Patreon Creates New Community Guidelines

Patreon logoPatreon has new Community Guidelines that both Creators and Patrons should be aware of. The new guidelines were created “in the interest of growing and protecting a safe, healthy community”. The key concept to take from the new guidelines is, as Patreon puts it, “be respectful of the people and communities on Patreon.”

Many of the guidelines outline what is not allowed on Patreon. You cannot put up a fake page or collect money for “not doing” something. I would think that part would be obvious, but if Patreon felt the need to spell it out, it appears that there were people who missed that important concept.

Patreon will not allow bullying or harassment. They will allow appropriate debate, but will not allow hate speech or serious threats of violence. Patreon defines hate speech as including “serious attacks on people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age disability, or serious medical condition”.

Patreon will not allow people to post things that go beyond “R Rated”. Some nudity and suggestive imagery might be acceptable if it is marked as NSFW (not safe for work). Read Patreon’s new guidelines for further details.

You cannot use Patreon to collect funds for “organizations that promote, forums that distribute, or anything else that primarily facilitates harmful or dangerous activities”. What does that mean? Patreon will not allow “an organization that promotes sexual abuse, intellectual property violations, weapons, commercial spamming, self harm, drug manufacturing techniques, or property crimes” to receive funds through Patreon.

The guidelines also clarify who will not be allowed to use Patreon:

“People with a dangerous criminal history or known affiliation with violent or dangerous groups including terrorist or cyberterrorist organizations, organized criminal groups, and violent hate groups cannot receive funds through Patreon, no matter what the purpose or apparent intention of their Patreon page. Similarly, anyone who has ever been convicted of child sex abuse, fraud, or money laundering is not permitted to collect funds through Patreon.”

There will be a grace period in which Patreon phases in the enforcement if its new Community Guidelines. It started on December 21, 2014, and will last a total of seven days. Creators who are in violation of the new guidelines will be contacted by Patreon and given a chance to comply with the guidelines. Creators who are “found to be in violation of the most serious parameters after seven days” will have their payments halted and their pages removed from Patreon.

Personally, as someone who has a Patreon for one of my podcasts, I am happy to see these new Community Guidelines. We have seen that there are people who use the internet to send violent threats to strangers whom they disagree with. It makes me feel safe to know that Patreon is not going to allow that sort of thing to happen on their website.