• 1. Safety
Community Guidelines
  • 1. Safety
  • 2. Privacy
  • 3. Authenticity
Community Guidelines

Updated October 2, 2021

Podopolo’s mission is to enlighten, engage and empower people by creating an enjoyable, rewarding, and safe space to discover, listen and view, and discuss great podcast content, and where the best content is conversation and community. Violence, harassment, hate speech, incitement and other similar types of negative behavior discourage people from expressing themselves, and ultimately diminish the value of global public conversation. Our community guidelines at Podopolo are meant to ensure all people can participate in the public conversation around their favorite podcasts freely, safely, and enjoyably.

Safety

Violence: You may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people. We also prohibit the glorification of violence. Learn more about our violent threat and glorification of violence policies.

Terrorism/violent extremism: You may not threaten or promote terrorism or violent extremism. Learn more.

Child sexual exploitation: We have zero tolerance for child sexual exploitation. Learn more.

Abuse/harassment: You may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone or incite other people to do so. This includes wishing or hoping that someone experiences physical harm. Learn more.

Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease. Learn more.

Suicide or self-harm: You may not promote or encourage suicide or self-harm. Learn more.

Covid-19 misleading information policy: You may not spread misinformation about the transmission, cures, or vaccinations relating to Covid-19. Learn more.

Sensitive media, including graphic violence and adult content: You may not post media that is excessively gory or share violent or adult content within live video or in profile or header images. Media depicting sexual violence and/or assault is also not permitted. Learn more.

Illegal or certain regulated goods or services: You may not use our service for any unlawful purpose or in furtherance of illegal activities. This includes selling, buying, or facilitating transactions in illegal goods or services, as well as certain types of regulated goods or services. Learn more.

Privacy

Private information: You may not publish or post other people's private information (such as home phone number and address) without their express authorization and permission. We also prohibit threatening to expose private information or incentivize others to do so. Learn more.

Non-consensual nudity: You may not post or share intimate photos or videos of someone that were produced or distributed without their consent. Learn more.

See Podopolo’s Privacy Policy Here

Authenticity

Platform manipulation and spam: You may not use Podopolo’s services in a manner intended to artificially amplify or suppress information or engage in behavior that manipulates or disrupts people's experience on Podopolo. Learn more.

Civic Integrity: You may not use Podopolo’s services for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes. This includes posting or sharing content that may suppress participation or mislead people about when, where, or how to participate in a civic process. Learn more.

Impersonation: You may not impersonate individuals, groups, or organizations in a manner that is intended to or does mislead, confuse, or deceive others. Learn more.

Synthetic and manipulated media: You may not deceptively share synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm. In addition, we may label posts on Podopolo containing synthetic and manipulated media to help people understand their authenticity and to provide additional context. Learn more.

1
Safety
Hateful conduct policy

You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people based on race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease. We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories.

Hateful imagery and display names: You may not use hateful images or symbols in your profile image or profile page. You also may not use your username, display name, or profile bio to engage in abusive behavior, such as targeted harassment or expressing hate towards a person, group, or protected category.

We reserve the right to change these Terms of Use or to impose new conditions on use of the Services, from time to time, in which case we will post the revised Terms of Use on the Site or App. By continuing to use the Services after we post any such changes, you accept the Terms of Use, as modified.

Rationale

Podopolo’s mission is to enlighten, engage and empower everyone to discover, discuss, create and share ideas and information, and to express their opinions and beliefs without barriers. Free expression is a human right – we believe that everyone has a voice, and the right to use it. Our role as an interactive podcasting platform is to serve the public conversation, which requires representation of a diverse range of perspectives.

We recognize that if people experience abuse on Podopolo, it can jeopardize their ability to express themselves. Research has shown that some groups of people are disproportionately targeted with abuse online. This includes women, people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual individuals, marginalized and historically underrepresented communities. For those who identify with multiple underrepresented groups, abuse may be more common, more severe in nature and more harmful.

We are committed to combating abuse motivated by hatred, prejudice, or intolerance, particularly abuse that seeks to silence the voices of those who have been historically marginalized. For this reason, we prohibit behavior that targets individuals with abuse based on a protected category.

If you see something on Podopolo that you believe violates our hateful conduct policy, please report it to us here or email us at guidelines@podopolo.com

When this applies

We will review and act against reports of accounts targeting an individual or group of people with any of the following areas of the app and website, whether within Podcasts, Podcast or User-Generated Communities, Podcast Playlists, Chats, Live Social Audio, Direct Messages, or any other content on Podopolo.

Violent threats
We prohibit content that makes violent threats against an identifiable target. Violent threats are declarative statements of intent to inflict injuries that would result in serious and lasting bodily harm, where an individual could die or be significantly injured, e.g., “I will kill you.”

Note: We have a zero-tolerance policy against violent threats. Those deemed to be sharing violent threats will face immediate and permanent suspension of their account.

Wishing, hoping, or calling for serious harm on a person or group of people
We prohibit content that wishes, hopes, promotes, incites, or expresses a desire for death, serious bodily harm, or serious disease against an entire protected category and/or individuals who may be members of that category. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Hoping that an entire protected category and/or individuals who may be members of that category dies because of a serious disease, e.g., “I hope all [nationality] get COVID and die.”
  • Wishing for someone to fall victim to a serious accident, e.g., “I wish that you would get run over by a car next time you run your mouth.”
  • Saying that a group of individuals deserve serious physical injury, e.g., “If this group of [slur] don’t shut up, they deserve to be shot.”
  • Encouraging others to commit violence against an individual or a group based on their perceived membership in a protected category, e.g., “I’m in the mood to punch a [racial slur], who’s with me?”

References to mass murder, violent events, or specific means of violence where protected groups have been the primary targets or victims
We prohibit targeting individuals with content that reference forms of violence or violent events where a protected category was the primary target, or victims, where the intent is to harass. This includes, but is not limited to sending someone:

  • Media that depicts victims of the Holocaust.
  • Media that depicts lynching.

Incitement against protected categories
We prohibit inciting behavior that targets individuals or groups of people belonging to protected categories. This includes content intended to:

  • Incite fear or spread fearful stereotypes about a protected category, including asserting that members of a protected category are more likely to take part in dangerous or illegal activities, e.g., “all [religious group] are terrorists.”
  • Incite others to harass members of a protected category on or off platform, e.g., “I’m sick of these [religious group] thinking they are better than us, if any of you see someone wearing a [religious symbol of the religious group], grab it off them and post pics!“
  • Incite others to discriminate in the form of denial of support to the economic enterprise of an individual or group because of their perceived membership in a protected category, e.g., “If you go to a [religious group] store, you are supporting those [slur], let’s stop giving our money to these [religious slur].” This may not include content intended as political in nature, such as political commentary or content relating to boycotts or protests.

Note that content intended to incite violence against a protected category is prohibited under Wishing, hoping, or calling for serious harm on a person or groups of people.

We prohibit targeting individuals and groups with content intended to incite fear or spread fearful stereotypes about a protected category, including asserting that members of a protected category are more likely to take part in dangerous or illegal activities, e.g., “all [religious group] are terrorists.”

Repeated and/or non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes, or other content that degrades someone
We prohibit targeting individuals with repeated slurs, tropes, or other content that intends to dehumanize, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category. This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.

We also prohibit the dehumanization of a group of people based on their religion, caste, age, disability, serious disease, national origin, race, or ethnicity.

Hateful imagery
We consider hateful imagery to be logos, symbols, or images whose purpose is to promote hostility and malice against others based on their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or ethnicity/national origin. Some examples of hateful imagery include, but are not limited to:

  • Symbols historically associated with hate groups, e.g., the Nazi swastika.
  • images depicting others as less than human, or altered to include hateful symbols, e.g., altering images of individuals to include animalistic features; or
  • Images altered to include hateful symbols or references to a mass murder that targeted a protected category, e.g., manipulating images of individuals to include yellow Star of David badges, in reference to the Holocaust.

Media depicting hateful imagery is not permitted within live video, account bio, profile, or header images. All other instances must be marked as sensitive media. Additionally, sending an individual unsolicited hateful imagery is a violation of our abusive behavior policy.

Do I need to be the target of this content for it to be a violation of the Podopolo community guidelines?

Some podcasts or posts may appear to be hateful when viewed in isolation but may not be when viewed in the context of a larger conversation. For example, members of a protected category may refer to each other using terms that are typically considered as slurs. When used consensually, the intent behind these terms is not abusive, but a means to reclaim terms that were historically used to demean individuals.

When we review this type of content, it may not be clear whether the intention is to abuse an individual because of their protected status, or if it is part of a consensual conversation. To help our teams understand the context, we sometimes need to hear directly from the person being targeted to ensure that we have the information needed prior to taking any enforcement action.

Note: Individuals do not need to be a member of a specific protected category for us to take action. We will never ask people to prove or disprove membership in any protected category and we will not investigate this information.

Consequences

Under this policy, we take action against behavior that targets individuals or an entire protected category with hateful conduct, as described above. Targeting can happen in several ways, for example, mentions, including a photo of an individual, referring to someone by their full name, etc.

When determining the penalty for violating this policy, we consider several factors including, but not limited to the severity of the violation and an individual’s previous record of community guideline violations. For example, we may ask someone to remove the violating content and serve a period of time in read-only mode before they can podcast or post again. Subsequent violations will lead to longer read-only periods and may eventually result in permanent account suspension. If an account is engaging primarily in abusive behavior, or is deemed to have shared a violent threat, we will permanently suspend the account upon initial review.

Learn more about our range of enforcement options. If someone believes their account was suspended in error, they can submit an appeal here or email us at appeal@podopolo.com.

Sensitive media policy
Overview

You may not post media that is excessively gory or share violent or adult content within a podcast, comments on a podcast page, in a shared interest community, or in any other public area of the app including a user profile page. Media depicting sexual violence and/or assault is also not permitted.

People use Podopolo to listen, learn, connect, and have meaningful conversations, often sharing images and videos as part of the conversation. Sometimes, this media can depict sensitive topics, including violent and adult content. We recognize that some people may not want to be exposed to sensitive content, which is why we balance allowing people to share this type of media with helping people who want to avoid it to do so.

For this reason, you can’t include violent, hateful, or adult content within areas that are highly visible on Podopolo, including within podcast collections, trending or featured podcasts, conversations about podcasts, shared interest communities, user profiles, or images. If you share this content on Podopolo, you need to mark your account as sensitive. Doing so places images and videos behind an interstitial (or warning message), that needs to be acknowledged before your media can be viewed. Using this feature means that people who don’t want to see sensitive media can avoid it or make an informed decision before they choose to view it.

Under this policy, there are also some types of sensitive media content that we don’t allow at all, because they have the potential to normalize violence and cause distress to those who view them.

We group sensitive media content into the following categories:

Graphic violence
Graphic violence is any media that depicts death, violence, medical procedures, or serious physical injury in graphic detail. Some examples include, but are not limited to, depictions of:

  • Violent crimes or accidents;
  • Physical fights;
  • Physical child abuse;
  • Bodily fluids including blood, feces, semen etc.;
  • Serious physical harm, including visible wounds; and
  • Severely injured or mutilated animals.

Note: Exceptions may be made for documentary or educational content.

Adult content
Adult content is any consensually produced and distributed media that is pornographic or intended to cause sexual arousal. Some examples include, but are not limited to, depictions of:

  • Full or partial nudity, including close-ups of genitals, buttocks, or breasts (excluding content related to breastfeeding);
  • Simulated sexual acts; and
  • Sexual intercourse or other sexual acts – this also applies to cartoons, hentai, or anime involving humans or depictions of animals with human-like features.

