Patreon Community Guidelines

Last updated: October 17, 2017

The TLDR:

Be respectful of the people and communities on Patreon. People are different. That’s what’s beautiful about the internet and creativity: communities of varying types can assemble and flourish. We want Patreon to be an intimate and safe venue for a diverse range of creators and their communities.

Authenticity and Copyright

Patreon is for creators who put something original out into the world. As a creator, you may not post content that infringes on others' intellectual property rights and you must own the content published on Patreon.

Read more here
Bullying and Harassment

We don’t allow bullying or harassment because we want Patreon to feel like a safe place for our various communities. At the same time, we want people to be able to express themselves, be critical, and discuss controversial issues.

Read more here
Hate Speech

Patreon connects creators to their patrons all over the world. We are a global platform built on promoting creativity, which makes us a very inclusive group. Therefore, there is no room on Patreon for hate speech such as calling for violence, exclusion, or segregation. This includes serious attacks on people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or serious medical conditions.

Read more here
Adult Content

We ask creators to flag themselves as Adult Content if you create any content that has mature themes such as sexuality or graphic violence. We also require that all public content on your page be appropriate for all audiences. Content with mature themes must be marked as a patron-only post.

Read more here
People Who Can’t Use Patreon

Because Patreon empowers people financially, we restrict both the types of media and projects that can be funded on Patreon, and also which people can and cannot receive funds through Patreon. After creating a Patreon page, any creator caught in the act or convicted of making credible violent threats, committing violent crimes, malicious doxing, coordinating nonviolent harm (such as fraud, money laundering and gambling), or encouraging others to do any of these activities may be banned from using Patreon.

Read more here
Harmful and Illegal Activities

We don’t allow funds to be collected for anything that facilitates harmful or illegal activities. You cannot post content that advocates, threatens, or shows you causing harm to yourself or other people, as well as animals. In the same line, you cannot promote illegal activities such as property crime, distribution of illegal weapons, or drug manufacturing.

Read more here
Spam

While it can be hard to grow a patron base, no one likes being spammed. Be creative and original, don’t post repetitive comments or send unwanted private messages to other members of the community.

Read more here
Doxing

We take a strong stance against doxing, which is sharing an individual’s private information or aggregating their public information for the purpose of intimidating them through harassment.

Read more here

How These Guidelines Are Enforced

Please realize that Patreon is a diverse community and, while you may not necessarily agree with someone’s point of view, it may not be a violation of our community guidelines. That said, when you see a page on Patreon that you feel violates our community guidelines, please take the time to report them via our reporting tool. You can read more about how to report a creator or a post here. The Trust & Safety team will review the report and if the Community Guidelines have been violated, the team will get in touch with the creator to let them know.

This is a commitment to creators, we are different from other companies. We know this is your livelihood. We invest heavily in making these decisions. We always want creators to feel like they have an open line of communication. So how does this translate to content moderation? Our first reflex is always to try to educate creators to help them understand how a rule has been broken and how to remedy the issue. In cases where the violation is particularly bad or intentional we may take further action such as suspending or removing their account. In the most extreme cases we may ban a creator from using Patreon.

No matter what happens, we always give creators the opportunity to appeal a decision by contacting us and sending any relevant information they do not believe was considered. We may not change our minds, but we will always listen.

Be Safe, Be Respectful, Make Stuff

These Community Guidelines exist to shape and guide Patreon and the growing number of creators and communities using it. This is not about building an arbitrary framework of “right” or “wrong.” It’s about making Patreon a place where diverse creators and their communities feel excited, supported, and happy to exist, while still allowing for different—and sometimes even conflicting—points of view.

These guidelines summarize a thorough, thoughtful, and living internal content policy that we spent time thinking about and defining with guidance from community and safety experts. We’re proud of these guidelines because we believe they will help creators build a safe and supportive environment in which they can continue to create, share and build intimate and lasting relationships with their patrons.

Authenticity and Copyright Infringement

Patreon is for creators who put something original out into the world. As a creator, you may not post content that infringes on others' intellectual property rights.

