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Community Guidelines

Last Updated: September 2021

Introduction

People use HeyOye to share their experiences, connect with friends and family, create content, build conversations and communities in many languages and geographies of the world.

HeyOye has been built recognising how important it is for this to be a place where people feel empowered to communicate and we take our role serious in keeping abuse off our service. That’s why we’ve developed a set of Community Standards that outline what is and is not allowed on HeyOye. Our policies are based on advice of experts in fields such as technology, public safety and human rights and we also continue to engage with the community to understand evolving needs as we mature. To ensure that everyone’s voice is valued, we take great care to craft policies that are inclusive of different views and beliefs, in particular those of people and communities that might otherwise be overlooked or marginalised.

1. Violence & Criminal Behaviour

1.1 Violence & Incitement

We aim to prevent potential offline harm that may be related to content on HeyOye. While we understand that people commonly express disdain or disagreement by threatening or calling for violence in non-serious ways, we remove language that incites or facilitates serious violence. We remove content, disable accounts and work with law enforcement when we believe that there is a genuine risk of physical harm or direct threats to public safety. We also try to consider the language and context in order to distinguish casual statements from content that constitutes a credible threat to public or personal safety. In determining whether a threat is credible, we may also consider additional information such as a person’s public visibility and the risks to their physical safety.

1.2 Dangerous Individuals & Organizations

In an effort to prevent and disrupt real-world harm, we do not allow organisations or individuals that proclaim a violent mission or are engaged in violence to have a presence on HeyOye. We assess these entities based on their behaviour both online and offline – most significantly, their ties to violence.

1.3 Coordinating Harm & Publicising Crime

In an effort to prevent and disrupt offline harm and copycat behaviour, we prohibit people from facilitating, organising, promoting or admitting to certain criminal or harmful activities targeted at people, businesses, property or animals. We allow people to debate and advocate for the legality of criminal and harmful activities, as well as draw attention to harmful or criminal activity that they may witness or experience as long as they do not advocate for or coordinate harm. 

1.4 Regulated Goods

To encourage safety and compliance with common legal restrictions, we prohibit attempts by individuals, manufacturers and retailers to purchase, sell or trade non-medical drugs, pharmaceutical drugs and marijuana. We also prohibit the purchase, sale, gifting, exchange and transfer of firearms, including firearm parts or ammunition, between private individuals on HeyOye. Some of these items are not regulated everywhere; however, because of the borderless nature of our community, we try to enforce our policies as consistently as possible. Firearm shops and online retailers may promote items available for sale off our services as long as those retailers comply with all applicable laws and regulations. We allow discussions about sales of firearms and firearm parts in shops or by online retailers and advocating for changes to firearm regulation. Regulated goods that are not prohibited by our Community Standards may be subject to our more stringent Commerce Policies that are currently under development.

1.5 Fraud and Deception

In an effort to prevent fraudulent activity that can harm people or businesses, we remove content that purposefully deceives, wilfully misrepresents, or otherwise defrauds or exploits others for money or property. This includes content that seeks to coordinate or promote these activities using our services. 

We allow people to raise awareness and educate others as well as condemn these activities.

2. Safety

2.1 Suicide & Self Injury

We care deeply about the safety of the people who use our apps. We regularly consult with experts in suicide and self-injury to help inform our policies and enforcement, and work with organisations around the world to provide assistance to people in distress. 

While we don’t allow people to intentionally or unintentionally celebrate or promote suicide or self-injury, we do allow people to discuss these topics because we want HeyOye to be a space where people can share their experiences, raise awareness about these issues and seek support from one another. 

We define self-injury as the intentional and direct injuring of the body, including self-mutilation and eating disorders. We remove any content that encourages suicide or self-injury, including fictional content such as memes or illustrations and any self-injury content that is graphic, regardless of context. We also remove content that identifies and negatively targets victims or survivors of suicide or self-injury seriously, humorously or rhetorically, as well as real-time depictions of suicide or self-injury. Content about recovery of suicide or self-harm that is allowed, but may contain imagery that could be upsetting, such as a healed scar, is placed behind a sensitivity screen. 

When people post or search for suicide or self-injury- related content, we will direct them to local organisations that can provide support and if someone is at immediate risk of harming themselves, we will contact local emergency services to get them help. 

With respect to live content, experts have told us that if someone is saying they intend to attempt suicide on a live-stream, we should leave the content up for as long as possible, because the longer someone is talking to a camera, the more opportunity there is for a friend or family member to call emergency services. 

However, to minimise the risk of others being negatively affected by viewing this content, we will stop the live-stream at the point at which the threat turns into an attempt. As mentioned above, in any case, we will contact the emergency services if we identify that someone is at immediate risk of harming themselves.

2.2 Child Sexual Exploitation, abuse & nudity

We do not allow content that sexually exploits or endangers children. When we become aware of apparent child exploitation, we report it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), in compliance with applicable law. We know that sometimes, people share nude images of their own children with good intentions; however, we generally remove these images because of the potential for abuse by others and to help avoid the possibility of other people re-using or misappropriating the images.

2.3 Adult sexual exploitation

We recognise the importance of HeyOye as a place to discuss and draw attention to sexual violence and exploitation. In an effort to create space for this conversation and promote a safe environment, we allow victims to share their experiences, but remove content that depicts, threatens or promotes sexual violence, sexual assault or sexual exploitation. We also remove content that displays, advocates for or coordinates sexual acts with non-consenting parties to avoid facilitating non-consensual sexual acts.