Note: Exceptions may be made for artistic, medical, health, or educational content.

For content that was created or distributed without the consent of those featured, please refer to our non-consensual nudity policy.

Violent sexual conduct
Violent sexual conduct is any media that depicts violence, whether real or simulated, in association with sexual acts. Some examples include, but are not limited to, depictions of:

  • Rape and other forms of violent sexual assault, or sexual acts that occur without the consent of participants, including a simulated lack of consent; and
  • Sexualized violence – inflicting physical harm on an individual within an intimate setting, where it is not immediately obvious if those involved have consented to take part.

Gratuitous gore
Gratuitous gore is any media that depicts excessively graphic or gruesome content related to death, violence or severe physical harm, or violent content that is shared for sadistic purposes. Some examples include, but are not limited to, depictions of:

  • Dismembered or mutilated humans;
  • Charred or burned human remains;
  • Exposed internal organs or bones; and
  • Animal torture or killing. Note: exceptions may be made for religious sacrifice, food preparation or processing, and hunting.

Hateful imagery
Hateful imagery is any logo, symbol, or image that has the intention to promote hostility against people on the basis of race, religious affiliation, disability, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity or ethnicity/national origin. Some examples of hateful imagery include, but are not limited to:

  • Symbols historically associated with hate groups, e.g., the Nazi swastika;
  • Images depicting others as less than human, or altered to include hateful symbols, e.g., altering images of individuals to include animalistic features; or
  • Images altered to include hateful symbols or references to a mass murder that targeted a protected category, e.g., manipulating images of individuals to include yellow Star of David badges, in reference to the Holocaust.

What is in violation of this policy?

Our aim is to limit exposure to sensitive images and videos and to prevent the sharing of potentially disturbing types of sensitive media. For this reason, we differentiate our enforcement approach depending on the type of media that has been shared and where it has been shared.

Graphic violence, adult content, and hateful imagery

  • You can’t target people with unsolicited images or videos that contain graphic violence, adult content, or hateful imagery; and
  • You can’t include graphic violence, adult content, or hateful imagery within live video, profile, header, or List banner images.

Violent sexual conduct and gratuitous gore
We prohibit violent sexual conduct to prevent the normalization of sexual assault and non-consensual violence associated with sexual acts. We prohibit gratuitous gore content because research has shown that repeated exposure to violent content online may negatively impact an individual’s wellbeing. For these reasons, you can’t share images or videos that depict violent sexual conduct or gratuitous gore on Podopolo. Note: Very limited exceptions may be made for gory media associated with newsworthy events.

What is not a violation of this policy?

You can share graphic violence and consensually-produced adult content within your podcasts or posts, if you mark this media as sensitive. We may also allow limited sharing of hateful imagery, provided that it is not used to promote a terrorist or violent extremist group, that you mark this content as sensitive and don’t target it at an individual (via mentioning someone or including an identifiable individual within such images).

To mark your media as sensitive, navigate to your settings and select the Mark Media you Podcast or Post as Containing Material that May Be Sensitive option. If you don’t mark your media as sensitive, we will do so manually if your content is reported for review.

Who can report violations of this policy?

Anyone can report potential violations of this policy via our dedicated reporting flows.

How can I report violations of this policy?

In-app
You can report this content for review in-app as follows:

  1. If you discover a podcast while browsing the app which contains sensitive content, on the podcast page click the ‘ellipsis’ in the top right corner and click on the ‘report’ option in the menu.
  2. If an episode within a podcast contains sensitive content but it is not marked as sensitive, on the episode page click the ‘ellipsis’ in the top right corner and click on the ‘report’ option in the menu.
  3. If you are listening to a podcast and feel there is content that may be sensitive in nature, click the ‘ellipsis’ in the top right of the player and click on the ‘report’ option in the menu.

Website
You can report offending content using the report forms located here.

What happens if you violate this policy?

The enforcement action we take depends on the type of media you have shared, and where you have shared it.

Graphic violence, adult content, and hateful imagery

  • Live video, live audio, and profile images: The first time you violate this policy, we will require you to remove this content. We will also temporarily lock you out of your account before you post again or have your podcast featured. If you violate this policy again after your first warning, your account will be permanently suspended;
  • Sending someone unsolicited violent or adult content: If you target someone with sensitive media in a clearly abusive or unsolicited way, we’ll require you to remove it under our abusive behavior policy; and
  • Accounts dedicated to posting sensitive media: Your account may be permanently suspended if most of your activity on Podopolo is sharing sensitive media.

If you believe that your account was suspended in error, you can submit an appeal here or email us at appeal@podopolo.com.

Violent sexual conduct and gratuitous gore

  • If you share media that depicts violent sexual conduct or gratuitous gore anywhere on Podopolo, we will require you to remove this content.
  • If your account is dedicated to posting this type of content, your account will be immediately permanently suspended.

If you believe that your account was suspended in error, you can submit an appeal here or email us at appeal@podopolo.com.

Additional resources

Learn more about our range of enforcement options. Adult content that was created or shared without the consent of those depicted is reviewed under our non-consensual nudity policy.

Child sexual exploitation policy
Overview

We have a zero-tolerance child sexual exploitation policy on Podopolo.

Podopolo has zero tolerance towards any material that features or promotes child sexual exploitation, one of the most serious violations of the Podopolo community guidelines. This may include media, text, illustrated, or computer-generated images. Regardless of the intent, viewing, sharing, or linking to child sexual exploitation material contributes to the re-victimization of the depicted children. This also applies to content that may further contribute to victimization of children through the promotion or glorification of child sexual exploitation. For the purposes of this policy, a minor is any person under the age of 18.

What is in violation of this policy?

Any content that depicts or promotes child sexual exploitation including, but not limited to:

  • Visual depictions of a child engaging in sexually explicit or sexually suggestive acts;
  • Podcast content that depicts or promotes children engaging in sexually explicit or sexually suggestive acts;
  • Illustrated, computer-generated or other forms of realistic depictions of a human child in a sexually explicit context, or engaging in sexually explicit acts;
  • Sexualized commentaries about or directed at a known or unknown minor; and
  • Links to third-party sites that host child sexual exploitation material.

The following behaviors are also not permitted:

  • Sharing fantasies about or promoting engagement in child sexual exploitation;
  • Expressing a desire to obtain materials that feature child sexual exploitation;
  • Recruiting, advertising or expressing an interest in a commercial sex act involving a child, or in harboring and/or transporting a child for sexual purposes;
  • Sending sexually explicit media to a child;
  • Engaging or trying to engage a child in a sexually explicit conversation;
  • Trying to obtain sexually explicit media from a child or trying to engage a child in sexual activity through blackmail or other incentives;
  • Identifying alleged victims of childhood sexual exploitation by name or image; and
  • Promoting or normalizing sexual attraction to minors as a form of identity or sexual orientation.

What is not a violation of this policy?

  • Discussions related to child sexual exploitation are permitted, provided they don’t normalize, promote, or glorify child sexual exploitation in any way;
  • Conversations about help-seeking behavior of individuals who may struggle with an attraction to minors;
  • Advocacy against illegal or harmful activity involving minors provided there is no sharing of, or linking to any material featuring child sexual exploitation; and
  • Depictions of nude minors in a non-sexualized context or setting may be permitted in a limited number of scenarios (e.g., art works by internationally renowned artists that feature minors, news media reportage, media created and shared for scientific or educational purposes).

Who can report violations of this policy?

Anyone can report potential violations of this policy, whether they have a Podopolo account or not.

How can I report violations of this policy?

If you think you've found a Podopolo account distributing or promoting child sexual exploitation, you can report it via our child sexual exploitation form. Provide the username and links to all relevant podcasts or posts that led you to believe the account should be reviewed.

What happens if you violate this policy?

In most cases, the consequence for violating our child sexual exploitation policy is immediate and permanent suspension. In addition, violators will be prohibited from creating any new accounts in the future. Note: when we’re made aware of content depicting or promoting child sexual exploitation, including links to third party sites where this content can be accessed, they will be removed without further notice and reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).

In a limited number of situations, where we haven’t identified any malicious intent, we will require you to remove this content. We will also temporarily lock you out of your account before you can Podcast or post again. Further violations will lead to your account being permanently suspended. If you believe that your account was suspended in error, you can submit an appeal.

Additional resources

Learn more about our range of enforcement options. If you’ve found content elsewhere on the internet that is distributing or promoting child sexual exploitation, you should file a report with NCMEC, or with your local law enforcement. If you believe the content is hosted on a website outside of the United States, you can report it on the International Association of Internet Hotlines website.

COVID-19 and Vaccination Misleading Information Policy
Overview

You may not use Podopolo’s services to share false or misleading information about COVID-19 which may lead to harm.

Even as scientific understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop and evolve, we’ve observed the emergence of persistent conspiracy theories, alarmist rhetoric unfounded in research or credible reporting, and a wide range of unsubstantiated rumors, which left uncontextualized can prevent the public from making informed decisions regarding their health, and puts individuals, families, and communities at risk.

Content that is demonstrably false or misleading and may lead to significant risk of harm (such as increased exposure to the virus, or adverse effects on public health systems) may not be shared on Podopolo. This includes podcasts as well as sharing content that may mislead people about the nature of the COVID-19 virus; the efficacy and/or safety of preventative measures, treatments, vaccinations or other precautions to mitigate or treat the disease; official regulations, restrictions, or exemptions pertaining to health advisories; or the prevalence of the virus or risk of infection or death associated with COVID-19. In addition, we may label podcasts or posts which share misleading information about COVID-19 to reduce their spread and provide additional context.

What is in violation of this policy?

For content related to COVID-19 to be labeled or removed under this policy, it must:

  • Advance a claim of fact, expressed in definitive terms;
  • Be demonstrably false or misleading, based on widely available, authoritative sources; and
  • Be likely to impact public safety or cause serious harm.

This policy addresses 5 categories of misleading behavior and content:

False or misleading information about the nature of the virus.
We will label or remove false or misleading information about:

  • Transmission of the virus, such as false claims about asymptomatic spread, or false information about how it is transmitted indoors;
  • Susceptibility to the virus, for example claims that specific groups or people are more or less prone to be infected or to develop adverse symptoms on the basis of their nationality or religion;
  • Symptoms commonly associated with the virus, for example, misleading instructions on how to self-diagnose;
  • The pandemic or COVID-19 vaccines that invoke a deliberate conspiracy by malicious and/or powerful forces.

False or misleading information about the efficacy and/or safety of preventative measures, treatments, or other precautions to mitigate or treat the disease.
We will label or remove false or misleading information about:

  • The safety or efficacy of treatments or preventative measures that are not approved by health authorities, or that are approved by health authorities but not safe to administer from home;
  • The sale or facilitation of medicines or drugs that require a prescription or physician consultation;
  • Adverse impacts or effects of receiving vaccinations, where these claims have been widely debunked;
  • Vaccines and vaccination programs which suggest that COVID-19 vaccinations are part of a deliberate or intentional attempt to cause harm or control populations.

False or misleading information about official regulations, restrictions, or exemptions pertaining to health advisories.
We will label or remove false or misleading information about:

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) such as claims about the efficacy and safety of face masks to reduce viral spread;
  • Preventative measures such as handwashing, proper hygiene or sanitation methods, or social distancing;
  • Local or national advisories or mandates pertaining to curfews, lockdowns, travel restrictions, quarantine protocols, inoculations, including exemptions from such advisories or mandates;
  • How vaccines are developed, tested, and approved by official health agencies as well as information about government recommendations.

