Words you can’t say on YouTube

What are the possible risks of abusing profanity on YouTube, and how does the platform moderate the use of profanity in terms of channel demonetization and termination?


With the consumption of digital content at an all-time high, creators are still required to be mindful of a few things they create, post and say in their content. This is to ensure the protection of people who are consuming their content, should it be potentially harmful.

For content creators on YouTube the same rule applies, as there are certain words that a YouTuber cannot use in order to not violate YouTube’s Community Guidelines. Or even risk getting demonetized for having broken the rules repeatedly, thus potentially ruining your brand and prospects of making money.

Word use on YouTube

It goes without saying that the use of profanity is not offensive for some, while for others this is not the case. In the case of YouTube, profanity might also be something creators will want to be mindful of, in the sense that it can be used but only to a certain extent.

One would think that YouTube might not be keen on having the use of profanity present on the platform, but the use of sear words is actually categorized from okay to absolutely bad and creators are limited in the profanity they can use.

Words you can’t say on YouTube

As previously mentioned, YouTube has rated their use of certain words from okay to bad, according to its policies. The categories for the use of profane words are classified as “moderate” and “harsh”, with the final third tier categorized as racial slurs and hate speech.

Should a creator find that they have been categorized in the third tier of profane words, this can have serious consequences for the creator, especially if they were monetizing their YouTube channel. This can lead to a loss in ways of making money, as YouTube will not deem your content as ad worthy.

By including hate speech and racial slurs in your content, you have committed a serious offense, as this harms society and threatens to fuel public outrage. YouTubers are therefore often urged to ensure that they know what is required of them in the guidelines.

How does YouTube handle profanity in videos?

YouTube is said to have a warning that states that any content that is found to contain frequent use of strong profanity or vulgarity throughout the entire video, may be deemed as unsuitable for advertising.

However, the occasional use of profane words such as in music videos will not pose risks of demonetization and will not necessarily make the video unsuitable for advertising.

So, YouTubers will need to be aware of how they use their words to avoid the risks of finding themselves in situations where they lose money for their profanity.

What does YouTube consider as mild language?

Some light profanity on YouTube is permitted, and this includes some words such as hell and damn, which are considered less risky. YouTube also guarantees that ads can still be enabled on videos that contain words like these.

It is best to avoid the excessive use of words such as “f**k, racial slurs and other derogatory phrases that can cause more damage than is intended, as this can influence advertisers to not want to include their ads on your videos. Which will caue you to lose your advertising revenue as more of them back out.

Is demonetization the only consequence of using profanity on a channel?

YouTube is very strict when it comes to how it handles profanity on its platform, and this is specifically highlighted in its Community Guidelines. YouTubers need to know that demonetization is not the only consequence of the use of profanity, but that creators also risk having their YouTube channels terminated altogether.

This can be the case, should YouTube consider a creator as having bad intentions in their videos. Especially in the case where they repeatedly keep violating these rules. This gives YouTube ammunition to terminate your channel for good.


As a content creator, you do not get free reign from creating just anything and saying just about anything that you feel like saying. Creators need to be careful of the content they put out and its potential to do harm rather than good, not only for viewers but also for themselves.

YouTube is a platform that is very strict about the use of different words on videos, especially those considered as profanity. Highlighted in the platform’s Community Guidelines are rules on what is and is not tolerated by the platform, as well as the consequences. Which include having your channel terminated.