Medium Rules

Medium exists to share ideas and perspectives from the world’s most insightful writers, thinkers, and storytellers.

We welcome thoughtful and civil discussion from a broad spectrum of viewpoints. Nevertheless, to maintain a safe and welcoming environment for a wide range of people to engage in meaningful conversations, we prohibit certain conduct.

Each participant in our community is responsible for maintaining these standards.

In deciding whether someone has violated the rules, we will take into account things like newsworthiness, the context and nature of the posted information, and applicable laws.

Violations of our rules may result in consequences such as account restrictions, limited distribution of your posts, and suspension of your account. We may limit the distribution of controversial or extreme content.


Threats of violence and incitement
We do not allow content or actions that threaten, encourage, or incite violence against anyone, directly or indirectly.

Hate speech
We do not 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.

We do not allow posts or accounts that glorify, celebrate, downplay, or trivialize violence, suffering, abuse, or deaths of individuals or groups. This includes the use of scientific or pseudoscientific claims to pathologize, dehumanize, or disempower others. We do not allow calls for intolerance, exclusion, or segregation based on protected characteristics, nor do we allow the glorification of groups which do any of the above.

We do not allow hateful text, images, symbols, or other content in your username, profile, or bio.

Harassment
Medium exists to share and discuss ideas. We don’t tolerate harassment, which includes:

  • Bullying, threatening, or shaming someone, or posting things likely to encourage others to do so
  • Using Medium features like responses, private notes, mentions, follows, story requests, or writer requests in a way intended to annoy or harass someone
  • Review businesses or products in a gratuitously harmful or abusive manner

Privacy and Reputation
We do not allow the following:

  • 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, threaten, or endanger
  • Posting intimate or explicit images taken or posted without the subject’s express consent
  • Content that violates others’ privacy, including sensitive or confidential information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, non-public phone numbers, physical addresses, email addresses, or other non-public information

Related conduct
We do not allow posts or accounts that engage in on-platform, off-platform, or cross-platform campaigns of targeting, harassment, hate speech, violence, or disinformation. We may consider off-platform actions in assessing a Medium account, and restrict access or availability to that account.

Spam
We do not allow spam on Medium. 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, product, or service
  • 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
  • Stories where the content is clipped with the sole purpose of linking to the rest of the article on a different website
  • Performing a disproportionately large number of interactions, particularly by automated means. This includes bulk, indiscriminate interactions, such as following of other accounts (follow spam) clapping, highlighting, or leaving notes
  • Repeatedly using responses or other interactions as a method of promotion
  • Participating in bounty campaigns or brigades to artificially inflate rankings for posts, accounts, businesses, or products
  • Use or re-use content templates with slight modifications across multiple posts and accounts

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, or with a post.

Paid, automatic, bulk, or non-genuine interactions
Medium depends on various user behaviors — like follows and claps — 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. This includes:

  • Buying, selling, or trading in accounts or account interactions — including follows, claps, highlights, responses or other traffic
  • Using services, apps, or arrangements that offer you more follows, claps, or other interactions on your Medium account or content
  • Registering accounts, posting content, or interacting 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
We do not allow deceptive conduct on Medium. This includes:

  • Posting content or impersonating a person or organization 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
  • Using 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
  • If you have received compensation, free goods/services or anything of value in connection with the topic of a post, you must make this clear

Ads, Promotions, and Marketing

  • Third-party advertising and sponsorships are not allowed. You may not advertise or promote third-party products, services, or brands through Medium posts, publications, or letters. This includes images that indicate brand sponsorship in a post or letter, or as part of a publication name or logo.
  • Images functioning as third-party ads are not allowed. Inline images or embeds that link out and function as banner ads for third-party brands are not allowed.
  • You must disclose affiliate links or payment for a post. Affiliate links, such as link out to Amazon with your code, or any other link out where you will receive a commission or other value, are allowed in posts. But, you must disclose somewhere in the post that it includes affiliate links. If you have received payment, goods or services, or something else of value in exchange for writing a post, you must still disclose this fact in writing within your post (as per FTC Rules and Guides).

