Select Page

Community Guidelines

Last Updated: October 2020

Sezwe’s mission is to allow people to express themselves freely and authentically. We  are building a global community where users can create and share authentically,  discover the world around them, and connect with others across the globe. We are also  committed to keeping this community safe. Our Community Guidelines reflect our  values and define a common code of conduct on our platform. These guidelines also  allow our community to help maintain a safe shared space. 

Sezwe is an inclusive platform built upon the foundation of creative expression. We  encourage users to celebrate what makes them unique, while finding a community that  does the same. We deeply value that our users come from a huge breadth of  nationalities and cultures, and we take into account the cultural norms and local  regulations of the countries we operate in.

Offering a safe and supportive environment is our top priority. We believe that feeling  safe is essential to helping people feel comfortable with expressing themselves openly  and creatively. We also aim to cultivate an environment for authentic interactions by  keeping deceptive content and accounts off our platform.

Our values form the foundation of our Community Guidelines. We remove content  including video, audio, image, and text that violates our Community Guidelines, and  suspend or ban accounts involved in severe or repeated violations. Under certain  circumstances, we will go one step further and report the accounts to relevant legal  authorities to keep our community safe.

Our Community Guidelines apply to everyone, and to everything shared on Sezwe.  They provide general guidance on what is and what is not allowed on the platform. We  also recognize that some content that would normally be removed per our guidelines  could have value to the public. Therefore, we may allow exceptions under certain  circumstances, as described in the sections below.

We update our Community Guidelines from time to time to evolve with community  behavior, mitigate emerging risks, and keep Sezwe a safe place for creativity and joy.

 

Dangerous individuals and  organizations

We do not allow dangerous individuals or organizations to use our platform to promote  terrorism, crime, or other types of behavior that could cause harm. When there is a  credible threat to public safety, we handle the issue by banning the account and  cooperating with relevant legal authorities.

Terrorists and terrorist organizations

Terrorists and terrorist organizations are any non-state actors that use premeditated  violence or threats of violence to cause harm to non-combatant individuals, in order to  intimidate or threaten a population, government, or international organization in the  pursuit of political, religious, ethnic, or ideological objectives.

Other dangerous individuals and organizations

We define dangerous individuals and organizations as those that commit crimes or  cause other types of severe harm. The types of groups and crimes include, but are not  limited to:

  • Hate groups
  • Violent extremist organizations
  • Homicide
  • Human trafficking
  • Organ trafficking
  • Arms trafficking
  • Drug trafficking
  • Kidnapping
  • Extortion
  • Blackmailing
  • Money laundering
  • Fraud
  • Cybercrime

Do not post:

  • Names, symbols, logos, flags, slogans, uniforms, gestures, portraits, or other  objects meant to represent dangerous individuals and/or organizations
  • Content that praises, glorifies, or supports dangerous individuals and/or  organizations
  • Exceptions: Educational, historical, satirical, artistic, and other content that can  be clearly identified as counterspeech or aims to raise awareness of the harm  caused by dangerous individuals and/or organizations

Illegal activities and regulated  goods

We prohibit the trade, sale, promotion, and use of certain regulated goods, as well as  the depiction or promotion of criminal activities. Some content may be removed if it  relates to activities or goods that are illegal or regulated in the majority of the region or  world, even if the activities or goods in question are legal in the jurisdiction of posting.  We allow exceptions for content that provides value to the public, such as educational,  scientific, artistic, and newsworthy content.

Promotion of criminal activities

Criminal activities cover a wide spectrum of acts punishable by law, including theft,  assault, human exploitation, and other harmful behavior. Because we do not want such  behavior to be normalized or imitated, we remove content that promotes criminal  activities.

Do not post:

  • Content that promotes acts of physical harm, such as assaulting or kidnapping • Content that risks the safety of others, including pranks like swatting
  • Content that promotes human exploitation or wildlife trafficking
  • Content that offers the purchase, sale, or trade of unlawfully acquired goods
  • Content that provides instructions on how to conduct criminal activities

Sale or use of weapons

To protect our community, we generally do not allow the depiction, trade, or promotion  of firearms, ammunition, firearm accessories, or explosive weapons. We also prohibit  instructions on how to manufacture those weapons. We may give exceptions to content

that displays firearms or other types of weapons in the following scenarios: in a fictional  setting, as part of a museum’s collection, carried by a police officer, in a military parade,  or used in a safe and controlled environment such as a shooting range. Do not post:

  • Content that displays firearms, firearm accessories, ammunition, or explosive  weapons
  • Content that offers, sells, trades, or solicits firearms, accessories, ammunition,  explosive weapons, or instructions on how to manufacture them

Drugs and controlled substances

To protect our community, we do not allow content that depicts the use or trade of drugs  or other controlled substances.

Do not post:

  • Content that displays drugs, drug consumption, or encourages others to make,  use, or trade drugs or other controlled substances
  • Content that sells, offers, trades, or solicits drugs or other controlled substances
  • Content that provides information on how to buy illegal or controlled substances

Frauds and scams

We do not permit anyone to exploit our platform to harm others, which includes  schemes to defraud individuals or steal assets. We remove content that deliberately  deceives people in order to gain an unlawful financial advantage.

Do not post:

  • Content that promotes phishing
  • Content that promotes Ponzi or pyramid schemes
  • Content that promotes fixed betting, get-rich-quick schemes, or any other types  of scams

Violent and graphic content

We do not allow content that is excessively gruesome or shocking, especially that  promotes or glorifies abject violence or suffering. We do allow exceptions for certain  circumstances, for example, content that is newsworthy or meant to raise awareness  about issues. When we identify a genuine risk of violence or threat to public safety, we  ban the account and work with relevant legal authorities as necessary and when  appropriate.

Violent and graphic content: Human

Do not post:

  • Content that is gratuitously shocking, sadistic, or excessively graphic, including  but not limited to:
    • Depictions of violent or accidental deaths involving real people
    • Depictions of dismembered, mutilated, charred, or burned human remains
    • Depictions of gore in which an open wound or injury is the core focus
    • Depictions of severe physical violence
    • Exceptions: Staged or professional fighting, traditional martial arts, or  fighting in a fictional setting

Violent and graphic content: Animals

Do not post:

  • Content that is gratuitously shocking, sadistic, or excessively graphic, including  but not limited to:
    • Depictions of the slaughter of real animals
    • Depictions of dismembered, mutilated, charred, or burned animal remains
    • Depictions of animal cruelty

Suicide, self-harm, and dangerous  acts

We do not promote participation in activities that could lead to harm. We also do not  permit users to encourage others to take part in dangerous activities. We do not allow  content that promotes self-harm or suicide, but we do allow our users to share their  experiences in order to raise awareness about these issues.

We encourage users who are struggling with thoughts of self-harm or suicide, or who  know someone is seriously considering suicide, to immediately contact legal authorities  or a suicide prevention hotline.

Suicide

We remove content that displays suicide, suicidal tendencies, or content that might  encourage participation in similar actions. This includes attempted suicide or content  featuring a person committing or intending to commit acts that are likely to lead to self inflicted death. We prohibit any form of content that praises, glorifies, or promotes  suicide, or instructs others on how to commit suicide.

Do not post:

  • Content that provides instructions on how to commit suicide
  • Content that praises, promotes, or glorifies suicide
  • Suicide challenges
  • Exceptions: Content that provides support, resources, or coping mechanisms for  those going through suicidal ideation

Self-harm

To avoid normalizing, encouraging, or triggering self-harm behavior, we do not allow  imagery that depicts such behavior, regardless of the user’s intention of posting it. We  remove content that encourages or may encourage acts that are likely to lead to physical self-inflicted injury. Content that promotes eating habits that are likely to cause  health issues is also not allowed on the platform.

Do not post:

  • Content that shows self-inflicted wounds
  • Content that provides instructions on how to commit self-harm
  • Content that supports pro-ana or other dangerous behavior to lose weight
  • Exceptions: Content that provides support, resources, or coping mechanisms for  those suffering from eating disorders or participating in self-harm

Dangerous acts

Risky activities or other dangerous behavior conducted in an unprofessional context or  without the necessary skills may lead to serious injury or death for the user or the  public. We do not allow content that encourages, promotes, or glorifies such behavior,  including amateur stunts or dangerous challenges.

Do not post:

  • Content that shows the inappropriate use of dangerous tools
  • Content that depicts drinking liquids or eating substances not meant for  consumption
  • Dangerous challenges that might lead to injury
  • Content that depicts minors below the lawful age operating motor vehicles

Hate speech

We do not tolerate content that attacks or incites violence against an individual or a  group of individuals on the basis of protected attributes. We do not allow content that  includes hate speech, and we remove it from our platform. We also suspend or ban  accounts that have multiple hate speech violations.

