Medium Rules

Medium
Medium
May 26 · 11 min read

Medium is an open platform that 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, the likelihood and severity of actual or potential harms, 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. Medium has the sole authority and final decision as to whether content or behavior violates our rules.

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

Capitalized terms here have the same meaning as defined in the Medium Terms of Service.

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

Hateful content
We do not allow content that constitutes or promotes violence, harassment, or hatred against people based on characteristics like race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, caste, 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 or misleading statistics 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, including in your username, profile, or bio.

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

  • Bullying, threatening, mocking, or shaming someone, or posting things likely to encourage others to do so
  • Engaging in a repetitive or targeted campaign of harassment against someone or a group of people
  • Using derogatory language, racial slurs, or obscenities to disparage or attack someone or a group of people
  • Using Medium features like responses, private notes, mentions, follows, story requests, or writer requests in a way that attempts to or does annoy or harass someone, or to draw inorganic attention to your content on Medium
  • Reviewing businesses or products in a gratuitously harmful or abusive manner

Privacy and Reputation
We do not allow the following:

  • Posting images of, transcripts of, copies of, or links to private communications between private individuals without the explicit consent of all parties to the communication. Redacting names or other information does not supplant the need to secure permissions
  • 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 a person or group of people
  • Posting intimate or explicit images taken or posted without the subject’s express consent
  • Content that violates others’ privacy or personal safety, including sensitive or confidential information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, non-public phone numbers, physical addresses, email addresses, or other similar information

Restricted categories
We do not allow posts or accounts that engage in the following restricted categories of activity:

  • Promotion of controversial, suspect, or extreme content
  • Facilitation of gambling or betting
  • Facilitation of buying or selling social media interactions, including off-platform
  • Facilitation of sexual services
  • Facilitation of copyright or other intellectual property violation
  • Facilitation or evidence of violating the terms of service of Medium or third party(s)
  • Facilitation of illegal hacking (e.g., stealing credentials, compromising personal data)
  • We do not allow the use of pseudoscience, disinformation, or other content that is contrary to public health or safety

Related conduct
We do not allow content 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.

Graphic content
We do not allow posting, linking to, or otherwise promoting pornographic images or videos. We do allow erotic writing and non-graphic erotic images.

We do not allow gratuitously graphic or disturbing media, regardless of subject matter.

Exploitation of minors
We do not allow content promoting the sexual, violent, or other exploitation of minors, including the sexualization of fictional minors.

Promotion and glorification of self-harm
We do not allow content or 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 the form or email address linked below.

Duplicate Content
We do not allow posting duplicate copies of the same content to Medium, whether from a single account or across multiple accounts, either publicly or as an unlisted story. (You are allowed to cross-post content from your blog to Medium, provided you own the rights for the content.)

Spam or Site Misuse
We do not allow spam or misuse of Medium. All spam or misuse will be immediately removed from Medium without notification. Examples of spam or misuse include:

  • 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 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 or 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 or marketing
  • 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 person or post.

Copyright and trademark infringement
Respect the copyrights and trademarks of others. Per our Terms of Service, we require users to have permission to post the content they publish on Medium. Additionally, we have specific policies around plagiarism, to which all Medium accounts are held. Users found in violation of our copyright rules are not eligible for appeal or restoration.

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 free goods or 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. While you may promote your own business, 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. 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).
  • Multi-level or affiliate marketing content is not allowed.

Embedded Content and Collection of Personal Information
To ensure the data privacy and security of our users, embedded content must comply with the following requirements. An “embed” includes a link, form, or a request for information or other content.

Embeds directly collecting data through Medium form fields, comments or other onsite means are not allowed. This includes embeds that facilitate the submission of email addresses, credit card information or other personal information. If you want to collect information from your readers, you will need to follow these requirements:

  • If you link out from your post on Medium to a form hosted elsewhere, that form must make it clear to a user that they are no longer in the Medium network and the information they disclose is subject to the third-party’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy,
  • If the link directs users to your own platform to subscribe to your newsletter, blog or other content you create, then in your Medium content immediately next to the link you must disclose that the link will take the user offsite outside of Medium
  • If your content includes a form that sends user information to you or a third-party, immediately next to or within the form you must disclose that the form will send the user’s information to an offsite third-party outside of Medium that is subject to that offsite third-party’s Terms of Use and Privacy Police, or offsite outside of Medium, to you directly.

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

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. 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 views, reads, follows, claps, highlights, responses or other traffic
  • Using services, apps, or arrangements that offer you more views, reads, 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

General Use of the Services

You may not do, try to do, or cause a third party to do the following:
(1) access or tamper with non-public areas of the Services, our computer systems, or the systems of our technical providers;
(2) access or search the Services by any means other than the currently available, published interfaces (e.g., APIs) that we provide;
(3) forge any TCP/IP packet header or any part of the header information in any email or posting, or in any way use the Services to send altered, deceptive, or false source-identifying information;
(4) interfere with, or disrupt, the access of any user, host, or network, including sending a virus, overloading, flooding, spamming, mail-bombing the Services, scraping, or by scripting the creation of content or accounts in such a manner as to interfere with or create an undue burden on the Services

Use of custom domain features
Medium provides the ability to point a domain name that you control to a publication on Medium. If you use this custom domain feature, you understand that your publication will still be hosted on Medium and will still be subject to Medium’s Terms of Service. If you use this custom domain feature, you may not do, try to do, or cause a third party to do the following:

(1) Alter the look and feel or transform the content of the webpage, including by injecting ads, inserting tracking code, or altering the Medium look or feel;
(2) Use proxy servers or any other means to short-circuit our rules or circumvent user protections; or
(3) Mislead users about what site they are on or what their actions will do.

Your use of the custom domain feature must comply with our Privacy Policy. Please note that our rules around storing, transferring, and using user data are more user-protective than some other sites’. We do not sell user data or allow tracking of our users across the web. We expect you to uphold these same rules and policies in connection with operating your custom domain.

How to report a violation
If you find a post or account on Medium that violates these rules, please report it in product. 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 trust@medium.com.

If you break the rules
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
Upon investigating or disabling content associated with your account, we will notify you, 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 has 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 trust@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).

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.

Medium is committed to providing a transparent, open platform for expression and therefore supports the goals and spirit of The Santa Clara Principles on Transparency and Accountability in Content Moderation as a starting point for further discussion.

Updated May 2021

Medium Policy

The Fine Print

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