Embedded Content
In ongoing compliance with the European GDPR, we are restricting the behavior of certain embedded content:

  • Embeds that directly collect data through form fields are not allowed. This includes embeds that facilitate the submission of email addresses and other personally identifying information through forms and the submission of credit card information. If you want to collect information from your readers, you will need to link out from your post on Medium to a form hosted elsewhere that makes it clear to a user that they are no longer in the Medium network

Cryptocurrency Accounts, Posts, and Publications
Posts and accounts that focus on cryptocurrencies which do not meet the following requirements may be considered spam and are subject to suspension, depending on context. Medium does not endorse or verify any coin, token, or similar announcement.

To prevent fraud and abuse, you must:

  • Include a link to your active project domain in your user account bio.
  • Use an email address from that domain as your verified Medium account email, and maintain that email account actively.
  • Link at least one consistently-branded social media account (Facebook or Twitter) to your Medium account. That social account should also link out prominently to the same domain as is included in your Medium user bio.
  • Include a prominent about page with up-to-date contact information on your project website.

You may not:

  • Use an anonymous email address which is not linked to your project domain. (e.g., gmail, protonmail, mail.ru, etc.)
  • Advertise or participate in bounty campaigns, pump and dumps, reviewing for reward, or other forms of brigading or inauthentic activity.
  • Include shortened URLs in your posts.

Graphic content
We do not allow pornographic images or videos. We do allow erotic writing and non-graphic erotic images.

We do not allow gratuitously graphic or disturbing media, even if it’s not pornographic.

Exploitation of minors
We do not allow the posting of anything promoting the sexual or violent exploitation of children.

Promotion and glorification of self-harm
We do not allow activities that 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 our rules, 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. If you attempt to evade suspension by creating new accounts or posts, we will suspend your new accounts and posts.

Notice
Before disabling content associated with your account, we will give you advance notice, unless we believe your account is automated or operating in bad faith, or that notifying you is likely to cause, maintain or exacerbate harm to someone.

Appeals
If you believe your content or account have been restricted or disabled in error, or believe there is relevant context we were not aware of in reaching our determination, you can write to us at yourfriends@medium.com. We will consider all good faith efforts to appeal.

Government Takedown Requests
If Medium receives a request from a government actor to restrict access to content associated with your account, we will notify you unless we are prohibited by law or believe doing so may endanger others. Where applicable, we will work to limit legally-ordered content restrictions to jurisdictions where we have a good faith belief that we are legally required to restrict the content. Medium submits to the Lumen database government requests to restrict access to content (redacted where appropriate to protect privacy or prevent harm to a person). This includes government requests to review content to determine if it violates these Rules or other Medium content policies.​


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.


Member Content Guidelines

To be eligible for inclusion and potential monetization from member-only content, user posts must meet all Medium rules as well as the following content requirements. We’ve set these additional guidelines for member-only stories to create a fair environment for writers in our Partner Program and a richer reading experience for members.

  • You may not sell advertising in or on your member-only content.
  • Member stories should not exist with the predominant purpose of driving traffic to an external website, business, or product. All included content must be relevant, substantial and informative.
  • If you have received compensation, free goods/services, or anything of value in connection with the topic of a post, you must make this clear.
  • Do not ask for claps or include other calls to action, including gifs of clapping, requests for donations, email list sign-ups, or other links or embeds for the purpose of capturing user information or soliciting money.
  • Do not use content or images licensed as non-commercial in your Partner Program posts. (e.g., Creative Commons)

If you violate these Member content rules
Medium reserves the right to review posts or accounts at any time and stop payment for any post or to any account, and/or remove from the Member section content that violates these Member Content Guidelines, or Medium’s general rules. In deciding whether something has violated the Rules and Guidelines, we will take into account things like the context, newsworthiness, and nature of the posted information and applicable privacy laws. Repeated violations of the Rules and Requirements will result in permanent ineligibility to participate in the program.

How to report a Member post violation
If you find a member 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 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.

Updated September 2018