Abuse Types

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

PolicyDescriptionExamples
Dangerous and Criminal OrganizationsThe presence of criminal or otherwise dangerous groups and their members, and content / behavior that supports such groups.
  • Terrorist groups

  • Criminal organizations

  • Violent or legally banned hate groups
  • ViolenceDirectly 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 NudityDepicting or engaging in the abuse or exploitation of children
  • Child sexual abuse material

  • Solicitation of minors

  • Images of child abuse

  • Child nudity
  • Sexual ExploitationDepicting, 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)
  • Human ExploitationEngaging in or enabling the sale, enslavement, or coercion of people  into laborious, dangerous, or illegal actions.
  • Human trafficking

  • Forced marriage

  • Illegal adoption
  • Regulated Goods and Services

    PolicyDescriptionExamples
    Regulated GoodsSale / trade of goods which are generally regulated or banned.
  • Weapons

  • Prescription / recreational drugs

  • Alcohol / tobacco

  • Animals and animal products, particularly if endangered
  • Regulated ServicesSale / trade of services which are generally regulated or banned
  • Gambling and gaming

  • Treatment services for drug / alcohol addiction

  • Financial and insurance services
  • Commercial Sexual ActivityDepicting, solicitings, or offering sex acts or adult nudity in exchange for money
  • Advertisements for sex work

  • Selling access to nude images

  • Camming
  • Offensive & Objectionable Content

    PolicyDescriptionExamples
    Hate SpeechExpressing 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 ContentDepictions 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 ActivityDepicting, soliciting, or offering non-commercial sex acts or adult nudity.
  • Pornography

  • Art depicting explicit sex acts
  • User Safety

    PolicyDescriptionExamples
    Suicide and Self HarmContent 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 BullyingIntimidating, 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 EndangermentContent / 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
  • Scaled Abuse

    PolicyDescriptionExamples
    SpamUnsolicited and unwanted content / messaging, particularly commercial advertising, generated at scale.
  • Mass unsolicited messaging

  • Auto-generated comments used for advertising
  • MalwareLinks to malicious software that can negatively affect users.
  • Viruses

  • Spyware

  • Ransomware
  • Inauthentic BehaviorUsing fake accounts to deceive or manipulate users.
  • Fake engagement (likes, views, followers)

  • Coordinated disinformation campaigns
  • Deceptive & Fraudulent Behavior

    PolicyDescriptionExamples
    FraudAttempting to wrongfully or criminally deceive for financial benefit, or encouraging / supporting others to do so.
  • Loan scams

  • Pyramid schemes

  • Fake charity solicitation

  • Sale of stolen goods or information
  • ImpersonationTaking over the identity of another user or group.
  • Hacked accounts

  • Fake names

  • Impersonating celebrities / politicians
  • CybersecurityAttempting to compromise accounts or other sensitive information.
  • Learning login credentials via deception (phishing)

  • Sharing / requesting login details
  • Intellectual PropertyUsing trademarks or copyright protected content without permission.
  • Posting photos / videos belonging to others

  • Links to illicit torrent / streaming websites
  • DefamationDamaging 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.
  • Community-Specific Rules

    PolicyDescriptionExamples
    FormatRules on the form of content, often for clarity, organization, or technical limitations
  • Word limits

  • Restrictions on links or shared files

  • Insufficient details
  • Content LimitationRules on where and how certain topics can be discussed
  • Off topic content

  • Restrictions on selling or advertising

  • Spoilers

  • Trigger warnings
  • Example Policies

    For more examples of how different companies organise and present their policies, below are examples of different company’s community and policy guidelines:

    Community Reliant Industrial

    Airbnb

    Eventbrite

    Meetup

    Reddit 

    Twitch

    Discord

    VRBO

    Community Reliant Artisanal

    Clubhouse

    Quora

    Telegram

    Wikipedia

    Centralized Artisanal

    Patreon 

    Vimeo 

    VSCO

    Every new startup