  • You can’t create fake pages or collect money for things you’re not actually doing. For example, you cannot create a fan page for someone else.
  • You cannot pretend or impersonate another creator, such as using someone else's name, brand, or content in order to raise funds. We will review satire and comedy in a different way as we believe these subgenres are original content.
  • You also can’t use Patreon as a prank or to fund non-activity. For example, a Creator cannot collect funds for *not doing* something, such as, I will stop tweeting videos of playing the harmonica badly if I reach $200 per month.
  • Patreon does not review content to determine if it is a fair use, but if we receive a valid DMCA takedown notice then we will generally remove that content. You can learn more about our DMCA policy here.

In other words, be yourself and give credit whenever necessary. We have more information on copyright infringement in our Terms of Service.

If you need to send us a DMCA takedown request, you can read more here: How do I send a DMCA takedown notice?

Bullying, Harassment, Threats

We don’t allow bullying or harassment because we want Patreon to feel like a safe place for our various communities. At the same time, we want people to be able to express themselves, be critical, and discuss controversial issues.

We recognize that discussing celebrities, media or other public figures can sometimes involve harsh criticism, and we believe that is an appropriate part of free debate. However, we draw the line when it comes to harassing private individuals or taking any action that might affect people’s physical safety, whether these people are private or public.

As much as we want you to be able to express yourself, we want all of our users to have the right to express their opinion without feeling intimidated. Even the most difficult conversations should take place in the most respectful way. Here is how we define these behaviors.

Bullying and Harassment:

You cannot attempt to intimidate anyone, either directly or by using your influence over others. We treat real life interactions more seriously than online interactions when analyzing whether a line has been crossed, because it can be more threatening and lead to physical violence. When both sides engage in similar behavior, such as feuds between public figures, we are less likely to take action.

Threats:

Anyone on Patreon should be able to express their opinion in a way that doesn't threaten another person. In this respect, we take threats of violence very seriously. Any creator or patron threatening the well-being of an individual or group of people will be removed. This includes threatening behavior such as stalking or inciting others to commit violent acts.

If you are a victim of this behavior and feel that your personal safety is at risk, we suggest you contact your local law enforcement, in addition to reporting the behavior to us.

Hate Speech

Patreon connects creators to their patrons all over the world. We are a global platform built on promoting creativity, which makes us a very inclusive group. Therefore, there is no room on Patreon for hate speech such as calling for violence, exclusion, or segregation. Hate speech includes serious attacks, or even negative generalizations, of people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or serious medical conditions. When reviewing an account for a potential hate speech violation, we consider some of the following questions:

  • Does the content have historical or educational value? For example, we don’t allow the use of the swastika for propaganda and promoting hate, but it would be acceptable to use it in an educational video to talk about Germany under the Third Reich.
  • Is there a call for violence against a protected class?
  • Does the creator glorify a group that is known to support ideologies that would be classified as hate speech under this policy?
  • Is the creator using racial slurs or negative depictions of a protected class?

This list is not exhaustive, but we want to be transparent about how we work in the grey areas between speech and action. There can be a fine line between political comments and hate speech. If you come across what you believe to be hate speech on Patreon, please take the time to report it.

Adult Content

We ask creators to flag themselves as Adult Content if they create any content that has mature themes such as sexuality or graphic violence. When you are flagged as Adult Content your page is removed from our search. We also require that all public content on your page be appropriate for all audiences. Content with mature themes must be marked as a patron-only post.

We have zero tolerance when it comes to the glorification of sexual violence which includes bestiality, rape, and child exploitation (i.e., sexualized depiction of minors). This is true for illustrated, animated, or any other type of content. Patreon reserves the right to review and remove accounts that may violate this guideline. As a strong commitment to child safety, we will work with law enforcement whenever we come across child exploitation.

We also do not allow other fringe sexual fetish content, such as incest, necrophilia, or fetish content that is hard to distinguish from non-consensual sex.

We understand that some topics on this list such as incest or rape are a little bit more complicated because these situations are, unfortunately, part of real life. As a result, when reviewing this type of content, the Trust and Safety team will take into consideration context including personal, historical or educational narrative. For example, survivor stories or fiction such as Game of Thrones or Lolita are allowed on Patreon.

Lastly, you cannot sell pornographic material or arrange sexual service(s) as a reward for your patrons. We define pornographic material as real people engaging in sexual acts such as masturbation or sexual intercourse on camera. You can’t use Patreon to raise funds in order to produce pornographic material such as maintaining a website, funding the production of movies, or providing a private webcam session.

