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Video Streaming, Music and Podcasts

Fake Engagement

Policy Date:

Apr 14, 2022

YouTube doesn’t allow anything that artificially increases the number of views, likes, comments, or other metrics either by using automatic systems or serving up videos to unsuspecting viewers. Also, content that solely exists to incentivize viewers for engagement (views, likes, comments, etc) is prohibited.

Content and channels that don't follow this policy may be terminated and removed from YouTube.

Important: If you hire someone to promote your channel, their decisions may impact your channel. Any method that violates our policies may result in content removal or a channel takedown, whether it's an action taken by you or someone you've hired.

We consider engagement to be legitimate when a human user’s primary intent is to authentically interact with the content. We consider engagement illegitimate, for example, when it results from coercion or deception, or when the sole purpose of the engagement is financial gain.

If you find content that violates this policy, report it. Instructions for reporting violations of our Community Guidelines are available here. If you've found a few videos or comments that you would like to report, you can report the channel.

What this policy means for you
If you're posting content
Don’t post content on YouTube if it fits any of the descriptions noted below.

Links to or promotes third-party services that artificially inflate metrics like views, likes, and subscribers
Content linking to or promoting third-party view count or subscriber gaming websites or services
Offering to subscribe to another creator’s channel only if they subscribe to your channel (“sub4sub”)
Note: You're allowed to encourage viewers to subscribe, hit the like button, share, or leave a comment
Content featuring a creator purchasing their views from a third party with the intent of promoting the service
This policy applies to videos, video descriptions, comments, live streams, and any other YouTube product or feature. Keep in mind that this isn't a complete list.

How engagement is measured
Here are some examples of content that’s not allowed on YouTube.

A video testimonial in which a creator shows themselves successfully purchasing artificial page traffic from a third party
A video in which a creator links to a third party artificial page traffic provider in a promotional or supportive context. For example: “I got 1 million subscribers on this video in a day and you can too!”
A video that tries to force or trick viewers into watching another video through deceptive means (for example: a misleadingly labeled info card)
Channels dedicated to artificial channel engagement traffic or promoting businesses that exist for this sole purpose
Remember these are just some examples, and don't post content if you think it might violate this policy.

What happens if content violates this policy
If your content violates this policy, we’ll remove the content and send you an email to let you know. If this is your first time violating our Community Guidelines, you’ll likely get a warning with no penalty to your channel. If it’s not, we may issue a strike against your channel. If you get 3 strikes within 90 days, your channel will be terminated. You can learn more about our strikes system here.

We may terminate your channel or account for repeated violations of the Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. We may also terminate your channel or account after a single case of severe abuse, or when the channel is dedicated to a policy violation. You can learn more about channel or account terminations here.

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