reviews my appeals – humans or robots?

The answer is, remarkably, humans. While strikes may be automated, appeals will always be looked at by a human. Google/YouTube has a team of experts worldwide who reviews every single appeal. 

This process usually includes looking at your title, description, and section of the video that was flagged, and making a decision on whether you actually violated Community Guidelines. They use that to decide whether or not the previous review was correct.

How quickly will I hear back from YouTube?

Very quickly. Most people who appeal to YouTube are actually surprised about the speed at which they are responded to. Some even wonder how it’s possible to hear back that quickly from a human. 

YouTube knows that you are busy, and doesn’t want to waste your time by making you wait around for them. They also know that issues and flags cost you money (if your YouTube channel is monetized), and they want you to feel like you’re being prioritized.

They have put in a lot of resources, including a staff that is worldwide and across many time zones to solve problems quickly.

Can I get rid of a strike on my channel by deleting the video or editing the content?

Deleting a video, unfortunately, won’t remove the strike from your channel. The only way to remove a strike is by going through the appeals process. As tedious as that sounds, if you think your content complies with the YouTube Community Guidelines, you should click the appeal button. 

Currently, YouTube doesn’t allow edits to removed content. In the creator studio, you can usually go in and edit out a piece of a video that you don’t want in there anymore. However, if the content is removed, you do not have this feature. YouTube says they are looking into ways to make the processes as easy as possible, but they don’t have any definitive answers yet.

Can I appeal the Community Guidelines lifetime warning?

While we hope as a business owner that your channel is never in this situation, it is always good to be prepared for the worst. The answer is yes, you can submit an appeal. If the appeal is granted because your content didn’t actually violate Community Guidelines, then the warning will be removed from your channel.

How many times can I appeal a particular restriction?

YouTube only allows one appeal per restriction. That means that if you appeal your content and YouTube decides to reject it, you can’t appeal your restriction again. Since you only get one appeal, it’s important to make the most out of the message you can include in your appeal. These messages can go a long way in rightfully getting your content back on your channel. 

What should I include in my appeal for the best chances of success?

The most successful appeals are the ones by people that take the time to read the policy that is cited in the violation and compare it against their content. That way you can really give a detailed explanation as to why you believe your video did not actually violate the Community Guidelines. You can look up the Community Guideline you violated here: YouTube Community Guidelines & Policies.

Another thing to note is that you can include feedback with your appeal if you have a complaint about how your violation was handled. YouTube finds this useful because their looking to make better policies, so your feedback will not go unheard.

So, what’s the deal with Community Guideline Violations?

Staying within the YouTube Community Guidelines can sometimes feel like trying to hit a target that’s always moving. You never know if a video from years ago is going to get stricken down because of some new change in the Guidelines. The best way to navigate this is by keeping a calm head when your video has a strike and appealing with a logical response to what they are accusing you of violating. 

Remember, YouTube is trying to make a safe environment for their entire community, so it’s safer to over-flag than to have some dangerous content slip through the cracks. 

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