If you have doubts about whether to mark your page as Adult Content or not, we always recommend that you do so for the sake of precaution. This is especially important as Patreon welcomes different communities with different sensitivities. You can read more about the Adult Content flag here.

People Who Can’t Use Patreon

Because Patreon empowers people financially, we impose restrictions not only on the types of content and projects that can be funded through Patreon, but also on which people can and cannot receive funds through Patreon.

People Who Can't Use Patreon

After creating a Patreon page, any creator caught in the act or convicted of making credible violent threats, committing violent crimes, child abuse, malicious doxing, coordinating nonviolent harm (such as fraud, money laundering and gambling), or encouraging others to do any of these activities, may be banned from using Patreon.

Dangerous Organizations

People with a dangerous criminal history or a known affiliation with violent or dangerous groups (including terrorist or cyber terrorist organizations, organized criminal groups, and violent hate groups), cannot receive funds through Patreon, no matter the purpose or apparent intention of their Patreon page.

You can discuss these groups on Patreon but any creator praising or actively supporting these groups or their leaders won't be allowed on Patreon.

Harmful or Dangerous Activity

We don’t allow funds to be collected for anything that facilitates harmful or illegal activities. You cannot post content that advocates, threatens or shows you causing harm to yourself or other people, as well as animals. In the same line as violent and harmful activities, you cannot promote illegal activities, such as property crime, distribution of illegal weapons, or drug manufacturing.

Self-harm

We don’t allow any page that promotes or glorifies self-harm, such as pages that encourage self-injury, suicide, or an eating disorder. Examples include pages that glorify self-scarification or a pro-anorexia campaign. If we believe there’s a credible risk the creator will harm themselves, we will work with law enforcement when needed. However, We allow content that promotes awareness such as self-harm survival stories, especially if they have educational value.

If you or someone close to you might be in danger of hurting themselves, please contact local authorities or seek help:
http://www.suicide.org/suicide-hotlines.html

Illegal Activity

We don’t allow pages that collect money for an illegal purpose, or that encourage others to break the law. For example, creators may not promote illegal weapons, drug manufacturing techniques or distribution, or property crime. For example, we don't allow content that organizes or encourages vandalism. Note that we do allow street art.

Dangerous Activities

We ask that creators who are posting dangerous stunts to include a disclaimer. We also require that this type of content be marked as “Adult Content” if it is deemed to be too graphic or dangerous for a general audience.

Spam

While it can be hard to grow your patronage, no one likes being spammed. These are some of the actions we consider to be spamming, which is prohibited on Patreon:

  • Don’t create pledging schemes; don’t contact other creators to have a pledge-for-a-pledge kind of trade deal.
  • Don’t use Patreon to release or link to malware or phishing content.
  • Don’t post misleading content to grow your patronage.
  • Don’t post comments on other creators’ pages promoting your own page.
  • Don’t send a large number of unsolicited private messages asking for support.
  • Don't use incorrect tagging in order to drive more search results.
  • Don’t post multiple paid posts per day if you are a per-post creator.
  • Don't create Bots.

When reviewing reports about spam, we will distinguish between commercial spam and friendly abuse such as legitimate creators spamming other creators pages. If we determine the spam is friendly abuse, the account will be flagged; repeat offenses will lead to full removal of the creator or patron page. Commercial spamming without any form of content creation will be removed from Patreon. In other word, be creative and original because nobody likes Spam (not the canned type).

Doxing

We take a strong stance against doxing because it is used to silence or intimidate people with different viewpoints on the internet. It can cause extensive emotional trauma, and can put the victim’s physical safety at risk.

The most classic form of doxing is when an individual’s private personal information is shared. This could be information such as a phone number or home address. The definition of private personal information can vary, and may mean that it is simply very difficult to find.

We also consider it to be doxing when an individual’s non-private information is aggregated. For example, we would consider it doxing if someone’s profile picture was combined with their real name, all of their known social media accounts, and the city they lived in.

No matter the specific information shared, we also evaluate the context around why it was shared. If it looks like this information is being shared for the purpose of making it easier for a large group to harass that individual, we are likely to consider it doxing.

When doxing takes place, we lose the ability to have conversations. Doxing isn’t speech countering speech, it is speech shutting down others’ ability to speak. It removes our ability to discuss ideas, grow as individuals and have a safe space for disagreement.