False or misleading information about the prevalence of the virus, or risk of infection or death.
We will label or remove false or misleading information about:

  • The prevalence of the virus or the disease, such as information pertaining to test results, hospitalizations, or mortality rates;
  • The capacity of the public health system to cope with the crisis, for example false information about the availability of PPE, ventilators, or doctors, or about hospital capacity;
  • Research findings (such as misrepresentations of or unsubstantiated conclusions about statistical data) used to advance a specific narrative that diminishes the significance of the disease.

False or misleading affiliation
You can’t create fake accounts which misrepresent their affiliation or share content that falsely represents its affiliation to a medical practitioner, public health official or agency, research institution, or that falsely suggests expertise on COVID-19 issues.

What is not a violation of this policy?

We seek to protect robust, public debate about the response to COVID-19, and recognize that the state of scientific knowledge about certain aspects of the pandemic and public response to it (including the development of vaccines) is still relatively nascent. In the absence of other policy violations, the following are generally not in violation of this policy:

  • Strong commentary, opinions, and/or satire, provided these do not contain false or misleading assertions of fact.
  • Counter speech. We allow for direct responses to misleading information which seek to undermine its impact by correcting the record, amplifying credible information, and educating the wider community about the prevalence and dynamics of misleading information.
  • Personal anecdotes or first-person accounts.
  • Public debate about the advancement of COVID-19 science and research, including debate about research related to COVID-19, such as the effectiveness of treatments and mitigation measures, so long as the claims don’t misrepresent research findings.

Who can report violations of this policy?

Rather than in-product reports, we are enforcing this policy in close coordination with trusted partners, including public health authorities, NGOs and governments, and continue to use and consult with information from those sources when reviewing content.

Our team has open lines of communication with relevant multinational stakeholders, including the World Health Organization, numerous government and public health organizations, and officials around the world, to ensure they can troubleshoot account issues, get their experts verified, and seek strategic counsel as they use the power of Podopolo to mitigate harm.

What happens if you violate this policy?

The consequences for violating our COVID-19 misleading information policy depends on the severity and type of the violation and the account’s history of previous violations. In instances where accounts repeatedly violate this policy, we will use a strike system to determine if further enforcement actions should be applied. We believe this system further helps to reduce the spread of potentially harmful and misleading information on Podopolo, particularly for high-severity violations of our community guidelines.

The actions we take may include the following:

Podcast or post deletion
For high-severity violations of this policy, including (1) misleading information related to the nature or treatment of the COVID-19 virus and (2) pandemic or COVID-19 vaccines that invoke a deliberate conspiracy by malicious and/or powerful forces, we will require you to remove this content. We will also temporarily lock you out of your account before you can Podcast or post again. Podcast or post deletions accrue 2 strikes.

Labeling
In circumstances where we do not remove content which violates this policy, we may provide additional context on podcasts or posts sharing the content where they appear on Podopolo. This means we may:

  • Apply a label and/or warning message to the podcast or post
  • Show a warning to people before they share or like the podcast or post;
  • Reduce the visibility of the podcast or post on Podopolo and/or prevent it from being recommended;
  • Turn off likes, comments and shares; and/or
  • Provide a link to additional explanations or clarifications, such as in a curated landing page or relevant Podopolo policies.

In most cases, we will take all of the above actions on podcasts or posts we label. We prioritize producing Podopolo Picks and curated collections or playlists in cases where misleading content on Podopolo is gaining significant attention and has caused public confusion on our service. Podcasts or posts that are labeled and determined to be harmful will accrue 1 strike.

Account locks and permanent suspension
If we determine that an account is dedicated to podcasting, posting, or promoting a particular misleading narrative (or set of narratives) about COVID-19, this would also be grounds for suspension.

If you believe that your account was locked or suspended in error, you can submit an appeal.

For severe or repeated violations of this policy, accounts will be permanently suspended.

Repeated violations of this policy are enforced against on the basis of the number of strikes an account has accrued for violations of this policy:

  • 1 strike: No account-level action
  • 2 strikes: 12-hour account lock
  • 3 strikes: 12-hour account lock
  • 4 strikes: 7-day account lock
  • 5 or more strikes: Permanent suspension

If you believe that your account was locked or suspended in error, you can submit an appeal.

Additional resources

Learn more about our range of enforcement options.

Violent threats policy
Overview

You may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people. We also prohibit the glorification of violence.
Healthy conversation is only possible when people feel safe from abuse and don’t resort to using violent language. For this reason, we have a policy against threatening violence on Podopolo. We define violent threats as statements of an intent to kill or inflict serious physical harm on a specific person or group of people.

What is in violation of this policy?

Under this policy, you can’t state an intention to inflict violence on a specific person or group of people. We define intent to include statements like “I will”, “I’m going to”, or “I plan to”, as well as conditional statements like “If you do X, I will”. Violations of this policy include, but are not limited to:

  • Threatening to kill someone;
  • Threatening to sexually assault someone;
  • Threatening to seriously hurt someone and/or commit a other violent act that could lead to someone’s death or serious physical injury; and
  • Asking for or offering a financial reward in exchange for inflicting violence on a specific person or group of people.

What is not a violation of this policy?

We recognize that some people use violent language as part of hyperbolic speech or between friends, so we also allow some forms of violent speech where it’s clear that there is no abusive or violent intent, e.g., “I’ll kill you for sending me that plot spoiler!”.

This policy is enforced in tandem with our policies on abusive behavior and hateful conduct. Statements that express a wish or hope that someone experiences physical harm, making vague or indirect threats, or threatening actions that are unlikely to cause serious or lasting injury are not actionable under this policy, but may be reviewed and actioned under those policies. Note: we also have a policy against encouraging self-harm and suicide.

Who can report violations of this policy?

Anyone can report potential violations of this policy, whether they have a Podopolo account or not.

How can I report violations of this policy?

In-app
You can report this content for review in-app as follows:

  1. If you discover a podcast while browsing the app which contains violent threats, on the podcast page click the ‘ellipsis’ in the top right corner and click on the ‘report’ option in the menu.
  2. If an episode within a podcast contains violent threats but it is not marked as sensitive, on the episode page click the ‘ellipsis’ in the top right corner and click on the ‘report’ option in the menu.
  3. If you are listening to a podcast and feel there are threats that may be violent in nature, click the ‘ellipsis’ in the top right of the player and click on the ‘report’ option in the menu

Website
You can report offending content using the report forms located at https://podopolo.com/report

Report form
You can also report this content for review via our abusive behavior reporting form, by selecting the Specific violent threats involving physical safety or well-being option.

What happens if you violate this policy?

We will immediately and permanently suspend any account found to be posting violent threats.

In rare cases, we may not suspend an account immediately. For example, if the reported content is a form of hyperbolic speech. In such cases, we may require you to remove this content. We may also temporarily lock you out of your account before you can Podcast or post again. If you continue to violate this policy after receiving a warning, your account will be permanently suspended. If you believe that your account was suspended in error, you can submit an appeal.

Abusive profile information

Podopolo Community Guidelines: You may not use your username, display name, or profile bio to engage in abusive behavior, such as targeted harassment or expressing hate towards a person, group, or protected category.

Rationale

While we want people to feel free to express their individuality in their profile names and descriptions, we have found that accounts with abusive profile information usually indicate abusive intent and strongly correlate with abusive behavior. The high visibility of profile names and descriptions also means that people might involuntarily find themselves exposed to threatening or abusive content when visiting a profile page.

When this applies

We will review and take enforcement action against accounts that target an individual, group of people, or a protected category with any of the following behavior in their profile information, i.e., usernames, display names, or profile bios:

  • Violent threats
  • Abusive slurs, epithets, racist, or sexist tropes
  • Abusive content that reduces someone to less than human
  • Content that incites fear

We will not consider insults under this policy. However, we will still take action against these accounts if we receive reports about podcasts, posts, shares or direct messages that are in violation of our other policies. As always, context matters when we evaluate for abusive behavior and in determining appropriate enforcement actions.

Do I need to be the target of this content for it to be a violation of the Podopolo community guidelines?
No, we review both first-person and bystander reports of such content.

Consequences

If an account’s profile information includes any of the abusive behaviors listed above, we will permanently suspend the account on the first violation.

If an account uses a hateful symbol in its profile information, the account-holder will be required to remove the symbol before they can use their account again. Repeated violations will lead to permanent suspension. For more information on how we handle hateful imagery and symbols, see our sensitive media policy.

If someone believes their account was suspended in error, they can submit an appeal.

Financial scam policy
Overview

You may not use Podopolo’s services in a manner intended to artificially amplify or suppress information or engage in behavior that manipulates or disrupts people’s experience on Podopolo.

We want Podopolo to be a place where people can make human connections and find reliable information. For this reason, you may not use Podopolo’s services to deceive others into sending you money or personal financial information via scam tactics, phishing, or otherwise fraudulent or deceptive methods.

What is in violation of this policy?

Using scam tactics on Podopolo to obtain money or private financial information is prohibited under this policy. You are not allowed to create accounts, claim podcasts, post, share or send direct messages that solicit engagement in such fraudulent schemes. Examples of prohibited, deceptive tactics include:

  • Relationship/trust-building scams. You may not deceive others into sending you money or personal financial information by operating a fake account or by posing as a public figure or an organization.
  • Money-flipping schemes. You may not engage in “money flipping” schemes (for example, guaranteeing to send someone a large amount of money in return for a smaller initial payment via a wire transfer or prepaid debit card).
  • Fraudulent discounts. You may not operate schemes which make discount offers to others wherein fulfillment of the offers is paid for using stolen credit cards and/or stolen financial credentials.
  • Phishing scams. You may not pose as or imply affiliation with banks or other financial institutions to acquire others’ personal financial information. Keep in mind that other forms of phishing to obtain such information are also in violation of our platform manipulation and spam policy.

What is not a violation of this policy?

As described above, Podopolo takes action on accounts that engage in deceptive scam, phishing, or other fraud tactics. Podopolo does not intervene in financial disputes between individuals who use Podopolo, such as:

  • Claims relating to the sale of goods on Podopolo.
  • Disputed refunds from individuals or brands.
  • Complaints of poor-quality goods received.

Who can report violations of this policy?

Anyone can report accounts or Podcasts or posts via our dedicated reporting flow. These reports are used in aggregate to help refine our enforcement systems and identify new and emerging trends and patterns of behavior, and you may not receive an individual response to your report.

How can I report violations of this policy?

In-app
You can report this content for review in-app as follows:

  1. If you discover a podcast while browsing the app which contains financial scams, on the podcast page click the ‘ellipsis’ in the top right corner and click on the ‘report’ option in the menu.
  2. If an episode within a podcast contains financial scams, on the episode page click the ‘ellipsis’ in the top right corner and click on the ‘report’ option in the menu.
  3. If you are listening to a podcast and feel there are financial scams present, click the ‘ellipsis’ in the top right of the player and click on the ‘report’ option in the menu

Website
You can report offending content using the report forms located here.

What happens if you violate this policy?

The consequences for violating this policy depend on the type and severity of the violation as well as any previous history of violations. The actions we take may include the following:

Anti-spam challenges
When we detect suspicious levels of activity, accounts may be locked and prompted to provide additional information (e.g., a phone number) or to solve a reCAPTCHA.

Blacklisting URLs
We blacklist or provide warnings about URLs we believe to be unsafe.

