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How Flagging Works

By Maryrose

The YouTube Team

A few days ago I posted that we've been feverishly working on ways to combat both abusive flagging and spamming on the site. We've gotten tons of emails with some really great ideas of things we could implement to help in these areas, so thank you for both your patience and your suggestions.

There does, however, seem to be a fair amount of confusion about the way flagging currently works so I think some clarification is probably needed. A video gets 'flagged' by a user clicking on the 'flag as inappropriate' link located below each video. Once a video is flagged, it is sent into a queue for our customer support team to review. Videos are NEVER automatically removed simply because they've been flagged. Every single flagged video is reviewed by someone at YouTube who then determines if the video contains material that is against our terms of use. You may have noticed that sometimes you're asked to login or register to verify your age because the video you're attempting to view may contain content that is inappropriate for some users. Sometimes flagged videos that we review do abide by our terms of use, but are not quite appropriate for all YouTube users. This could be due to a number of things - profanity, violence, adult content etc. Although they still abide by our terms of use, you can think of these videos as 'R' rated.

There are thousands of videos that are flagged for review every single day, and since we're still a small company with an even smaller team of people reviewing videos we do admittedly make mistakes at times. Occasionally a video gets flagged and we accidently take it down, or mark it as inappropriate. We're doing everything we can to diminish that margin of error but we would be lying if we said it's a 100% fail proof system.

We'll be continuing to roll out improvements to our flagging and spam filtering controls over the coming weeks so please check back here for continual updates. As always, thank you for patience and your feedback.

The YouTube Team