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YouTube policy enforcement in the time of COVID-19: more removals, more successful appeals

Back in March, YouTube announced they were temporarily increasing automated content review due to COVID-19-related reduction to in-office staff. Today YouTube released a transparency report that shows this doubled the number of videos removed for Community Guidelines violations. But more videos were also restored on appeal.

Usually videos flagged by YouTube's automated systems go through a human review to confirm that the flagged content violates YouTube policies. With coronavirus-caused limitations to their workforce, YouTube's reviewing team was limited.

That meant they had to choose: either limit enforcement to what the reduced review capacity could handle, or rely more on automated systems, which were more likely to incorrectly remove content.  YouTube explained their choice

Because responsibility is our top priority, we chose the latter—using technology to help with some of the work normally done by reviewers. 
In most cases, those automated video removals did not result in a strike. 

The second quarter of 2020 (April-June) was the first quarter this change was fully in effect. Today's Q2 Community Guidelines Enforcement Report looks at how this worked. 

As expected, the number of removed videos increased. But more creators also successfully appealed and had their videos reinstated. 

Here's how Community Guidelines enforcement changed from Q1 to Q2: 

  • More than double the number of videos were removed.
  • There was a more than 3-fold increase in video removals in the most sensitive categories, including child safety and violent extremism
  • Just under 3% of the video removals were appealed.
  • 50% of appeals were successful, double the 25% success rate in Q1.

The numbers for April - June 2020:

  • 11.4 million videos were removed, and almost 2 million channels were removed.
  • 42% of removed videos had zero views. More than 75% of removed videos had less than 10 views.
  • 33% of videos were removed for "Child Safety", 28% for spam, 14% for nudity or sexual content, 10% for violent or graphic content, and 8% for promotion of violence.  
  • 92% of channels removed were removed for spam.
  • About 320,000 videos were appealed (about 3%), and about 160,000 of those appealed videos were reinstated.

How to appeal a video removal for Community Guidelines violations

If you have a video removed for Community Guidelines violations, and you believe that removal was incorrect, you can submit an appeal.

1. Sign in to YouTube Studio ( on the web
2. Click Videos on the left menu
3. Find the video you want to appeal
4. Under the Restrictions column, hover your cursor over the restriction type and click Appeal
5. Enter your reason for the appeal and click Submit

You can appeal a Community Guidelines Strike from the Channel Violations card on your YouTube Studio Dashboard.

Learn more:


  1. What is unbelievable are the number of channels and videos removed. I think people are just trying to see what they can get away with.

    1. I think that spammers are the source of the vast bulk of removed content. They don't care if they burn accounts. It's all about high volume.

  2. That all, thank you to share the information


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