Podcast or post deletion and temporary account locks
If the violation is an isolated incident or first offense, we may take a number of actions ranging from requiring deletion of one or more podcasts, podcast episodes, podcast playlists, or posts to temporarily locking account(s). Any subsequent attempts to engage in scam, phishing or other fraud tactics will result in permanent suspension.

Permanent suspension
For severe violations, accounts will be permanently suspended at first detection. Examples of severe violations include:

  • Operating accounts where the majority of behavior is in violation of the policies described above;
  • Creating accounts to replace or mimic a suspended account.

Violent organizations policy
Overview

There is no place on Podopolo for violent organizations, including terrorist organizations, violent extremist groups, or individuals who affiliate with and promote their illicit activities. The violence that these groups engage in and/or promote jeopardizes the physical safety and well-being of those targeted. Our assessments under this policy are informed by national and international terrorism designations, as well as our violent extremist group and violent organizations criteria.

You may not threaten or promote terrorism or violent extremism.

Violent extremist groups are those that meet all of the below criteria:

  • Identify through their stated purpose, publications, or actions as an extremist group;
  • Have engaged in, or currently engage in, violence and/or the promotion of violence as a means to further their cause; and
  • Target civilians in their acts and/or promotion of violence.

Other violent organizations
Other violent organizations are those that meet all of the below criteria:

  • A collection of individuals with a shared purpose; and
  • Have systematically targeted civilians with violence.

We examine a group’s activities both on and off Podopolo to determine whether they satisfy the above criteria.

What is in violation of this policy?

Under this policy, you can’t affiliate with and promote the illicit activities of a terrorist organization or violent extremist group. Examples of the types of content that violate this policy include, but are not limited to:

  • Engaging in or promoting acts on behalf of a violent organization;
  • Recruiting for a violent organization;
  • Providing or distributing services (e.g., financial, media/propaganda) to further a violent organization’s stated goals; and
  • Using the insignia or symbol of violent organizations to promote them or indicate affiliation or support.

What is not a violation of this policy?

We may make limited exceptions for groups that have reformed or are currently engaging in a peaceful resolution process, as well as groups with representatives who have been elected to public office through democratic elections. We may also make exceptions related to the discussion of terrorism or extremism for clearly educational or documentary purposes. This policy also doesn’t apply to state or governmental organizations.

Who can report violations of this policy?

Anyone can report potential violations of this policy, whether they have a Podopolo account or not.

How can I report violations of this policy?

In-app
You can report this content for review in-app as follows:

  • If you discover a podcast while browsing the app which contains reference to involvement with a violent organization(s), on the podcast page click the ‘ellipsis’ in the top right corner and click on the ‘report’ option in the menu.
  • If an episode within a podcast contains references to involvement with a violent organization(s), on the episode page click the ‘ellipsis’ in the top right corner and click on the ‘report’ option in the menu.
  • If you are listening to a podcast and feel there are threatening references to involvement with a violent organization(s), click the ‘ellipsis’ in the top right of the player and click on the ‘report’ option in the menu

Website
You can report offending content using the report forms located here.

Report form
You can also report this content for review via our abusive behavior reporting form, by selecting the ”a user or podcast has stated they belong to or represent a violent organization” option.

What happens if you violate this policy?

We will immediately and permanently suspend any account that we determine to be in violation of this policy. If you believe that your account was suspended in error, you can submit an appeal.

Additional resources

Learn more about our range of enforcement options. To learn more about violations related to specific threats of violence or incidents involving wishing for the serious physical harm, death, or disease of an individual or group of people, please see our glorification of violence policy.

2
Privacy
Private information policy
Overview

You may not publish or post other people's private information without their express authorization and permission. We also prohibit threatening to expose private information or incentivizing others to do so.

Sharing someone’s private information online or in a podcast without their permission, sometimes called doxxing, is a breach of their privacy and of the Podopolo community guidelines. Sharing private information can pose serious safety and security risks for those affected and can lead to physical, emotional, and financial hardship.

When reviewing reports under this policy, we consider a number of things, including:

What type of information is being shared?
We consider this because certain types of private information carry higher risks than others, if they’re shared without permission. Our primary aim is to protect individuals from coming to physical harm as a result of their information being shared, so we consider information like physical location to be a higher risk than other types of information.

Who is sharing the information?
We also consider who is sharing the reported information and whether or not they have the consent of the person it belongs to. We do this because we know that there are times when people may want some forms of their personal information to be shared publicly. For example, sharing a personal phone number or email for professional networking or to coordinate social events or publicly sharing someone’s home addresses to seek help after a natural disaster.

Is the information available elsewhere online?
If the reported information was shared somewhere else before it was shared on Podopolo e.g., someone sharing their personal phone number on their own publicly accessible website, we may not treat this information as private, as the owner has made it publicly available. Note: We may take action against home addresses being shared, even if they are publicly available, due to the potential for physical harm.

Why is the information being shared?
We also factor in the intent of the person sharing the information. For example, if we believe that someone is sharing information with an abusive intent, or to harass or encourage others to harass another person, we will take action. On the other hand, if someone is sharing information in an effort to help someone involved in a crisis situation like in the aftermath of a violent event, we may not take action.

What is in violation of this policy?

Under this policy, you can’t share the following types of private information, without the permission of the person who it belongs to:

  • Home address or physical location information, including street addresses, GPS coordinates or other identifying information related to locations that are considered private;
  • Identity documents, including government-issued IDs and social security or other national identity numbers – note: we may make limited exceptions in regions where this information is not considered to be private;
  • Contact information, including non-public personal phone numbers or email addresses;
  • Financial account information, including bank account and credit card details; and
  • Other private information, including biometric data or medical records.
The following behaviors are also not permitted:
  • Threatening to publicly expose someone’s private information;
  • Sharing information that would enable individuals to hack or gain access to someone’s private information without their consent,e.g., sharing sign-in credentials for online banking services;
  • Asking for or offering a bounty or financial reward in exchange for posting someone’s private information;
  • Asking for a bounty or financial reward in exchange for not posting someone’s private information, sometimes referred to as blackmail.

What is not a violation of this policy?

The following are not in violation of this policy:

  • People sharing their own private information;
  • Sharing information that is publicly available elsewhere, in a non-abusive manner; and
  • Contact information, including non-public personal phone numbers or email addresses;
    • name;
    • birthdate or age;
    • place of education or employment;
    • location information related to commercial property or places of business, where this information is publicly available;
    • descriptions of physical appearance;
    • gossip, rumors, accusations, and allegations; and
    • screenshots of text messages or messages from other platforms (unless they contain private information e.g., phone number).

Who can report violations of this policy?

Anyone can report private information that has been shared in a clearly abusive way (whether they have a Podopolo account or not). In cases where the information hasn’t been shared with a clearly abusive intent, we need to hear directly from the owner of this information (or an authorized representative, such as a lawyer) before taking enforcement action.

How can I report violations of this policy?

You can report this content for review in-app as follows:

  1. If you discover a podcast while browsing the app which contains reference to inappropriate or stolen private information, on the podcast page click the ‘ellipsis’ in the top right corner and click on the ‘report’ option in the menu.
  2. If an episode within a podcast contains references to inappropriate or stolen private information, on the episode page click the ‘ellipsis’ in the top right corner and click on the ‘report’ option in the menu.
  3. If you are listening to a podcast and feel there are references to inappropriate or stolen private information, click the ‘ellipsis’ in the top right of the player and click on the ‘report’ option in the menu

Website
You can report offending content using the report forms located here.

Report
You can also report this content for review via our private information report form, by selecting the type of private information that you want to report.

What happens if you violate this policy?

The consequences for violating our private information policy will depend on the severity of the violation and the accounts’ previous history of violations.

The first time you violate this policy, we will require you to remove this content. We will also temporarily lock you out of your account before you can Tweet again. If you violate this policy again after your first warning, your account will be permanently suspended. If you believe that your account was suspended in error, you can submit an appeal.

Non-consensual nudity policy
Overview

You may not post or share intimate photos or videos of someone that were produced or distributed without their consent.

Sharing explicit sexual images or videos of someone online without their consent is a severe violation of their privacy and the Podopolo community guidelines. Sometimes referred to as revenge porn, this content poses serious safety and security risks for people affected and can lead to physical, emotional, and financial hardship.

What is a violation of this policy?

Under this policy, you can’t post or share explicit images or videos that were taken, appear to have been taken or that were shared without the consent of the people involved.

Examples of the types of content that violate this policy include, but are not limited to:

  • Hidden camera content featuring nudity, partial nudity, and/or sexual acts.
  • Creepshots or upskirts - images or videos taken of people’s buttocks, up an individual’s skirt/dress or other clothes that allows people to see the person’s genitals, buttocks, or breasts.
  • Images or videos that superimpose or otherwise digitally manipulate an individual’s face onto another person’s nude body.
  • Images or videos that are taken in an intimate setting and not intended for public distribution; and
  • Offering a bounty or financial reward in exchange for intimate images or videos.

What is not a violation of this policy?

Pornography and other forms of consensually produced adult content are allowed on Podopolo, provided that this media is marked as sensitive or explicit. Doing so provides people who may not want to see this type of content with a warning that they will need to acknowledge before viewing your media.

To mark your media as sensitive, navigate to edit your podcast and select the Mark as sensitive option. If you don’t mark your media as sensitive, we may do so manually if your content is reported for review.

Who can report violations of this policy?

Because Podopolo allows some types of adult content, we need to evaluate context to assess if reported content has been created or shared without the consent of those involved.

Content reportable by anyone
We recognize that it can be difficult for those impacted to report this type of content for review. To reduce the burden on those affected, anyone can report the following types of content:

  • Creepshots or upskirts.
  • Content where a bounty or financial reward is offered in exchange for non-consensual nudity media; and
  • Intimate images or videos that are accompanied by:
  • Text that wishes/hopes for harm to come to those depicted or otherwise refers to revenge e.g., “I hope you get what you deserve when people see this”; and
  • Information that could be used to contact those depicted e.g., “You can tell my ex what you think by calling them on 1234567”.
Content reportable by featured individual(s)
For other types of content, we may need to hear directly from the individual(s) featured (or an authorized representative, such as a lawyer) to ensure that we have sufficient context before taking any enforcement action.

How can I report violations of this policy?

In-app
You can report this content for review in-app as follows:

  1. If you discover a podcast while browsing the app which contains reference to non-consensual nudity, on the podcast page click the ‘ellipsis’ in the top right corner and click on the ‘report’ option in the menu.
  2. If an episode within a podcast contains references to non-consensual nudity, on the episode page click the ‘ellipsis’ in the top right corner and click on the ‘report’ option in the menu.
  3. If you are listening to a podcast and feel there are references to non-consensual nudity, click the ‘ellipsis’ in the top right of the player and click on the ‘report’ option in the menu

Website
You can report offending content using the report forms located here.

Report
You can also report this content via our abusive behavior report form, by selecting the ”Someone is posting about, or their podcast contains non-consensual nudity” option.

What happens if you violate this policy?

We will immediately and permanently suspend any account that we identify as the original poster of intimate media that was created or shared without consent. We will do the same with any account that posts only this type of content, e.g., accounts dedicated to sharing upskirt images.

In other cases, we may not suspend an account immediately. This is because some people share this content inadvertently, to express shock, disbelief or to denounce this practice. In these cases, we will require you to remove this content. We will also temporarily lock you out of your account before you can podcast or post on Podopolo again. If you violate this policy again after your first warning, your account will be permanently suspended. If you believe that your account was suspended in error, you can submit an appeal.

Additional resources

Learn more about our range of enforcement options.

