Companies have a wide variety of policies, and nearly as many different ways of classifying and grouping those policies. Despite this surface-level diversity, common themes can be found across the industry since underlying human misbehaviors transcend any company or product. The list below is intended to serve as an overview of the types of policies that are most frequently found across a variety of different platforms and models. This should not be viewed as a complete and comprehensive list, and the actions (if any) taken will vary substantially from example to example and across different platforms.
Violent and Criminal Behavior
Dangerous and Criminal Organizations
The presence of criminal or otherwise dangerous groups and their members, and content / behavior that supports such groups.
Violent or legally banned hate groups
Directly threatening, supporting, or enabling acts of physical violence.
Explicit threats of violence
Offering or soliciting violent actions/behaviors
Bomb making instructions
Glorification of violence by others
Child Abuse and Nudity
Depicting or engaging in the abuse or exploitation of children
Child sexual abuse material
Solicitation of minors
Images of child abuse
Depicting, threatening, or enabling sexual violence or exploitation
Images of illegal / non-consensual sex acts
Non-consensual sharing of intimate images (“revenge porn”)
Extortion of sexual favors, often via threats to publish intimate images (sextortion)
Engaging in or enabling the sale, enslavement, or coercion of people into laborious, dangerous, or illegal actions.
Regulated Goods and Services
Sale / trade of goods which are generally regulated or banned.
Prescription / recreational drugs
Alcohol / tobacco
Animals and animal products, particularly if endangered
Sale / trade of services which are generally regulated or banned
Gambling and gaming
Treatment services for drug / alcohol addiction
Financial and insurance services
Commercial Sexual Activity
Depicting, solicitings, or offering sex acts or adult nudity in exchange for money
Advertisements for sex work
Selling access to nude images
Offensive & Objectionable Content
Expressing or encouraging hatred, contempt, discrimination, or violence against specific groups based on “protected classes” which includes factors such as race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.
Slurs directed at protected classes
Support for racial supremacy movements
Mockery of victims of genocide or religious / ethnic cleansing
Graphic and Violent Content
Depictions of deaths, injuries, and other violent acts that are likely to shock, upset, or offend.
Imagery of fatal incidents
Imagery of dismembered or mutilated bodies
Imagery of animal cruelty
Nudity and Sexual Activity
Depicting, soliciting, or offering non-commercial sex acts or adult nudity.
Art depicting explicit sex acts
Suicide and Self Harm
Content in which a person is harming or threatening to harm themselves or enabling / encouraging others to do so.
Users expressing an intention to self harm
Encouraging / suggesting self harm
Providing instructions on how to self harm
Graphic depiction of self inflicted injuries
Harassment and Bullying
Intimidating, degrading, or humiliating a specific individual or group of people.
Hateful conduct & slurs directed at a particular person
“Dogpiling,” where a group is organized to target a user with coordinated abuse.
Threats of blackmail or private information leaks
Publishing personally identifiable information (PII) in order to enable further abuse (e.g., doxxing)
Dangerous Misinformation and Endangerment
Content / behavior that might cause a user to unintentionally cause harm to themselves or others.
Conspiracy theories that are likely to lead to violence
False safety information
False medical claims
Dangerous challenges / dares
Unsolicited and unwanted content / messaging, particularly commercial advertising, generated at scale.
Mass unsolicited messaging
Auto-generated comments used for advertising
Links to malicious software that can negatively affect users.
Using fake accounts to deceive or manipulate users.
Fake engagement (likes, views, followers)
Coordinated disinformation campaigns
Deceptive & Fraudulent Behavior
Attempting to wrongfully or criminally deceive for financial benefit, or encouraging / supporting others to do so.
Fake charity solicitation
Sale of stolen goods or information
Taking over the identity of another user or group.
Impersonating celebrities / politicians
Attempting to compromise accounts or other sensitive information.
Learning login credentials via deception (phishing)
Sharing / requesting login details
Using trademarks or copyright protected content without permission.
Posting photos / videos belonging to others
Links to illicit torrent / streaming websites
Damaging the good reputation of others.
The publication of false factual statements that put another in a negative light
In some countries, this may also include the publication of unflattering information that is true but considered old/out of date.
Rules on the form of content, often for clarity, organization, or technical limitations
Restrictions on links or shared files
Rules on where and how certain topics can be discussed
Off topic content
Restrictions on selling or advertising
For more examples of how different companies organise and present their policies, below are examples of different company’s community and policy guidelines: