Three Strikes Is Still an Out, But YouTube Is Clarifying Its Strike Zone

The Google-owned video site is seeking consistency in enforcement

The third strike in any 90-day period will result in channel termination RBFried/iStock
Headshot of David Cohen

Three strikes still mean that you’re out, but YouTube is trying to simplify its policies for each strike that creators receive and ensure that its enforcement is consistent.

The Google-owned video site said in a blog post that it wanted to eliminate inconsistencies in its enforcement policies, such as first strikes against videos resulting in a 90-day freeze on livestreaming, while second strikes brought on a two-week freeze on uploading new videos.

All community guidelines strikes will now carry the same penalties, and creators who upload content that violates those guidelines will receive one warning before strikes are issued, with no resetting of that warning.

Starting Feb. 25:

  • The first strike will result in a one-week freeze on the ability to upload any new content to YouTube, including livestreaming 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.


YouTube also said it will make its email and desktop notifications clearer and provide more details on why creators received strikes and which policies they were in violation of, as well as how to appeal decisions that they feel are erroneous.

Information about strikes will also be shared in mobile and in-product notifications.

YouTube wrote, “Although 98 percent of you never break our community guidelines, they are vital to making YouTube a strong community and balancing freedom of expression with the freedom to belong. That’s why—from our earliest days—we’ve relied on a three-strikes system and email notices to give everyone a chance to review and understand what went wrong before they face more severe consequences. And it works: 94 percent of those who do receive a first strike never get a second one.”

The company concluded, “Our strikes system is an important way for us to help creators and artists understand when they’ve crossed the line by uploading content that undermines that goal, and your feedback has helped to make this system work better for the entire community. We’ll build on this and all the progress we’ve made over the last year by continuing to consult with you as we strengthen enforcement and update our policies. We want to make sure they’re easy to understand and address the needs of the global YouTube community.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
Publish date: February 19, 2019 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT