Best practices for requesting video takedowns

Best practices for requesting video takedowns

There may come a time when you may feel the need to request a takedown of a video that someone else uploaded. We have some best practices you should consider for these situations as YouTube takes these requests very seriously, and if not done properly, your takedown request may end up hurting you instead.

First thing to do is to carefully assess the situation, what exactly is the reason you want to request the takedown for? Here are some examples:
  1. Copyright - Someone uploaded content that I created without my permission.
  2. Privacy - Somone uploaded a video that includes my personal information.
  3. Defamation - Someone created a video that damages my reputation or the reputation or my company.

Many creators fail when they try to takedown a video because their intention is not clear, or the details they provide are not enough, and as a result, some actually get in trouble for doing so. For a successful takedown you need proof and context. 
The context in which your information/content shows up in a video should be an important part of assessing the situation, for example, understanding why you show up in a video recording, what was the intention of the uploader? Did you show up while he was recording an event or capturing footage in general or was he actually trying to get you in that shot? Context is very important. This will help you select the right policy violation for which your case will be built around. 

The proof depends on the reason why you want to takedown the video. For copyright, you will need to prove that you either created the content you are claiming as yours or that you have the exclusive rights to that content. A "behind-the-scenes" kind of video, showing you editing the content, or providing YouTube with the raw footage of the video, will be a good start, if there is nothing else that you can add. If you have exclusive rights, you should. have documentation you can submit to YouTube for review. Regarding privacy, this may require you to prove that you are the person you are claiming to be in the video you want to takedown.


Option 1 - Contact the uploader
When there is enough information to identify the uploader of the video and direct channel to contact them, it's always best to try that and explain to him why you would like that video taken down. To do this you can check if the uploader has social media links in his other videos or in the channel's about page. In that page you may also find an email for contact, which would be the best option. If you are not sure of the intentions of the uploader, try to appeal to his good character, and keep the conversation in a tone that shows your legitimate concerns without going into conflict, which is what you want to avoid. If you don't hear from the uploader for a period of time you are willing to wait and makes sense (3 to 5 days could be acceptable in many cases), or you believe the uploader had malicious intention and you don't feel comfortable contacting him, you can proceed using another option.

Option 2 - Video report
  1. Under the video you want to takedown, click the three dots and select "Report".

  2. Select the option "Infringes my rights", select the one that you have previously chosen during the assessment. Then follow the steps.

  3. If you are looking for defamation, select "Other legal claim", as seen above, and then "Defamation" as seen below, and click "Report".

Option 3 - Submit a complaint
Complaints can be submitted using the forms available on YouTube policy pages as well, just by following the steps indicated in each one. Below you can find the links to some of those policies.

  1. Copyright policy
  2. Privacy policy
  3. Defamation policy
  4. Harassment and cyberbullying policy

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