We will immediately and permanently suspend any account that we identify as the original poster of intimate media that was created or shared without consent. We will do the same with any account that posts only this type of content, e.g., accounts dedicated to sharing upskirt images.

In other cases, we may not suspend an account immediately. This is because some people share this content inadvertently, to express shock, disbelief or to denounce this practice. In these cases, we will require you to remove this content. We will also temporarily lock you out of your account before you can post on Podopolo again. If you violate this policy again after your first warning, your account will be permanently suspended. If you believe that your account was suspended in error, you can submit an appeal.

3
Authenticity
Civic integrity policy
Overview

You may not use Podopolo’s services for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes. This includes posting or sharing content that may suppress participation or mislead people about when, where, or how to participate in a civic process. In addition, we may label and reduce the visibility of podcasts, podcast episodes, podcast playlists, communities, or posts containing false or misleading information about civic processes in order to provide additional context.

The public conversation occurring on Podopolo is never more important than during elections and other civic events. Any attempts to undermine the integrity of our service is antithetical to our fundamental rights and undermines the core tenets of freedom of expression, the value upon which our company is based.

We believe we have a responsibility to protect the integrity of those conversations from interference and manipulation. Therefore, we prohibit attempts to use our services to manipulate or disrupt civic processes, including through the distribution of false or misleading information about the procedures or circumstances around participation in a civic process. In instances where misleading information does not seek to directly manipulate or disrupt civic processes, but leads to confusion on our service, we may label the podcasts, podcast episodes, podcast playlists, community groups, or posts to give additional context.

What is a civic process?

Podopolo considers civic processes to be events or procedures mandated, organized, and conducted by the governing and/or electoral body of a country, state, region, district, or municipality to address a matter of common concern through public participation. Some examples of civic processes may include:

  • Political elections
  • Censuses
  • Major referenda and ballot initiatives

What is in violation of this policy?

This policy addresses 4 categories of misleading behavior and content:

Misleading information about how to participate
We will label or remove false or misleading information about how to participate in an election or other civic process. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Misleading information about procedures to participate in a civic process (for example, that you can vote by podcast or post, text message, email, or phone call in jurisdictions where these are not a possibility);
  • Misleading information about requirements for participation, including identification or citizenship requirements;
  • Misleading claims that cause confusion about the established laws, regulations, procedures, and methods of a civic process, or about the actions of officials or entities executing those civic processes; and
  • Misleading statements or information about the official, announced date or time of a civic process.

Suppression and intimidation
We will label or remove false or misleading information intended to intimidate or dissuade people from participating in an election or other civic process. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Misleading claims that polling places are closed, that polling has ended, or other misleading information relating to votes not being counted;
  • Misleading claims about police or law enforcement activity related to voting in an election, polling places, or collecting census information;
  • Misleading claims about long lines, equipment problems, or other disruptions at voting locations during election periods;
  • Misleading claims about process procedures or techniques which could dissuade people from participating; and
  • Threats regarding voting locations or other key places or events (note that our violent threats policy may also be relevant for threats not covered by this policy).

Misleading information about outcomes
We will label or remove false or misleading information intended to undermine public confidence in an election or other civic process. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Disputed claims that could undermine faith in the process itself, such as unverified information about election rigging, ballot tampering, vote tallying, or certification of election results; and
  • Misleading claims about the results or outcome of a civic process which calls for or could lead to interference with the implementation of the results of the process, e.g. claiming victory before election results have been certified, inciting unlawful conduct to prevent the procedural or practical implementation of election results (note that our violent threats policy may also be relevant for threats not covered by this policy).

False or misleading affiliation
You can’t create fake accounts which misrepresent their affiliation, or share content that falsely represents its affiliation, to a candidate, elected official, political party, electoral authority, or government entity.

What is not a violation of this policy?

Not all false or untrue information about politics or civic processes constitutes manipulation or interference. In the absence of other policy violations, the following are generally not in violation of this policy:

  • Inaccurate statements about an elected or appointed official, candidate, or political party;
  • Organic content that is polarizing, biased, hyperpartisan, or contains controversial viewpoints expressed about elections or politics;
  • Discussion of public polling information;
  • Voting and audience participation for competitions, game shows, or other entertainment purposes.

Who can report violations of this policy?

Accurate reporting of suspected violations of this policy requires information and knowledge specific to an election or civic process. Therefore, we enable reporting of false or misleading information about civic processes in advance of major events, for people located in the relevant countries and locations. We also work with select government and civil society partners in these countries to provide additional channels for reporting and an expedited review.

For civic processes with multiple stages or parts, such as primary elections or lengthy campaigns, reporting will be enabled leading up to the first officially-sanctioned event associated with the civic process.

How can I report violations of this policy?

If the reporting option for this policy is enabled in your country at the relevant time, you can report this content in-app or website.

In-app
You can report this content for review in-app as follows:

  1. If you discover a podcast while browsing the app which contains misinformation pertaining to civic integrity, on the podcast page click the ‘ellipsis’ in the top right corner and click on the ‘report’ option in the menu.
  2. If an episode within a podcast contains misinformation pertaining to civic integrity, on the episode page click the ‘ellipsis’ in the top right corner and click on the ‘report’ option in the menu.
  3. If you are listening to a podcast and feel there is misinformation pertaining to civic integrity, click the ‘ellipsis’ in the top right of the player and click on the ‘report’ option in the menu

Website
You can report offending content using the report forms located here.

What happens if you violate this policy?

The consequences for violating our civic integrity policy will depend on the severity and type of the violation and the accounts’ history of previous violations. In instances where accounts repeatedly violate this policy, we will use a strike system to determine if further enforcement actions should be applied. We believe this system further helps to reduce the spread of potentially harmful and misleading information on Podopolo, particularly for high-severity violations of our community guidelines.

The actions we take may include the following:

Podcast, Podcast Episode, Podcast Playlist or Post deletion
For high-severity violations of this policy, including (1) misleading information about how to participate, and (2) suppression and intimidation, we will require you to remove this content. We will also temporarily lock you out of your account before you can post again or feature your podcasts or playlists. Podcast or post deletions accrue 2 strikes.

Profile modifications
If you violate this policy within your profile information (e.g., your bio), we will require you to remove this content. We will also temporarily lock you out of your account before you can feature your podcast or playlist, or post again. If you violate this policy again after your first warning, your account will be permanently suspended.

Labeling
In circumstances where we do not remove content which violates this policy, we may provide additional context on podcasts, playlists or posts sharing the content where they appear on Podopolo. This means we may:

  • Apply a label and/or warning message to the content where it appears in the Podopolo product;
  • Show a warning to people before they share or like the content;
  • Turn off people’s ability to reply, comment, post or share, or like the podcast, playlist or post;
  • Reduce the visibility of the content on Podopolo and/or prevent it from being recommended;
  • Provide a link to additional explanations or clarifications, such as in a Podopolo Pick, curated collection, or relevant Podopolo policies; and/or
  • Turn off likes, comments, posts or shares.
In most cases, we will take all of the above actions on podcasts, playlists, or posts we label. In some instances, we’ll also turn off your ability to post, comment, like or share a podcast, playlist or a post. We prioritize producing Podopolo Picks, hot or trending podcasts or communities, curated collections or playlists in cases where misleading content on Podopolo is gaining significant attention and has caused public confusion on our service. Labels applied to podcast content or posts accrue 1 strike.

Account locks and permanent suspension
For severe or repeated violations of this policy, accounts will be permanently suspended.

Repeated violations of this policy are enforced against on the basis of the number of strikes an account has accrued for violations of this policy:

  • 1 strike: No account-level action
  • 2 strikes: 12-hour account lock
  • 3 strikes: 12-hour account lock
  • 4 strikes: 7-day account lock
  • 5 or more strikes: Permanent suspension
If you believe that your account was locked or suspended in error, you can submit an appeal.

Synthetic and manipulated media policy
Overview

You may not deceptively promote synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm. In addition, we may label podcasts, podcast episodes, podcast playlists, communities, live discussions, or posts containing synthetic and manipulated media to help people understand their authenticity and to provide additional context.

You should be able to find reliable information on Podopolo. That means understanding whether the content you see is real or fabricated and having the ability to find more context about what you see on Podopolo. Therefore, we may label podcast content or posts that include media (videos, audio, and images) that have been deceptively altered or fabricated. In addition, you may not share deceptively altered media on Podopolo in ways that mislead or deceive people about the media's authenticity where threats to physical safety or other serious harm may result.

We use the following criteria as we consider podcast content or posts and media for labeling or removal under this policy as part of our ongoing work to enforce our community guidelines and ensure healthy and safe conversation on Podopolo (additional information is available below):

1. Is the content synthetic or manipulated?

In order for content to be labeled or removed under this policy, we must have reason to believe that the media, or the context in which the media are presented, are significantly and deceptively altered or manipulated. Synthetic and manipulated media take many different forms and people can employ a wide range of technologies to produce these media. In assessing whether media have been significantly and deceptively altered or fabricated, some of the factors we consider include:

  • Whether the content has been substantially edited in a manner that fundamentally alters its composition, sequence, timing, or framing;
  • Any visual or auditory information (such as new video frames, overdubbed audio, or modified subtitles) that has been added or removed; and
  • Whether media depicting a real person have been fabricated or simulated
We are most likely to take action (either labeling or removal, as described below) on more significant forms of alteration, such as wholly synthetic audio or video or content that has been doctored (spliced and reordered, slowed down) to change its meaning. Subtler forms of manipulated media, such as isolative editing, omission of context, or presentation with false context, may be labeled or removed on a case-by-case basis.

We will not take action to label or remove media that have been edited in ways that do not fundamentally alter their meaning, such as retouched photos or color-corrected videos.

In order to determine if media have been significantly and deceptively altered or fabricated, we may use our own technology or receive reports through partnerships with third parties. In situations where we are unable to reliably determine if media have been altered or fabricated, we may not take action to label or remove them.

2. Is the content shared in a deceptive manner?

We also consider whether the context in which media are shared could result in confusion or misunderstanding or suggests a deliberate intent to deceive people about the nature or origin of the content, for example by falsely claiming that it depicts reality. We assess the context provided alongside the media to see whether it makes clear that the media have been altered or fabricated. Some of the types of context we assess in order to make this determination include:

  • The text of the Podcast or post accompanying or within media
  • Metadata associated with media
  • Information on the profile of the account sharing media
  • Websites linked in the Podcast or post, or in the profile of the account sharing media

3. Is the content likely to impact public safety or cause serious harm?

Podcast content or posts that share synthetic and manipulated media are subject to removal under this policy if they are likely to cause serious harm. Some specific harms we consider include:

  • Threats to the physical safety of a person or group
  • Risk of mass violence or widespread civil unrest
  • Threats to the privacy or ability of a person or group to freely express themselves or participate in civic events, such as:
    • Stalking or unwanted and obsessive attention
    • Targeted content that includes tropes, epithets, or material that aims to silence someone
    • Voter suppression or intimidation
While we have other community guidelines also intended to address these forms of harm, including our policies on violent threats, election integrity, and hateful conduct, we will err toward removal in borderline cases that might otherwise not violate existing community guidelines for Podcasts or posts that include synthetic or manipulated media.

We also consider the time frame within which the content may be likely to impact public safety or cause serious harm, and are more likely to remove content under this policy if we find that immediate harms are likely to result from the content’s presence on Podopolo.

Note: We may also take action on synthetic and manipulated content under our non-consensual nudity policy (such as pornographic media altered to insert the faces of people not actually involved) or other parts of the Podopolo community guidelines.

