Creations come in many forms, and while we don’t want to restrict people’s creativity, there are limits to what you can offer as a benefit or incentive to your patrons.
How are these guidelines reinforced?
We know most creators simply want to create something beautiful to share with their fans, but certain benefits are restricted. When trying to decide what counts as a benefit the Trust and Safety team does a complex and context sensitive analysis to determine what patrons are paying for and the value they receive. We also have to make sure people aren’t circumventing our guidelines by sharing prohibited benefits off of Patreon that are not identified on Patreon.
As a result, the Trust and Safety team looks at a creator’s entire online presence when reviewing benefit tiers.
Illegal creations and benefits
Legality is very difficult to determine because every country and state has different laws. As a result we design our policies to make sense for a global company, not just where you are located. Here are some types of benefits that we do not allow anywhere on Patreon. In some of these cases, we will also report the account and work with law enforcement to identify the source. Benefits that are not allowed include:
- Images of child abuse and sexual depiction of minors.
- Images of human or animal abuse.
- Access to betting or gambling products or services.
For information on benefits that infringe on intellectual property rights please see our Copyright and Trademark policy.
Drugs, medication, and supplements
Sometimes people want to share their experience with struggles they faced and how they got better as a way of helping others who are struggling, and that’s more than okay. However, we don’t want creators to encourage harmful or dangerous behaviors. As a result, you cannot offer the following as a benefit:
- Drugs or drug paraphernalia.
- Partial payment for drugs, medication or supplements such as coupons, gift cards, or any incentive to purchase or obtain the categories mentioned above.
- Medication or food supplements such as weight loss, energy boost or miracle cures.
- Books or any other form of educational material claiming that they can help cure disease.
Note that Patreon allows creations engaging or discussing alternative medicine as long as it does not put people at risk. There is a fine line, but there is a difference between “Medical research on the use of CBD oil against dementia” vs “How to cure cancer only with Yoga” and the team actively reviews creations that might fall under the second category.
Weapons and explosives
We welcome creations about guns and other weapons on Patreon, but because we are a global company, we have some restrictions on the benefits you can offer. You cannot offer the following as benefits on Patreon:
- Offering lethal weapons as a benefit.
- Offering fireworks as a benefit.
- Benefits offering partial payment such as coupons, gift cards, or any incentive to purchase or obtain firearms or explosives.
- Tutorials, instructions, or demonstrations for crafting or modifying weapons, such as 3D printed designs, manufacturing firearms, and other Do-It-Yourself (DIY) creations.
Alcohol and smoking
You are welcome to create a page dedicated to beer tasting or making cocktails. The same is true if you want to review cigars and talk about the history of tobacco, but there are some limitations to the benefits you can offer. You cannot offer the following:
- Alcohol and smoking substances such as tobacco, cigars, vapes, e-cigarette, rolling paper, and cigarettes.
- Offering promotions, coupons, or any other incentives to purchase or obtain alcohol and smoking products.
- Offering kits to brew alcohol.
Finance and cryptocurrency
Patreon was not designed to help creators launch an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) or create an investment scheme. Therefore, while you can share creations featuring personal investment stories and advice, you cannot offer the following benefits:
- Coins for the purpose of direct financial benefit for creator or patron.
- Coins offered as part of an investment scheme.
- Partial payment such as coupons, gift cards, or any explicit incentive to purchase or obtain cryptocurrency.
- Creators may not organize benefits designed to commit fraud such as a pyramid or Ponzi scheme.
- You cannot offer benefits that promise patrons a financial benefit based on following advice provided in the benefit such as “if you pay $50 a month, my advice will earn you 10 times that.”
Creators may offer digital tokens as part of a membership tier as long as those tokens provide access to exclusive creator benefits. For more information regarding creator coins and tokens, please refer to this Help Center article.
Note: Financial advice given on Patreon must be in compliance with the consumer protection laws of the country where the creator is based. Patreon will not facilitate financial advice content made in violation of these laws.
Sex work and sexual services
While we welcome nudity on Patreon, this is only true for creators who follow both our Community Guidelines and these Benefit Guidelines. There is a fine line between creations and experiences which is highlighted in our Community Guidelines. We understand that creators sometimes need to push the boundaries of what is acceptable to society, but we don’t allow pornography or sexual services to be funded on Patreon. As a result, you cannot offer the following benefits:
- You cannot use Patreon to provide access to pornographic material such as giving access to a website or shared private access to pornographic creations whether on Patreon or on any other platform. Pornography is defined as real people engaging in sexual acts such as masturbation or sexual intercourse on camera.
- You cannot offer items that are either sexually gratifying or intimate in nature.
- You cannot use Patreon’s payment system to fund escort activity.
- You cannot offer an erotic webcam session to your patrons. This means that we have a no nudity policy for creators using CrowdCast.
- 18+ creators featuring real people cannot offer benefits that are limited to a single patron, such as a custom video or audio file specifically created for one patron, or a page made for one patron. That does not mean that you cannot have polls or have your patrons actively participating in your creative process, but they can only do so for as long as the benefits are delivered to a larger group of patrons/fans and are within our guidelines.
Here the question really comes down to what your patrons are paying for on Patreon. We are also happy to provide you with more education on how to maintain a dual presence and dual monetization if you want to have more than just 18+ creations.
Health, hygiene and consumables
Creations related to cooking, how to make your own products, and discussing health are allowed, but creators cannot offer ingredients or products meant for ingestion as a benefit. Creators may, however, offer topical items like lotions or perfumes as a benefit.
Multi-level marketing and direct selling
Patreon is not a platform to launch a direct sales business or facilitate Multi-Level Marketing (MLM). Patreon is not meant to be a means to promote a direct sales business, but a place for creators to launch creative endeavors. Products manufactured and sold by direct marketing companies are not a benefit to be offered on Patreon.
Everyone loves the thrill and the idea of winning a prize which means that raffles can seem like an attractive way to win a bigger audience. However, you cannot request payment for raffles or giveaways as part of a benefit. In other words, patrons should not have to pay for the chance to win something. This includes lotteries, raffles or even mystery boxes if the value of the box is not guaranteed. If you want to offer any form of giveaways to your followers, make sure to open them to your fan base in general, ensure they are not only accessible to your patrons, and follow the applicable laws. You can read more about this here.
Copyright & trademark in merchandise
Your content is yours — Patreon won’t use it in our advertising or as promotional material without your permission. All content is subject to review and we reserve the right to refuse the processing of any content at any time and for any reason.
Merchandise explicitly harassing or threatening the well-being of an individual or group of people will not be facilitated. This can include words or imagery that incite others to commit acts of violence or engage in threatening behavior such as stalking. For additional information, please reference this support article.
Other things to note
This list is not exhaustive and might change in the future as technologies evolve and life simply happens. If you have doubts about your projects, please contact the Trust and Safety team using this form. We are always happy to help.