Why Does this “The Following Content May Contain Suicide or Self-Harm Topics” Warning Appear on YouTube? 

We all spend much of our time scrolling YouTube videos, as it has become a regular element of our internet usage. However, we get to see a warning message saying, “The following content may contain suicide or self-harm topics” occasionally. This kind of message appears when there’s specific content in the video being played that is not appropriate for all viewers. This article will discuss the possible reason for this message and how to bypass it.

suicide or self-harm topics

When does the “The Following Content May Contain Suicide or Self-Harm Topics” Warning Appear on YouTube Video? 

YouTube implemented a warning message for videos that may contain content related to suicide or self-harm to provide additional support. The warning may appear on videos based on detection by the system’s algorithm or by users’ manual reporting. This message generally shows up for the following kind of YouTube content:

  • Suicide Glorification: Any content that promotes or glorifies suicide, self-harm, or eating disorders is strictly prohibited. This includes explicit endorsements or positive depictions of these harmful behaviors.
  • Instructions to Perform Such Acts: You are not allowed to provide instructions on methods of suicide, self-harm, or engaging in eating disorders. Moreover, videos including the ways to conceal these behaviors are also not allowed on YouTube. The aim is to prevent the dissemination of potentially dangerous information to a sensitive audience. 
  • Suicidal Content for Minors: Content related to suicide, self-harm, or eating disorders that specifically target minors is prohibited. This measure is in place to safeguard vulnerable individuals and discourage any content that may influence them negatively.
  • Graphic Content: The images depicting self-harm are not permitted on the YouTube platform. Additionally, any visuals of the bodies of suicide victims must be entirely obscured to prevent explicit visibility, minimizing potential harm to viewers.
  • Suicide Attempt Videos: Videos showing the lead-up to a suicide or suicide attempts, as well as rescue footage, are prohibited on YouTube. However, rescue videos can be posted with sufficient context to ensure responsible sharing. 
  • Self-Harm Challenges: Any content promoting participation in or instructions for suicide and self-harm challenges, such as the Blue Whale or Momo challenges, is strictly forbidden. These challenges can pose severe risks to participants and viewers.
  • Weight-based Bullying: Content featuring weight-based bullying in the context of eating disorders is strictly prohibited. YouTube recognizes the negative impact it can have on individuals struggling with such issues, so this rule aims to create a supportive online environment.

What are YouTube Community Guidelines for Posting Such Content on the Platform?

The YouTube Community’s purpose is to maintain a safe and inclusive environment for the viewers on the YouTube platform. However, there are times when creators post sensitive videos that address self-harm, suicide, and eating disorders. This type of content has a negative impact on the viewers, especially the minors. Therefore, YouTube Community has some policies and guidelines in place to protect viewers from such sensitive content.

If the creators still do not follow the guidelines, then YouTube will give them a strike and remove their content from YouTube. This policy applies to videos, live streams, comments, video descriptions, and other content. The YouTube Community serves as a framework that is responsible for all the content uploaded to facilitate a healthy environment. 

Some Best Practices Creators Need to Follow While Posting about Suicide, Self-Harm, or Eating Disorder 

The creators are advised by YouTube Community Guidelines to keep in mind a few things when creating content, like suicide and self-harm. It is recommended to use the following best practices to protect viewers from any harm or distress:

  • Give Trigger Warning: You should provide a trigger warning before starting a video to let viewers know about the nature of the content. This gives them a choice to make informed decisions before they watch the video.
  • Avoid Personal Details of Victim: Creators should avoid mentioning any personal details about the person committing suicide and self-harm. The information about the family and person who died should be kept confidential in the video.
  • Provide Mental Health Solutions: The videos should include information on mental health helplines to assist the viewer in seeking help if they want. 
  • Blur Gruesome Visuals: You should not use any graphical details or sensationalist language in your videos. Creators should avoid adding any gruesome visuals and thus blur the images of the suicide victim.
  • Educate Audience: These videos should also focus on educating and raising awareness among the audience about various mental health problems. Therefore promoting an understanding and empathy for mental health issues. 

When content creators address issues relating to eating disorders, they are also advised to follow the guidelines provided by the YouTube Community. The following are some of the best practices a content creator must consider:

  • Promote Healthy Habits: The creator should emphasize the importance of having a healthy body and promoting healthy habits. They should avoid content that compares body image with the various glamorous beauty standards. 
  • Educate Viewers: If your content addresses eating disorders, it should be educational instead of promoting unhealthy habits. It can be distressing to some viewers as they might find them insensitive or cruel.
  • Advice Viewers to Consult Professionals: Viewers should consult a professional about their eating disorder with the information provided below the video. The information and resources should be provided in the video and also in the description.     

As you are told, YouTube displays this message if the content is not appropriate to be seen by all users. But if you still aim to watch it at your own risk, there is a specific instruction that you can follow to bypass this message. 

Instruction: You will see a button below that message saying, “I understand and wish to proceed.” Just click on that button and wait for the video to play automatically.

tap i understand and wish to proceed

Some Hacks from Reddit if the Button Fails to Appear Before Starting a Video

Sometimes, you don’t get to see the button to bypass the warning message restricting you from watching a video. But don’t worry; there are still some helpful hacks that can solve this issue in a few clicks. 

Hack 1: Go to the Next Video and Then Back to the Previous 

Next to the play button, there’s a button to go to the next video. Click this button and wait for the next video to load. Then, hit the back arrow to return to your desired video. The button to bypass the warning message will appear automatically.

Hack 2: Clear Cache and Refresh

Some Reddit users are also able to resolve this issue by clearing the cache on their browser. When they tried to reply to the video, this trick worked like magic. You can also follow these steps to get access to the “I understand and wish to proceed” button.

Step 1: First, click the three dots at the top right corner of your browser interface. From there, scroll to “More Tools” to open another set of options. Then, select “Clear Browsing Data,” which will lead you to a new window. 

Step 2: Afterward, select the time range from the top menu and check the “Cached Images and Files” option. Finally, hit the “Clear Data” button to remove the cache successfully. You can now access your video by refreshing the webpage and playing it again.

clear browsing data cache

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What happens when content creators violate the Community Guidelines related to suicide, self-harm, or eating disorders? 

In case you violated the YouTube Community Guidelines on creating content about self-harm, suicide, and eating disorders, they take immediate action. The YouTube Community will remove or demonetize the video on the spot. If the creator repeats such a mistake, they may face more severe consequences than before, like channel closure. 

Q2. Does YouTube show any warning or supportive resources on such sensitive content? 

Yes, YouTube displays a warning sign before providing content on such sensitive topics. They also provide information on mental health helplines for viewers to seek help whenever. Therefore, viewers can access these facilities that’ll offer them guidance and assistance about their issues.

Q3. What steps should a person facing suicidal thoughts take after viewing such content on YouTube?

The YouTube Community recommends viewers reach out for help if they find the content on suicide and self-eating disorder disturbing. YouTube encourages viewers to seek out support that involves reporting the content and using the provided helplines. Moreover, they can contact any mental health professional for assistance. 


To sum up, there’s a specific warning message that YouTube displays on certain videos containing suicide or self-harm-related content. It’s for your safety and protection, as these kinds of contents are offensive to some sensitive people. However, if you forcefully want to bypass this restriction and watch that content, there are some practical ways that we have discussed. Before going for these hacks to watch this content, think wisely whether you are eligible for it or not.