Labeling and removal

In most cases, if we have reason to believe that media shared in a podcast, podcast episode, podcast playlist, community or post have been significantly and deceptively altered or fabricated, we will provide additional context on podcast content or posts sharing the media where they appear on Podopolo. This means we may:

  • Apply a label to the content where it appears in the Podopolo product;
  • Show a warning to people before they share or like the content;
  • Reduce the visibility of the content on Podopolo and/or prevent it from being recommended;
  • Provide a link to additional explanations or clarifications, such as in a Podopolo Moment or landing page; and/or
  • Turn off likes, comments or shares.
In most cases, we will take all of the above actions on podcast content or posts we label.

Media that meet all three of the criteria defined above—i.e. that are synthetic or manipulated, shared in a deceptive manner, and is likely to cause harm—may not be shared on Podopolo and are subject to removal. Accounts engaging in repeated or severe violations of this policy may be permanently suspended.

* Other parts of the Podopolo community guidelines apply and may lead to the removal of the content, particularly where there is a high likelihood of severe harm, such as a threat to someone’s life or physical safety.

What types of copyright complaints does Podopolo respond to?

Podopolo responds to copyright complaints submitted under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). Section 512 of the DMCA outlines the statutory requirements necessary for formally reporting copyright infringement, as well as providing instructions on how an affected party can appeal a removal by submitting a compliant counter-notice.

Podopolo will respond to reports of alleged copyright infringement, such as allegations concerning the unauthorized use of a copyrighted image as a profile or header photo, allegations concerning the unauthorized use of a copyrighted video or image uploaded through our media hosting services, or Podcasts or posts containing links to allegedly infringing materials.

Am I a copyright holder? How do I know?

If you are unsure whether you hold rights to a particular work, please consult an attorney or another adviser as Podopolo cannot provide legal advice. There are plenty of resources to learn more about copyright law including http://copyright.gov, https://lumendatabase.org/, and http://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/legal/liability/IP, to name a few.

What to consider before submitting a copyright complaint

If you have considered fair use, and you still wish to continue with a copyright complaint, you may want to first reach out to the user in question to see if you can resolve the matter directly with the user. You can reply to the user’s podcast or post or send the user a Direct Message and ask for them to remove your copyrighted content without having to contact Podopolo.

Prior to submitting a formal complaint with Podopolo, please be aware that under 17 U.S.C. § 512(f), you may be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees incurred by us or our users, if you knowingly materially misrepresent that material or activity is infringing. If you are unsure whether the material you are reporting is in fact infringing, you may wish to contact an attorney before filing a notification with us.

Note: In general, the photographer and NOT the subject of a photograph is the actual rights holder of the resulting photograph. If you’re unsure whether or not you own the copyrights to a work, or if you’re infringing upon someone else’s work, please consult an attorney or another advisor.

What information do you need to process a copyright complaint?

To submit a notice of claimed copyright infringement, you will need to provide us with the following information:

  1. A physical or electronic signature (typing your full name will suffice) of the copyright owner or a person authorized to act on their behalf;
  2. Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed (e.g., a link to your original work or clear description of the materials allegedly being infringed upon);
  3. Identification of the infringing material and information reasonably sufficient to permit Podopolo to locate the material on our website or services;
  4. Your contact information, including your address, telephone number, and an email address;
  5. A statement that you have a good faith belief that the use of the material in the manner asserted is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
  6. A statement that the information in the complaint is accurate, and, under penalty of perjury, that you are authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.
If you are reporting the content of a podcast or post, please give us a direct link to that Podcast or post. Or please specify if the alleged infringement is in the header, avatar, etc. A LINK TO A PROFILE PAGE IS INSUFFICIENT FOR PODOPOLO TO IDENTIFY INFRINGING MATERIALS.

How do I file a copyright complaint?

You can report alleged copyright infringement by visiting Podopolo’s Help Center and filing a copyright complaint. If you are logged in to Podopolo.com, you can visit the Podopolo Help Center directly from your Podopolo account by clicking the ‘Help’ link located in the sidebar.

Filing a DMCA complaint is the start of a predefined legal process. Your complaint will be reviewed for accuracy, validity, and completeness. If your complaint has satisfied these requirements, we will take action on your request - which includes forwarding a full copy of your notice (including your name, address, phone and email address) to the user(s) who posted the allegedly infringing material in question.

If you are concerned about your contact information being forwarded, you may wish to use an agent to report for you.

Please be aware that under 17 U.S.C. § 512(f), you may be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees incurred by us or our users, if you knowingly materially misrepresent that material or activity is infringing. If you are unsure whether the material you are reporting is in fact infringing, you may wish to contact an attorney before filing a copyright complaint.

How are claims processed?

We process copyright complaints in the order in which they are received. Once you've submitted your ticket, we will email you a ticket confirmation. If you do not receive a ticket confirmation that means we did not receive your complaint and you should re-submit your complaint. However, please note, submitting duplicate copyright complaints will result in a delay in processing.

If we decide to remove or disable access to the material, we will notify the affected user(s) and provide them with a full copy of the reporter’s complaint (including the provided contact information) along with instructions on how to file a counter-notice.

What information gets forwarded to the reported user(s)?

If we remove or disable access to the materials reported in a copyright complaint, the reported user(s) will receive a copy of the complaint, including the reporter’s full name, email, street address, and any other information included in the complaint.

If you are uncomfortable sharing your contact information with the reported user(s), you may wish to consider appointing an agent to submit your DMCA notice on your behalf. Your agent will be required to submit the DMCA notice with valid contact information and identify you as the content owner that they are representing.

What happens next?

Podopolo’s response to copyright complaints may include the removal or restriction of access to allegedly infringing material. If we remove or restrict access to user content in response to a copyright complaint, Podopolo will make a good faith effort to contact the affected account holder with information concerning the removal or restriction of access, including a full copy of the complaint, along with instructions for filing a counter-notice.

If you’ve not yet received a copy of the copyright complaint regarding the content removed from your account, please respond to the support ticket we sent you.

In an effort to be as transparent as possible regarding the removal or restriction of access to user-posted content, we clearly mark withheld Podcasts or posts and media to indicate to viewers when content has been withheld. We also send a redacted copy of each copyright complaint and counter-notice that we process to Lumen, where they are posted to a public-facing website (with your personal information removed).

My content was removed from Podopolo

Why did I receive a copyright complaint?
If you receive a copyright complaint, it means that access to the content described in the complaint has been restricted. Please take the time to read through our correspondence to you, which includes information on the complaint we received as well as instructions on how to file a counter-notice. Please ensure that you are monitoring the email address associated with your Podopolo account.

Tip: Removing the material reported in a copyright complaint will not resolve that complaint.

What if I want to contest the takedown?
If you believe that the materials reported in the copyright complaints were misidentified or removed in error, you may send us a counter-notification(s). A counter-notice is a request for Podopolo to reinstate the removed material, and it has legal consequences. Alternatively, you may be able to seek a retraction of the copyright complaint from the reporter.

How do I seek a retraction?
The DMCA complaint you received includes the contact information of the reporter. You may want to reach out and ask them to retract their notice. The reporter can send retractions to copyright@Podopolo.com and should include: (1) identification of the material that was disabled, and (2) a statement that the reporter would like to retract their DMCA notice. This is the fastest and most efficient means of resolving an unresolved copyright complaint. A retraction is at the sole discretion of the original reporter.

When should I file a counter-notice?
A counter-notice is a request for Podopolo to reinstate the removed material and is the start of a legal process that has legal consequences. For example, submitting a counter notice indicates that you consent to the jurisdiction of a U.S. Federal court and that you consent to the disclosure of your personal information to the reporter and Lumen website.

With these considerations in mind, you may file a counter-notice if you believe that this material was misidentified, or you have a good faith belief that the material should not have been removed. If you’re unsure whether or not you should file a counter-notice, you may want to consult with an attorney.

Tip: Re-posting material removed in response to a copyright complaint may result in permanent account suspension. If you believe the content was removed in error, please file a counter-notice rather than re-posting the material.

What information do you need to process a counter-notice?
To submit a counter-notice, you will need to provide us with the following information:

  • A physical or electronic signature (typing your full name will suffice);
  • Identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled (the description from the copyright notice will suffice);
  • A statement under penalty of perjury that you have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled; and
  • Your name, address, and telephone number, and a statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court for the judicial district in which the address is located, or if your address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which Podopolo may be found, and that you will accept service of process from the person who provided notification under subsection (c)(1)(C) or an agent of such person.
To submit a counter-notice, please respond to our original email notification of the removal and include the required information in the body of your reply as we discard all attachments for security reasons.

What happens after I submit a counter-notice?
Upon receipt of a valid counter-notice, we will promptly forward a copy to the person who filed the original notice. This means that the contact information that is submitted in your counter-notice will be shared to the person who filed the original notice.

If the copyright owner disagrees that the content was removed in error or misidentification, they may pursue legal action against you. If we do not receive notice within 10 business days that the original reporter is seeking a court order to prevent further infringement of the material at issue, we may replace or cease disabling access to the material that was removed.

We cannot offer any legal advice. Should you have questions, please consult an attorney.

Filing a copyright complaint or counter-notice is serious business!
Please think twice before submitting a claim or counter-notice, especially if you are unsure whether you are the actual rights holder or authorized to act on a rights holder’s behalf. There are legal and financial consequences for fraudulent and/or bad faith submissions. Please be sure that you are the actual rights holder, or that you have a good faith belief that the material was removed in error, and that you understand the repercussions of submitting a false claim.

What happens if my account receives multiple copyright complaints?
If multiple copyright complaints are received, Podopolo may lock accounts or take other actions to warn repeat violators. These warnings may vary across Podopolo’s services. Under appropriate circumstances we may suspend user accounts under our repeat infringer policy. However, we may take retractions and counter-notices into account when applying our repeat infringer policy.

Trademark policy
Overview

You may not violate others’ intellectual property rights, including copyright and trademark.

A trademark is a word, logo, phrase, or device that distinguishes a trademark holder’s good or service in the marketplace. Trademark law may prevent others from using a trademark in an unauthorized or confusing manner.

What is in violation of this policy?

Using another’s trademark in a way that may mislead or confuse people about your affiliation may be a violation of our trademark policy.

What is not a violation of this policy?

Referencing another’s trademark is not automatically a violation of Podopolo's trademark policy. Examples of non-violations include:

  • using a trademark in a way that is outside the scope of the trademark registration e.g., in a different territory, or a different class of goods or services than that identified in the registration; and
  • using a trademark in a nominative or other fair use manner.

Who can report violations of this policy?

Podopolo only investigates requests that are submitted by the trademark holder or their authorized representative e.g., a legal representative or other representative for a brand.

How can I report violations of this policy?

You can submit a trademark report through our trademark report form. Please provide all the information requested in the form. If you submit an incomplete report, we’ll need to follow up about the missing information. Please note that this will result in a delay in processing your report.

Note: We may provide the account holder with your name and other information included in the copy of the report.

What happens if you violate this policy?

If we determine that you violated our trademark policy, we may suspend your account. Depending on the type of violation, we may give you an opportunity to comply with our policies. In other instances, an account may be permanently suspended upon first review. If you believe that your account was suspended in error, you can submit an appeal.

Impersonation policy

Impersonation is a violation of the Podopolo community guidelines. Podopolo user accounts that pose as another person, brand, or organization in a confusing or deceptive manner may be permanently suspended under Podopolo’s impersonation policy.

What is not an impersonation policy violation?