Attacks on protected groups

We define hate speech as content that does or intends to attack, threaten, incite  violence against, or dehumanize an individual or a group of individuals on the basis of  protected attributes. We also do not allow content that verbally or physically threatens  violence or depicts harm to an individual or a group based on any of the following  protected attributes:

  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Caste
  • Sexual orientation
  • Sex
  • Gender
  • Gender identity
  • Serious disease or disability
  • Immigration status

Do not post:

  • Content that dehumanizes or incites violence or hatred against individuals or  groups, based on the attributes listed above, including but not limited to:
    • claiming that they are physically or morally inferior
    • calling for or justifying violence against them
    • claiming that they are criminals
    • referring negatively to them as animals, inanimate objects, or other non human entities
    • promoting or justifying exclusion, segregation, or discrimination against  them

Slurs

Slurs are defined as derogatory terms that are intended to disparage an ethnicity, race,  or any other protected attributes listed above. They are not tolerated on our platform  because we do not want to contribute to the spread of egregiously offensive terms.  However, we are aware of the fact that slurs can be used self-referentially or have been  reappropriated, and we may give exceptions when slurs are used in a song or in other  instances of a self-referential satirical context and/or reappropriation. Do not post:

  • Content that invokes non-consensual slurs

Hateful ideology

Hateful ideologies are incompatible with the inclusive and supportive community that  our platform provides. We remove content that promotes hateful ideologies. Do not post:

  • Content that promotes any hateful ideologies by talking positively about or  displaying logos, symbols, flags, slogans, uniforms, salutes, gestures, portraits,  illustrations, or names of individuals related to these ideologies
  • Content that denies well-documented and violent events have taken place
  • Music or lyrics that promote hateful ideologies

Harassment and bullying

Users should feel safe to express themselves without fear of being shamed, humiliated,  bullied, or harassed. We deeply understand the psychological distress that abusive  content can have on individuals, and we do not tolerate abusive content or behavior on  our platform.

Abusive behavior

We remove all expressions of abuse, including but not limited to violent threats, sexual  harassment, disparaging statements regarding appearance, intellect, personality traits,  and hygiene.

Do not post:

  • Content that threatens an individual with violence
  • Content that wishes death, serious disease, physical, or other harm on an  individual
  • Content that incites violence or coordinated harassment
  • Content that sexually harasses a user by disparaging their sexual activities or  attempting to make unwanted sexual contact
  • Content that disparages a private individual on the basis of attributes such as  intellect, appearance, personality traits, or hygiene
  • Content that praises violent tragedies and disparages their victims
  • Content that uses the duet, react, or effects features of Sezwe to create abusive  content targeting other users

Infringement of others’ privacy

Revealing or threatening to reveal personally identifiable information can cause serious  emotional distress and lead to real-world harm. We consider it a form of abuse and do  not allow it on Sezwe.

Do not post:

  • Content that reveals or threatens to reveal personally identifiable information,  including but not limited to residential address, private email address, private  phone number, bank statement, social security number, or passport number
  • Threats to reveal sexual imagery or non-consensual intimate imagery

Adult nudity and sexual activities

We do not allow sexually explicit or gratifying content on Sezwe, including animated  content of this nature. Sexualized content carries many risks, such as triggering legal  penalties in some jurisdictions and causing harm to our users through sharing non consensual imagery (for example, revenge porn). Also, overtly sexual content can be  offensive within certain cultures. We do allow exceptions around nudity and sexually explicit content for educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic purposes. For  example, content discussing or showing mastectomy scars is allowed.

Sexual exploitation

Sexual exploitation is any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability,  power, or trust for sexual purposes, including but not limited to profiting monetarily,  socially, or politically from the sexual exploitation of another.

Do not post :

  • Content that depicts, commits, or incites non-consensual sexual acts
  • Content that commits, promotes, or glorifies sexual solicitation or sexual  objectification

Pornography and nudity involving adults

Pornography explicitly depicts sexual organs and/or activities for the purpose of sexual  gratification.

Do not post :

  • Content that depicts sexual activities such as penetration, non-penetrative sex, or  oral sex
  • Content that shows human genitalia, female nipples, or buttocks
  • Content that depicts sexual arousal
  • Content that depicts a sexual fetish

Minor safety

We are deeply committed to child safety and have zero tolerance for predatory or  grooming behavior toward minors. We do not allow content that depicts or disseminates

child abuse, child nudity, or sexual exploitation of children in both digital and real world  format, and we report such content to relevant legal authorities. We also do not allow  content depicting minors engaged in delinquent behavior.

Users must meet minimum age requirements to use Sezwe (as stipulated in our Terms  of Services). When underage account holders are identified, we remove their accounts  from our platform and may direct them to a more appropriate app experience, if  available in their region.

