YouTube announced it is strengthening enforcement of its community guidelines to protect users from people who abuse the platform.
Enforcement refers to actions such as removing a video or issuing a strike for a video that violates YouTube’s policies.
The company says it is ramping up its efforts in response to community feedback.
YouTube is specifically strengthening enforcement in these three areas.
Custom Thumbnails
YouTube will now issue a strike for custom thumbnails that egregiously violate policies, even if the video itself does not violate any policies.
An egregious violation refers to thumbnails containing adult material or graphic violence.
Channels that receive more than one strike will lose their ability to use custom thumbnails. Three strikes in 90 days will result in account termination.
External Links
YouTube will now issue strikes for adding external links to sites that egregiously violate policies.
An egregious violation refers to links to sites that contain adult content, malware, or spam.
Receiving three strikes in 90 days will result in account termination.
Dangerous Challenges and Pranks
YouTube reminds users that videos encouraging dangerous challenges and pranks are a violation of its community guidelines.

“We’ve updated our external guidelines to make it clear that we prohibit challenges presenting a risk of serious danger or death, and pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger, or cause children to experience severe emotional distress.”

The company is likely issuing this reminder in response to the recent “Bird Box” challenge videos, where people attempt to engage in daily activities while blindfolded.
Enforcement of These Policies
YouTube is giving users a “grace period” in order to allow time for making changes to content if needed.
For the next two months, content that violates YouTube’s community guidelines related to custom thumbnails, external links, challenges, and pranks will be removed but the channel will not receive a strike.

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