Medium Rules

Some parts of the Internet lack rules. This isn’t one of them.

Medium exists for people to share their opinions, thoughts, and ideas, and to move conversation forward. We support vigorous debate of substantive issues. Inevitably this will lead to disagreements and heated discussions. Sometimes this will enlighten. Other times it will frustrate. In all cases, we ask that our users treat each other with respect.

Medium is a free and open platform for anyone to write their views and opinions. As such we don’t vet or approve posts before our users publish them. We believe free expression deserves a lot of leeway, so we generally think the best response to bad ideas is good ideas, not censorship.

However, Medium is a shared space. We want many different kinds of ideas and people to thrive here. Some types of speech tend to stop good conversation from ever happening rather than advancing it. In deciding whether someone has violated the rules, we will take into account things like the context and nature of the posted information and applicable privacy laws.

So, we need a few ground rules. They can pretty much be summed up as: Don’t pee in the pool (metaphorically).

The Rules

Threats of violence and incitement

Don’t threaten, encourage, or incite violence against anyone, directly or indirectly.

Hate speech

We don’t allow content that promotes violence or hatred against people based on characteristics like race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, disease, age, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity.

Harassment

Medium exists to share and discuss ideas, not to exact revenge or put private people on blast. We don’t tolerate harassment, which includes:

  • Bullying or shaming someone, or posting things likely to encourage others to do so
  • Posting copies of private communications between private individuals without the explicit consent of all parties to the communication
  • Doxing, which includes not only private or obscure personal information but also the aggregation of publicly available information to target, shame, blackmail, harass, intimidate, or endanger
  • Using Medium features like responses, private notes, mentions, follows, story requests, or writer requests in a way intended to annoy or harass someone
  • Posting intimate or explicit images taken or posted without the subject’s express consent.

Spam

Don’t use Medium for spamming. All spam will be immediately removed from Medium. While it is hard to define this content with precision or completeness, here are some representative behaviors we look for that are characteristic of spam:

  • Posting content primarily to drive traffic to, or increase the search rankings of, an external site
  • Scraping and reposting content from other sources for the primary purpose of generating revenue or other personal gains
  • Posting duplicate content, whether from a single account or across multiple accounts
  • Performing a large number of account interactions in a short time period, particularly by automated means. This includes bulk, indiscriminate following of other accounts (follow spam)
  • Repeatedly using responses or other interactions as a method of promotion

For each of these behaviors, when we talk about “content,” we mean not only posts but also any other feature that allows you to add your own text or media. When we talk about “interactions,” we mean any feature that allows one user to interact with another.

Paid, automatic, bulk, or non-genuine interactions

Medium depends on various user behaviors — like follows and recommends — to determine what content to feature and make the site work well for everyone. So, we don’t allow artificial behaviors that skew this system and as a result degrade or distort other users’ experiences.

  • Don’t buy, sell, or trade in account interactions — including follows, recommends, highlights, or responses
  • Don’t use services, apps, or arrangements that offer you more follows, recommends, or other interactions on your Medium account or content
  • Don’t register accounts, post content, or interact with users or content automatically, systematically, or programmatically

Copyright and trademark infringement

Respect the copyrights and trademarks of others. Unless you’re authorized to use someone else’s copyrighted work or trademark (either expressly or by legal exceptions and limitations like fair use), don’t do it. We respond to notices of alleged infringement as described in our Terms of Service, Copyright and DMCA Policy, and Trademark Policy.

Deceptive conduct

Don’t impersonate someone else in a way likely to deceive people. Parody and satire are fine, but make clear that is what you’re doing. Our Username Policy has specific requirements for parody accounts.

Don’t use Medium for phishing or fraud. Don’t use tags, links, titles, or other metadata in a misleading way. Don’t link to or embed malicious or harmful code or software in your posts. Don’t use deception to generate revenue or traffic.

Porn and graphic content

Don’t post pornographic images or videos. There are other places to post it. You know where they are. We do allow erotic writing and non-graphic erotic images.

Don’t post gratuitously graphic or disturbing media, even if it’s not pornographic.

Exploitation of minors

Don’t post anything promoting the sexual or violent exploitation of children.

Privacy violations

Don’t post content that violates others’ privacy, including personally identifying or confidential information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, non-public phone numbers, physical addresses, email addresses, or other non-public information.

Promotion and glorification of self-harm

Don’t encourage, promote or glorify acts of self-harm, such as cutting, eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia, and suicide. If you encounter users contemplating or threatening self-harm, please report it to us via this form.


How to report a violation

If you find a post or account on Medium that violates these rules, please flag it. You can use this form to provide more detail or to report other conduct you believe violates our rules. Additionally, you can send us an email to yourfriends@medium.com.

If you break the rules

If it looks like you’ve violated these policies, we may send you an email and ask you to explain what you’re up to and why. Context is important, and we want to understand the big picture. If you don’t adequately explain yourself or fix the problem, we may suspend your account or remove your content. We strive to be fair, but we reserve the right to suspend accounts or remove content, without notice, for any reason, particularly to protect our services, infrastructure, users, or community.

We may enforce, or not enforce, these policies at our sole discretion. These policies don’t create a duty or contractual obligation for us to act.

We also may change these rules at any time. We track changes to our rules on Github so you can see how they evolve.

If you have questions or feedback about these rules, let us know. Like everything on Medium, they are open to discussion. You can contact us at legal@medium.com.


Last updated January 30th, 2017