Nudity and sexual exploitation involving minors

Nudity includes content that shows visible private parts. Sexual exploitation is any  actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, power, or trust for sexual  purposes, including but not limited to profiting monetarily, socially, or politically from the  sexual exploitation of another.

Do not post:

  • Content that shows the private parts of minors
  • Content that depicts sexual exploitation of minors
  • Content that depicts sexual activities such as penetration, non-penetrative sex, or  oral sex involving minors
  • Content that depicts sexual arousal involving minors
  • Content that depicts a sexual fetish involving minors

Underage delinquent behavior

Delinquent behavior includes but is not limited to the consumption or use of drugs,  alcohol, and tobacco.

Do not post:

  • Content that depicts minors consuming, possessing, or suspected of consuming  alcoholic beverages, drugs, or tobacco

Child abuse

Child abuse is defined as a person in power inflicting physical and/or psychological  trauma on a minor. Physical abuse is an act that deliberately inflicts injury on a child’s  body. Psychological abuse is berating a child with threats of either physical or sexual  violence or via bully tactics.

Do not post:

  • Content that depicts physical or psychological abuse involving minors

Grooming behavior

Grooming is an adult building an emotional relationship with a minor to gain their trust  for the purposes of sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or sexual trafficking. Do not post:

  • Content that encourages, instructs, or justifies grooming behavior
  • Content that engages a minor in a sexually explicit conversation
  • Content that incentivizes or blackmails a child to transmit sexually explicit  material

Sexualization of minors

We do not allow content that imposes sexuality on or sexually objectifies minors. Do not post:

  • Content that depicts erotic dances involving minors
  • Content that contains sexual or erotic language involving minors

Integrity and authenticity

Content that is intended to deceive or mislead any of our community members  endangers our trust-based community. We do not allow such content on our platform.  This includes activities such as spamming, impersonation, and disinformation  campaigns.

Spam

Content or activity that seeks to artificially inflate popularity on the platform is prohibited.  We also prohibit any attempts to manipulate platform mechanisms to increase  interaction metrics.

Do not:

  • Share instructions on how to artificially increase views, likes, followers, shares, or  comments
  • Attempt to or engage in selling or buying views, likes, followers, shares, or  comments
  • Promote artificial traffic generation services
  • Operate multiple Sezwe accounts under false or fraudulent pretenses, including  coordinated attempts to manufacture inauthentic activity, distribute commercial  spam, or otherwise coordinate a scaled violation of Sezwe policies

Impersonation

We do not allow users to impersonate other individuals or organizations in order to  deceive the public. When we confirm reports of impersonation, we remove the violating  accounts. We do allow exceptions for parody, commentary, or fan accounts, as long as  the account does not mislead others with regard to its identity or purpose on Sezwe. Do not post:

  • As another person or organization by using someone else’s name, biographical  details, or profile picture in a misleading manner

Misleading information

While we encourage our users to have respectful conversations about subjects that  matter to them, we do not permit misinformation that causes harm to individuals, our  community or the larger public.

Do not post:

  • Misinformation that incites hate or prejudice
  • Misinformation related to emergencies that induces panic
  • Medical misinformation that causes harm to an individual’s physical health
  • Content that misleads community members about elections or other civic  processes
  • Hoaxes or phishing attempts
  • Digital Forgeries (Synthetic Media or Manipulated Media) that mislead users by  distorting the truth of events and cause harm to the subject of the video or  society

Do not:

  • Engage in coordinated inauthentic activities (such as the creation of accounts) to  exert influence and sway public opinion while misleading individuals, our  community or the larger public about the account’s identity, location or purpose

Intellectual property

We encourage everyone to create and share original content. We do not allow users to  publish or distribute content that infringes someone else’s intellectual property rights. Do not post:

  • Content that violates or infringes someone else’s copyrights, trademarks, or other  intellectual property rights

Threats to platform security

In addition to the content and behavior outlined above, our policies prohibit activities  that undermine the Sezwe service:

  • Do not hack the Sezwe website, app, or associated networks, or bypass its  measures to restrict users’ access
  • Do not distribute files that contain viruses, Trojan horses, worms, logic bombs, or  other materials that are malicious or harmful
  • Do not modify, adapt, translate, reverse engineer, disassemble, decompile, or  create any derivative products based on Sezwe, including any files, tables or  documentation, nor attempt to regenerate any source code, algorithms, methods,  or techniques embodied in Sezwe
  • Do not use automated scripts to collect information from Sezwe

 

Thank you for being a part of our vibrant global community and working with us to  maintain a safe space for all users. If you come across content or accounts that you  believe may violate our Community Guidelines, please let us know so we can review  and take appropriate action.