2.4 Bullying & Harassment

Bullying and harassment happen in many places and come in many different forms, from making threats to releasing personally identifiable information, to sending threatening messages and making unwanted malicious contact. We do not tolerate this kind of behaviour because it prevents people from feeling safe and respected on HeyOye. 

We distinguish between public figures and private individuals because we want to allow discussion, which often includes critical commentary of people who are featured in the news or who have a large public audience. For public figures, we remove attacks that are severe as well as certain attacks where the public figure is directly tagged in the post or comment. For private individuals, our protection goes further: we remove content that’s meant to degrade or shame, including, for example, claims about someone’s sexual activity. We recognise that bullying and harassment can have more of an emotional impact on minors, which is why our policies provide heightened protection for users between the ages of 13 and 18.

Context and intent matter, and we allow people to post and share if it is clear that something was shared in order to condemn or draw attention to bullying and harassment. In certain instances, we require self-reporting because it helps us understand that the person targeted feels bullied or harassed.

2.5 Human Exploitation

In an effort to disrupt and prevent harm, we remove content that facilitates or coordinates the exploitation of humans, including human trafficking. We define human trafficking as the business of depriving someone of liberty for profit. It is the exploitation of humans in order to force them to engage in commercial sex, labour or other activities against their will. It relies on deception, force and coercion, and degrades humans by depriving them of their freedom while economically or materially benefiting others. 

Human trafficking is multi-faceted and global; it can affect anyone regardless of age, socioeconomic background, ethnicity, gender or location. It takes many forms, and any given trafficking situation can involve various stages of development. By the coercive nature of this abuse, victims cannot consent.

While we need to be careful not to conflate human trafficking and smuggling, the two can be related and exhibit overlap. The United Nations defines human smuggling as the procurement or facilitation of illegal entry into a state across international borders. Without necessity for coercion or force, it may still result in the exploitation of vulnerable individuals who are trying to leave their country of origin, often in pursuit of a better life. Human smuggling is a crime against a state, relying on movement, and human trafficking is a crime against a person, relying on exploitation.

2.6 Privacy violations & image privacy rights

Privacy and the protection of personal information are fundamentally important values for HeyOye. We work hard to safeguard your personal identity and information and we do not allow people to post personal or confidential information about yourself or of others.

We remove content that shares, offers or solicits personally identifiable information or other private information that could lead to physical or financial harm, including financial, residential and medical information, as well as private information obtained from illegal sources. We also recognise that private information may become publicly available through news coverage, court filings, press releases or other sources. When that happens, we may allow the information to be posted.

We also provide people with ways to report imagery that they believe to be in violation of their privacy rights.

3. Objectionable Content

3.1 Hate Speech

We believe that people use their voice and connect more freely when they don’t feel attacked on the basis of who they are. That is why we don’t allow hate speech on HeyOye. It creates an environment of intimidation and exclusion, and in some cases may promote offline violence.

We define hate speech as a direct attack against people – rather than concepts or institutions – on the basis of what we call protected characteristics: race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religious affiliation, caste, sexual orientation, sex, gender identity and serious disease. We define attacks as violent or dehumanising speech, harmful stereotypes, statements of inferiority, expressions of contempt, disgust or dismissal, cursing and calls for exclusion or segregation. We also prohibit the use of harmful stereotypes, which we define as dehumanising comparisons that have historically been used to attack, intimidate or exclude specific groups, and that are often linked with offline violence. We consider age a protected characteristic when referenced along with another protected characteristic. We also protect refugees, migrants, immigrants and asylum seekers from the most severe attacks, though we do allow commentary and criticism of immigration policies. Similarly, we provide some protections for characteristics such as occupation, when they’re referenced along with a protected characteristic.

We recognise that people sometimes share content that includes someone else’s hate speech to condemn it or raise awareness. In other cases, speech that might otherwise violate our standards can be used self-referentially or in an empowering way. Our policies are designed to allow room for these types of speech, but we require people to clearly indicate their intent. If the intention is unclear, we may remove content.

3.2 Violent & Graphic content

We remove content that glorifies violence or celebrates the suffering or humiliation of others because it may create an environment that discourages participation. We allow graphic content (with some limitations) to help people raise awareness about issues. We know that people value the ability to discuss important issues such as human rights abuses or acts of terrorism. We also know that people have different sensitivities with regard to graphic and violent content. For that reason, we are working to add a warning label to especially graphic or violent content so that it is not available to people under the age of eighteen and so that people are aware of the graphic or violent nature before they click to see it.

3.3 Adult nudity & sexual activity

We restrict the display of nudity or sexual activity because some people in our community may be sensitive to this type of content. Additionally, we default to removing sexual imagery to prevent the sharing of non-consensual or underage content. Restrictions on the display of sexual activity also apply to digitally created content unless it is posted for educational, humorous or satirical purposes.

3.4 Sexual Solicitation

People use HeyOye to discuss and draw attention to sexual violence and exploitation. We recognise the importance of and want to allow for this discussion. We draw the line, however, when content facilitates, encourages or coordinates sexual encounters or commercial sexual services between adults such as prostitution or escort services. We do this to avoid facilitating transactions that may involve trafficking, coercion and non-consensual sexual acts. We also restrict sexually explicit language that may lead to solicitation because some audiences within our global community may be sensitive to this type of content and it may impede the ability for people to connect with their friends and the broader community.