Accounts with similar usernames or that are similar in appearance (e.g., the same profile image) are not automatically in violation of the impersonation policy. To violate our impersonation policy, the account must portray another entity in a misleading or deceptive manner.

An account will not be removed if:

  • The user shares your name but has no other commonalities, or
  • The profile clearly states it is not affiliated with or connected to any similarly named individuals or brands.

When does Podopolo review accounts under this policy?

We review impersonation claims upon receipt of a valid impersonation report. We do not actively monitor users’ content.

How do I file an impersonation report?

If you are the impersonated party or an authorized representative, you can file an impersonation report. If you believe an account is impersonating somebody else, you can flag it as a bystander by reporting directly from the account’s profile.

Please note, submitting a report with incomplete information will delay the processing of your report.

Can I request a specific username?

We generally do not accept individual requests for inactive or suspended usernames.

What if my trademark is being misused?

Companies and businesses should report accounts misusing their trademarks by filing a complaint under our trademark policy. Please review the trademark policy page for more information.

What happens if you violate this policy?

If we determine that you violated our impersonation policy, we may suspend your account. In some instances, an account may be permanently suspended upon first review. If you believe that your account was suspended in error, you can submit an appeal.

When does Podopolo review accounts under this policy?

We will review an account under our Policy in response to an impersonation or trademark complaint.

How do I file a trademark or impersonation report?

You can submit reports regarding a trademark policy violation here.

About country withheld content
Why might content be withheld?

If you have encountered a Podcast or post or an account that has been marked as withheld, you may be wondering what that means and why that may have happened. With hundreds of millions of Podcasts or posts posted every day around the world, our goal is to respect user expression, while also taking into consideration applicable local laws.

Many countries, including the United States, have laws that may apply to podcasts or posts and/or Podopolo account content. In our continuing effort to make our services available to people everywhere, if we receive a valid and properly scoped request from an authorized entity, it may be necessary to withhold access to certain content in a particular country from time to time. Such withholdings will be limited to the specific jurisdiction that has issued the valid legal demand or where the content has been found to violate local law(s).

Transparency is vital to protecting freedom of expression, so we have a notice policy for withheld content. Upon receipt of requests to withhold content, we will promptly notify affected users unless we are prohibited from doing so (e.g., if we receive a court order under seal).

We strongly believe that the open and free exchange of information has a positive global impact, and that the podcasts, posts and discussion must be free and unfettered.

About public-interest exceptions on Podopolo
Defining the public interest

Podopolo recognizes that what interests the public is not always in the public interest.

Podopolo generally takes actions on podcast content, communities, or posts that violate our community guidelines. However, we recognize that sometimes it may be in the public interest to allow people to view podcasts or posts that would otherwise be taken down. We consider content to be in the public interest if it directly contributes to understanding or discussion of a matter of public concern.

At present, we limit exceptions to one critical type of public-interest content—podcasts or posts from elected and government officials—given the significant public interest in knowing and being able to discuss their actions and statements.

As a result, in rare instances, we may choose to leave up a podcast, podcast episode with an elected or government official, or a post from an elected or government official that would otherwise be taken down. Instead we will place it behind a notice providing context about the community guideline violation that allows people to click through to see the podcast content, or post. Placing a podcast or post behind this notice also limits the ability to engage with the podcast or post through likes, comments, posts, or sharing on Podopolo, and makes sure the podcast or post isn't algorithmically recommended by Podopolo. These actions are meant to limit the podcast or post’s reach while maintaining the public’s ability to view and discuss it.

When is it in the public interest to preserve access to a podcast or post?

We decide whether a podcast or post that would otherwise violate the Podopolo community guidelines is in the public interest using the following criteria and process:

Criteria for exceptions

  1. The Podcast or post violates one or more Podopolo community guidelines;
  2. The Podcast or post was posted by a verified account;
  3. The account has more than 100,000 followers; and,
  4. The account represents a current or potential member of a local, state, national, or supra-national governmental or legislative body:
    1. Current holders of an elected or appointed leadership position in a governmental or legislative body, OR
    2. Candidates or nominees for political office, OR
    3. Registered political parties

Process and teams involved

  1. Our enforcement team will escalate any podcast or post that meets the criteria defined above for secondary review. We will not evaluate podcasts or posts for the public interest exception if they do not violate the Podopolo community guidelines or otherwise fail to meet the criteria above.
  2. Our team will evaluate the podcast or post and prepare a recommendation on whether or not continued access to the podcast or post is in the public interest.
  3. The recommendation will be shared with a cross-functional set of leaders across different internal teams and our advisory boards with diverse and multidisciplinary backgrounds in government, human rights, journalism, news, technology, and law, as well as in-market teams with an understanding of the cultural context in which the podcast or post was posted.
  4. After informing these cross-functional stakeholders of the recommendation and feedback from the cross-functional team, senior team leaders will make the final decision to remove the podcast or post or apply the notice.

As with any enforcement action, our goal is consistent and transparent application of the notice, taking into account local context. While we do not consult externally on individual enforcement decisions, our local teams regularly engage with civil society and external stakeholders to incorporate local context into how we develop policy and enforcement guidance.

How we balance risk of harm vs. the public interest

The public interest exception does not mean that any eligible public official can Podcast or post whatever they want, even if it violates the Podopolo community guidelines. When deciding whether to remove a Podcast or post or place it behind a notice, we weigh the potential risk and severity of harm against the public-interest value of the Podcast or post. Where the risk of harm is higher and/or more severe, we are less likely to make an exception. We are more likely to apply the notice to a violative Podcast or post if:

  • The podcast or post is directed at other government or elected officials or institutions as part of a public debate or call to protest;
  • There is a larger point to the podcast or post that is relevant to the author or target’s public role;
  • The podcast or post adds significant context to ongoing geopolitical events or issues; or
  • There is significant documentary or accountability value in preserving the content as a matter of public record.
We are more likely to remove the Podcast or post without applying the notice if:
  • The podcast or post includes a declarative call to action that could harm a specific individual or group;
  • The podcast or post shares information or engages in behavior that could directly interfere with an individual’s exercise of their fundamental rights.
We recognize the desire for these decisions to be clearcut yes/no binaries. Unfortunately, the reality is that they can't be. We have very rarely invoked the public-interest exception – less than five times in 2018. This is new territory for everyone – a service being used by world leaders to communicate directly to their constituents or other leaders, and at times, announce policy – and every decision we make sets a new precedent. We believe it is critical that we evaluate every case individually and in a way that accounts for context and history. Over time, as we evaluate more Podcasts or posts and make more of these decisions, we will be establishing a case history that makes these calls easier to make.

The table below provides a high-level overview of the thinking behind how we evaluate whether to remove or apply the notice across a range of the Podopolo community guidelines. As with all our policies, we continue to respect local laws and balance other principles, including freedom of expression, when enforcing our community guidelines. Even when content qualifies for the public-interest exception, we will continue to comply with applicable local laws, as provided by our country-withheld content policy.

When we're less likely to make exceptions

Terrorism / violent extremism: You may not threaten or promote terrorism or violent extremism.
There is no place on Podopolo for terrorist organizations or violent extremist groups and individuals who affiliate with and promote their illicit activities. Given the severe physical harm that can result from the activities of these groups, we do not anticipate cases where the public-interest exception would apply.

Violence: You may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people. We also prohibit the glorification of violence.
Content that threatens or glorifies violence can result in some of the most severe and immediate harms our community guidelines are meant to address, and public-interest exceptions are therefore unlikely. We will especially err on the side of removal in cases where there is evidence the content may be leading to actual or likely offline harm. In very rare instances, we may decide that content is worthy of a public-interest exception if there is a more attenuated connection to actual violence, or if Podopolo is the only source of the information.

Illegal or certain regulated goods or services: You may not use our service for any unlawful purpose or in furtherance of illegal activities. This includes selling, buying, or facilitating transactions in illegal goods or services, as well as certain types of regulated goods or services.
In an effort to address the potential for offline harm, we do not allow the use of Podopolo for any unlawful behavior or to further illegal activities. In rare instances, for example if there is significant documentary or accountability value in preserving the content as a matter of public record, we may choose to leave the content up behind the notice.

Suicide or self-harm: You may not promote or encourage suicide or self-harm.
Social contagion as a result of self-harming content is a severe and immediate harm that can occur on the service, and the public-interest exception is unlikely to override the potential for offline harm. We may sometimes leave content up behind the notice for cases of hyperbolic political statements, particularly if they target other public figures in the context of some relevant public debate. But we will err toward removal for content that targets private figures or where it is likely to cause offline harm.

Election integrity: You may not use Podopolo’s services for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections. This includes posting or sharing content that may suppress voter turnout or mislead people about when, where, or how to vote.
Participation in free and fair elections is a fundamental human right — and Podopolo views activity that interferes in someone’s ability to participate in an election, or which attempts to mislead about or deter them from participating, as a significant harm. There may be high public interest in the fact that an official has shared violative content, but, given the severity of the harm if viewers are misled or influenced by the content, it is very unlikely that such content would remain on the platform.

Private information: You may not publish or post other people's private information (such as home phone number and address) without their express authorization and permission. We also prohibit threatening to expose private information or incentivize others to do so.
Sharing the personal information of an individual has the potential to generate severe and immediate harm both on and off Podopolo, and public-interest exceptions are unlikely to outweigh this harm, given the need to protect victims. However, there may be high public interest in the fact that an official is threatening to share violative content, and we may make exceptions where the personal information itself is not present.

When we're more likely to make exceptions

Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease. This includes:

  • Wishing, hoping or calling for serious harm on a person or group of people
  • References to mass murder, violent events, or specific means of violence where protected groups have been the primary targets or victims
  • Inciting fear about a protected category
  • Repeated and/or non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes, or other content that degrades someone
  • Hateful imagery
  • Dehumanization of a group of people based on their religion
Podopolo stands for the value of direct access to powerful figures, and maintaining a robust public record provides benefits to accountability. This value will be weighed against the likelihood and severity of actual or potential offline harm associated with a violation of these policies. For example, we may leave political statements that are part of a public debate up behind a notice. But we will err toward removal where there is evidence the content may be leading to actual or likely offline harm.

Abuse / harassment: You may not engage in the targeted harassment of someone, or incite other people to do so. This includes:

  • Wishing or hoping serious harm on a person or group of people
  • Unwanted sexual advances
  • Using aggressive insults with the purpose of harassing or intimidating others
  • Encouraging or calling for others to harass an individual or group of people
Podopolo stands for the value of direct access to government and elected officials, and maintaining a robust public record provides benefits to accountability. This value will be weighed against the severity of the harm associated with the violation of these policies and the likelihood of offline harm. For example, insults may be present in podcasts or posts related to heated debate over matters of public policy. We are more likely to remove a podcast or post if the content targets a private individual without any relevant political context.

Sensitive media: You may not share any media that depicts excessively graphic or gruesome content related to death, violence or severe physical harm, or violent content that is shared for sadistic purposes. Podopolo stands for the value of direct access to powerful figures, and maintaining a robust public record for an important historical event provides benefits to accountability. This value will be weighed against the likelihood and severity of the actual or potential harm associated with the violation of this policy. Note: Given the acute harm that media involving child sexual exploitation, non-consensual nudity, and violent sexual assault can inflict on victims, we do not anticipate cases where the public interest exception would apply. Additionally, we will remove content, and not apply a notice, for infringement of copyrighted material.

Username squatting policy

Username squatting is prohibited by Podopolo.

Please note that if an account has had no updates, no profile image, and there is no intent to mislead, it typically means there's no name-squatting or impersonation. Note that we will not release squatted usernames except in cases of trademark infringement. If your report involves trademark infringement, please consult those policies for instructions for reporting these accounts.

