Classic Hangouts will be replaced by Google Chat. Learn about the switch from classic Hangouts to Google Chat.

Google Chat and Google Hangouts Acceptable Use Policy

Our policies play an important role in maintaining a positive experience for our users. Please follow these policies when using Google Chat ('Chat') and Google Hangouts ('Hangouts'). Make sure that you check back from time to time, as these policies may change. Please also refer to Google’s Terms of Service for more information.

Spam and commercial use

Do not send or facilitate the transmission of spam, large numbers of commercial messages, or automated messages or calls. Spam includes, but is not limited to, unwanted promotional or commercial content and unwanted or mass solicitation. Do not make calls that violate laws that prohibit unsolicited marketing calls (e.g. 'Do not call' laws).

Fraud, phishing and other deceptive practices

Do not use Chat or Hangouts for phishing. Refrain from soliciting or collecting sensitive data, including, but not limited to, passwords, financial details and national insurance numbers. Do not use Chat or Hangouts to trick, mislead or deceive other users into sharing information under false pretenses.

Do not impersonate another person or otherwise misrepresent yourself or the source of a Chat or Hangouts message or call.

Malware

We do not allow the transmission of malware, viruses, Trojan horses, corrupted files, destructive code, or anything that may harm or interfere with the operation of the networks, servers, or other infrastructure of Google or others.

Child safety

Do not use Chat or Hangouts in any way that exploits children. This includes child sexual abuse imagery or content that presents children in a sexual manner. Google has a zero-tolerance policy against this content. If we become aware of such content, we will report it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as required by law. We may also take disciplinary action, including terminating the Google Accounts of those involved.

This also includes child grooming, which comprises any actions aimed at establishing a connection with a child to lower the child's inhibitions in preparation for sexual abuse, trafficking or other exploitation.

If you believe that a child is in danger of or has been subject to abuse, exploitation or been trafficked, contact your local law enforcement immediately.

If you have already made a report to law enforcement and still need help, or you have concerns that a child is being or was subjected to grooming on Chat or Hangouts, you can report the behaviour to Google. Please remember that you can always block any person that you do not want to be contacted by on Chat or Hangouts.

Harassment

Do not use Chat or Hangouts to harass, threaten or intimidate others. Do not incite others to engage in this behaviour.

Personal and confidential information

Do not distribute other people's personal and confidential information, such as credit card numbers, national insurance numbers or account passwords, without their permission.

Illegal activities

Do not use Chat or Hangouts to promote, organise or engage in illegal activities.

Policy enforcement

Google may disable accounts that are found to be in violation of these policies. If your account is disabled and you believe it was a mistake, please follow these instructions on this page.

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