What are YouTube Content Ratings?

What are YouTube Content Ratings?

When a partner uploads a show or movie that does not have an official content rating (i.e. MPAA or TV rating), we ask that the content owner rate any mature content in these five categories:Language, Nudity, Sexual Situations, Violence and Drug Use.

Each of these categories has three levels that the uploader can select when uploading. To make it easier to understand these ratings we note the different levels with distinct colors.

  • GREEN represents no mature content
  • YELLOW represents mild mature content
  • RED represents mature content and will be restricted to viewers 18 and older

The rating descriptions are as follows:

Language :

  • No strong language : GREEN
    Content rated No strong language should be free of any strong, coarse, or other potentially offensive language. Even mild cursing such as “hell” and “damn” or words that are bleeped should be rated as L or L+.
  • : Strong language : YELLOW | L
    Content rated L may contain some expletives and profanity; however such words should be infrequent and not used in a sexual context. Content with expletives and profanity that have been bleeped should be rated L as well. An L may also indicate suggestive dialog, sexual innuendo, or other discussion of adult themes. Other L-rated speech may include the expression of strong views and opinions that viewers are likely to find offensive, disrespectful, or otherwise controversial.
  • L+ : Explicit language : RED | L+
    Content rated L+ may contain persistent use of expletives and profanity. It may also include coarse and vulgar dialogue that is sexually explicit.

Nudity : 

  • No nudity : GREEN
    Content rated No nudity should be free of nudity or partial nudity of any kind.
  • : Minimal covering : YELLOW | N
    Content rated N may contain individuals who are minimally clothed (e.g., low cut tops, underwear or revealing bathing suits). Content rated N should not contain any fleeting or prolonged nudity, including exposed buttocks, genitalia, or areola.
  • N+ : Some nudity : RED | N+
    Content rated N+ may include content featuring exposed buttocks or partially nude breasts. Content rated N+ may also contain full nudity where the context is appropriately educational, documentary or artistic.

Sexual Situations :

  • No sexual situations GREEN
    Content rated No sexual situations should be free of any sexual conduct or themes. Brief displays of affection, such as a kiss or hug are excepted.
  • : Mild sexual situations  :YELLOW | S
    Content rated S may contain mild sexual activity or themes. This includes implied sex acts, light or comedic fetish references or behavior, or the presence of mild sexual situations or discussion.
  • S+ : Explicit sexual situations RED | S+
    Content rated S+ may contain explicit sexual content. This may include dramatized sex acts, explicit sexual situations or discussion.

Violence :

    • No violence or disturbing content GREEN
Content rated No violence or disturbing content should be free of violence, injury, or other imagery that may be considered gory, disturbing, or repulsive to sensitive viewers.
  • : Mildly violent or disturbing YELLOW | V
    Content rated V may contain mild, comedic violence, fantasy violence, or isolated incidents of realistic violence. However, any violence depicted should not be gory, pervasive, or sexual in nature. Similarly, V-rated content may contain a small amount of other imagery or situations that are disturbing or repulsive to sensitive viewers (such as real or dramatized medical footage, or depictions of disgusting or scary content in a horror or fantasy context).
  • V+ : Strongly violent or disturbing RED | V+
    Content rated V+ may contain violence that is persistent, intense, and graphic. It may also include pervasive imagery or situations that are disturbing or repulsive to the average viewer. This may include animated content, if it features realistic depictions of extreme violence or other extremely disturbing or repulsive imagery.

Drug Use :

  • No drug abuse GREEN
    Content rated No drug abuseshould be free of any drug abuse. However, fleeting and moderate consumption of alcohol or tobacco by adults as well as responsible use of medications may appear.
  • : Mild drug use : YELLOW | D
    Content rated D may contain mild drug use, including excessive or persistent consumption of alcohol or tobacco. It also may include incidental or comedic use of drugs such as marijuana, sativa, hallucinogens or prescription pharmaceuticals. Implied, non-graphic use of other drugs, such as heroin, may be rated D as well.
  • D+ : Drug use : RED | D+
    Content rated D+ may contain graphic, fictional depictions of drug abuse and display of drug paraphernalia. Content rated D+may also contain actual depictions of drug abuse where the context is appropriately educational, documentary or scientific.

Miscellaneous :

  • : Flashing or strobing light
    Content rated F indicates the presence of flashing light or other strobing content which can affect those with photosensitive epilepsy.


  • Content set as “NO RATING” has not been rated by the uploader. In cases where the uploader has failed to provide a rating for their video, it is automatically Age-gated and not available to viewers younger than 18.

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