Attempts to sell, buy, or solicit other forms of payment in exchange for usernames are also violations and may result in permanent account suspension.

Ban evasion policy
Overview

Our community guidelines exist to help keep everyone using Podopolo safe and ensure they can participate freely in the public conversation. Therefore, we prohibit attempts to circumvent prior enforcement, including through the creation of new accounts.

What is in violation of this policy?

Under this policy we prohibit a range of behaviors:

  • You can’t circumvent permanent suspensions. If an account has been permanently suspended for severe violations of the Podopolo community guidelines, Podopolo reserves the right to also suspend any other account permanently we believe the same account holder or entity may be operating in violation of our earlier suspension, regardless of when the other account was created.
  • You can’t circumvent a Podopolo suspension, enforcement action, or anti-spam challenge. This includes any behavior intended to evade any Podopolo remediation, such as creating a new account or repurposing an already-existing account.
  • You can’t circumvent a Podopolo suspension by operating, or having someone else operate on your behalf, an account which represents your identity, persona, brand, or business persona for a different purpose.
  • You can’t allow someone who has been permanently suspended from Podopolo to permanently take over or temporarily operate your account.
  • You can’t imitate a suspended account if the apparent intent is to replace a suspended account.

What happens if you violate this policy?

The consequences for violating this policy depend on the type and severity of the violation and of the accounts’ previous history of violations.

Circumventing a Podopolo enforcement action (such as a permanent suspension) by creating accounts or repurposing existing accounts to replace or mimic a suspended account is a violation of the ban evasion policy; it will result in permanent suspension at first detection.

We may suspend any account that is being operated to circumvent a Podopolo enforcement action (such as a temporary account lock). Note that the account owner may in some circumstances be allowed back on Podopolo following a successful appeal; however, any account used for the purpose of circumventing Podopolo remediation will remain suspended.

Additional resources

If you believe that an account you own has been suspended or otherwise restricted in error, instead of creating a new account, we recommend that you appeal your account suspension by contacting our support team, and/or that you comply with completing required Podopolo challenge(s) if applicable.

Our range of enforcement options

When we take enforcement actions, we may do so either on a specific piece of content (e.g., an individual post, podcast episode, live discussion, or direct message) or on an account. We may employ a combination of these options. In some instances, this is because the behavior violates the Podopolo community guidelines. Other times, it may be in response to a valid and properly scoped request from an authorized entity in a given country. Below are some of the enforcement actions that we may take.

Podcast-level enforcement

We take action at the Podcast episode level to ensure that we are not being overly harsh with an otherwise healthy account that made a mistake and violated our community guidelines. A few of the ways in which we might take action at the podcast level include:

Labeling a Podcast, Podcast Episode or Podcast Playlist that may contain explicit content: We offer podcasters the opportunity to self-label their content as explicit. We may also choose to mark it as such, and users may flag it to our attention. When content is flagged as sensitive, our content moderators review the content in-line with the community guidelines present within this policy and if the moderators deem approriate, will mark the content as sensitive within Podopolo. Sensitive content will not be removed unless it violates the Podopolo community guidelines or Podopolo Terms of Use.

Limiting Podcast visibility: This makes content less visible on the Podopolo app and website in search results, curated collections, recommendations, playlists, and elsewhere. Limiting podcast visibility depends on a number of signals about the nature of the interaction and the quality of the content.

Requiring Podcast removal: When we determine that a Podcast violated the Podopolo community guidelines, we require the violator to remove it before more podcast episodes will be added and included in playlists, collections, and other places on the app and website. We send an email notification to the violator identifying the podcast episode(s) in violation and which policies have been violated. They will then need to go through the process of removing the violating podcast or podcast episode or appealing our review if they believe we made an error.

Hiding a violating Podcast while awaiting its removal: In the interim period between when Podopolo takes enforcement action and the person removes the podcast episode or podcast, we hide that podcast or podcast episode from public view and will replace the original content with a notice stating that the podcast is no longer available because it violated our community guidelines. Additionally, this notice will be available for 14 days after the podcast or podcast episode is removed.

Where this notice is available:

  • The Podcast pages containing the podcast or podcast episode in violation on Podopolo for iOS and Android, and podopolo.com.
  • The profile page of the account in violation on Podopolo for iOS and Android, and podopolo.com.
  • Any user generated playlist featuring the podcast or episode in violation of the Podopolo community guidelines.
Where this notice is not available:
  • Areas outside of profiles and podcast details pages, such as Discover, Groups, Chats, Notifications and search of any Podopolo user.

Notice of public interest exception: In rare cases, we may determine that it is in the public interest for a podcast that would otherwise be in violation of our community guidelines to remain accessible on our service. Learn more about the public interest exception.

When we make such an exception, we’ll place the podcast or podcast episode behind a notice explaining the exception and giving you the option to view the podcast if you wish.

When applying the notice, we’ll also take the following actions to reduce the podcast’s visibility on our service:

  • We’ll turn off engagements like likes, comments, replies, shares, and the ability to add to playlists, groups or collections.
  • We won’t show any engagement counts on the podcast (e.g. number of likes, comments, etc.), but any prior engagements can be undone by users (e.g. unliked, remove comments etc.).
  • Any previous replies will not be viewable within the Podcaster details.
Additionally, in order to minimize potential harm, podcasts that are placed behind the notice will not be available in the following areas of Podopolo:
  • Podcasts in the any curated collection including: Podopolo Picks, Hot/Trending, New, Genre Collections, Playlists, and other
  • Search and browse
  • Shared interest groups
  • Recommendations and shares within Podopolo
  • Email and text recommendations

Post and Community-level enforcement

We take action at the “post, like, share” level on podcaster page and shared-interest community group level, as well as to ensure that we are not being overly harsh with an otherwise healthy account that made a mistake and violated our community guidelines. A few of the ways in which we might take action at post and community level include:

Labeling a Post, Comment, or Conversation in a Community Group or Podcast Page that may contain disputed or misleading information: Our current misleading information policies cover: synthetic and manipulated media, COVID-19, and civic integrity. If we determine a post or a group features misleading or disputed information per our policies that could lead to harm, we may add a label to the content to provide context and additional information.

Limiting Post and Group visibility: This makes content less visible on the Podopolo app and website in search results, curated collections, recommendations, playlists, and elsewhere. Limiting post or group visibility depends on a number of signals about the nature of the interaction and the quality of the content.

Requiring Post and Group removal: When we determine that a post, a conversation in a group, or a group as a whole has violated the Podopolo community guidelines, we require the violator to remove it before more posts will be added and included on podcast pages, groups, and other places on the app and website. We send an email notification to the violator identifying the podcast episode(s) in violation and which policies have been violated. They will then need to go through the process of removing the violating post or group or appealing our review if they believe we made an error.

Hiding a violating Post or Group while awaiting its removal: In the interim period between when Podopolo takes enforcement action and the person removes the post, conversation or group as a whole, we hide that content from public view and will replace the original content with a notice stating that the podcast is no longer available because it violated our community guidelines. Additionally, this notice will be available for 14 days after the post, conversation, or group as a whole is removed.

Where this notice is available:

  • Group pages containing the post or conversation in violation on Podopolo for iOS and Android, and podopolo.com.
  • Podcast pages containing the post or conversation in violation on Podopolo for iOS and Android, and podopolo.com.
  • The profile page of the account in violation on Podopolo for iOS and Android, and podopolo.com.
  • Any user generated playlist, collection or group featuring the post or conversation in violation of the Podopolo community guidelines.
Where this notice is not available:
  • Areas outside of profiles and podcast details pages, such as Discover, Groups, Chats, Notifications and search of any Podopolo user.

Notice of public interest exception: In rare cases, we may determine that it is in the public interest for a post, conversation, and shared interest group that would otherwise be in violation of our community guidelines to remain accessible on our service. Learn more about the public interest exception.

When we make such an exception, we’ll place the post, conversation or group behind a notice explaining the exception and giving you the option to view the post, conversation thread, or group if you wish.

When applying the notice, we’ll also take the following actions to reduce the visibility of the post, conversation thread or group on our service:

  • We’ll turn off engagements like likes, comments, replies, shares, and the ability to add to playlists, groups or collections.
  • We won’t show any engagement counts on the post or in the group (e.g. number of likes, comments, etc.), but any prior engagements can be undone by users (e.g. unliked, remove comments etc.).
  • Any previous replies will not be viewable within the Podcaster or Group details pages
Additionally, in order to minimize potential harm, posts or groups that are placed behind the notice will not be available in the following areas of Podopolo:
  • Shared interest groups in the any curated collection including: Podopolo Picks, Hot/Trending, New, Genre Collections, and other
  • Search and browse
  • Posts on podcaster pages
  • Shared interest groups
  • Recommendations and shares within Podopolo
  • Email and text recommendations

Direct Message-level enforcement

Stopping conversations between a reported violator and the reporter’s account: In a private Direct Message conversation, when a participant reports the other person, we will stop the violator from sending messages to the person who reported them. The conversation will also be removed from the reporter's inbox. However, if the reporter decides to continue to send Direct Messages to the violator, the conversation will resume.

Placing a Direct Message behind a notice: In a group Direct Message conversation, the violating Direct Message may be placed behind a notice to ensure no one else in the group can see it again.

Account-level enforcement

We take action at the account level if we determine that a person has violated the Podopolo community guidelines in a particularly egregious way, or has repeatedly violated them even after receiving notifications from us.

Requiring media or profile edits: If an account’s profile or media content is not compliant with our policies, we may make it temporarily unavailable and require that the violator edit the media or information in their profile to come into compliance. We also explain which policy their profile or media content has violated.

Placing an account in read-only mode: If it seems like an otherwise healthy account is in the middle of an abusive episode, we might temporarily make their account read-only, limiting their ability to Post, Like or Share content until calmer heads prevail. The person can continue to listen to podcasts, use the full search and browse capability, read their posts, and will only be able to send Direct Messages to their followers.

When an account is in read-only mode, others will still be able to see and engage with the account. The duration of this enforcement action can range from 12 hours to 7 days, depending on the nature of the violation.

Verifying account ownership: To ensure that violators do not abuse the anonymity we offer and harass others on the platform, we may require the account owner to verify ownership with a phone number or email address. This also helps us identify violators who are operating multiple accounts for abusive purposes and take action on such accounts. Note that when an account has been locked pending completion of a challenge (such as being required to provide a phone number), it is removed from follower counts, likes, and shares, as well as the ability to join groups, download podcasts, create playlists and more, until it provides a phone number.

Permanent suspension: This is our most severe enforcement action. Permanently suspending an account will remove it from global view, and the violator will not be allowed to create new accounts. When we permanently suspend an account, we notify people that they have been suspended for abuse violations, and explain which policy or policies they have violated and which content was in violation.

Violators can appeal permanent suspensions if they believe we made an error. They can do this through the platform interface or by filing a report. Upon appeal, if we find that a suspension is valid, we respond to the appeal with information on the policy that the account has violated.

Actions we may take against non-violating content

Placing a podcast behind a notice: We may place some forms of sensitive media like adult content or graphic violence behind an interstitial advising viewers to be aware that they will see sensitive media if they click through. This allows us to identify potentially sensitive content that some people may not wish to see.

Withholding a podcast or account in a country: We may withhold access to certain content in a particular country if we receive a valid and properly scoped request from an authorized entity in that country. We also clearly indicate within the product when content has been withheld. Read more about country withheld content.