Google Groups content policy

Google Groups allows you to create and participate in online forums and email-based groups with a rich experience for community conversations. With Google Groups, you can set up your very own place to communicate and collaborate, organize meetings and events or find others with similar interests. Our policies play an important role in maintaining a positive experience for our users. Please follow these policies when using our products and services ("Services"). When we are notified of a potential policy violation, we may review and take action, including limiting or terminating a user’s access to our Services.

Content Boundaries

Our content policies play an important role in maintaining a positive experience for you, the users. Please respect these guidelines. From time to time, we may change our content policies so please check back here. Also, please note that when applying the policies below, we may make exceptions based on artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific considerations or where there are other substantial benefits to the public from not taking action on the content.

Adult Content: We do allow adult content on Google Groups, including images or videos that contain nudity or sexual activity. But, you must mark your group as 'adult' in your settings. There are some exceptions to our adult content policy:

  • Do not use Groups as a way to make money on adult content. For example, don’t link to commercial porn websites in order to make money in your posts.
  • We do not allow non-consensual or illegal sexual content, including image, video or textual content that depicts or encourages rape, incest, bestiality, or necrophilia.
  • Do not post or distribute private nude, sexually explicit, or non-explicit intimate and sexual images or videos without the subject’s consent. If someone has posted a private nude, sexually explicit, or non-explicit intimate and sexual image or video of you, please report it to us here.

Child safety: We have a zero tolerance policy towards content that exploits children. Some examples of this include:

  • Child sexual abuse imagery: We will terminate the accounts of any user we find publishing or distributing child sexual abuse imagery. We will also report that user to law enforcement.
  • Pedophilia: We do not allow content that encourages or promotes sexual attraction towards children. For example, do not create groups or post messages with galleries of images of children where the collection of images or text accompanying the images is sexually suggestive.

Hate Speech: We want you to use Google Groups to express your opinions, even very controversial ones. But, don't cross the line by publishing hate speech. By this, we mean content that promotes hate or violence towards groups based on race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity. For example, don't write a post saying that members of Race X are criminals or advocating violence against followers of Religion Y.

Crude Content: Don't post content just to be shocking or graphic. For example, collections of close-up images of gunshot wounds or accident scenes without additional context or commentary would violate this policy.

Violence: Don't threaten other people on your group or messages. For example, don't post death threats against another person or group of people and don't post content encouraging your readers to take violent action against another person or group of people.

Harassment: Do not harass or bully others. Anyone using Google Groups to harass or bully may have the offending content removed or be permanently banned from the site. Online harassment is also illegal in many places and can have serious offline consequences.

Copyright: It is our policy to respond to clear notices of alleged copyright infringement. More information about our copyright procedures can be found here. Also, please don't provide links to sites where your readers can obtain unauthorized downloads of other people's content.

Personal and confidential information: It's not ok to publish another person's personal and confidential information. For example, don't post someone else's credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, unlisted phone numbers, and driver's license numbers. Also, please keep in mind that in most cases, information that is already available elsewhere on the Internet or in public records is not considered to be private or confidential under our policies.

Impersonation and misrepresentation of identity: Do not impersonate a person or organization or misrepresent yourself. This includes impersonating any person or organizations you don’t represent; providing misleading information about a user/site’s identity, qualifications, ownership, purpose, products, services, or business; or falsely implying affiliation with, or endorsement by, another individual or organization. This also includes content or accounts misrepresenting or concealing their ownership or primary purpose, such as misrepresenting or intentionally concealing your country of origin or other material details about yourself when directing content about politics, social issues, or matters of public concern to users in a country other than your own. We do allow parody, satire, and the use of pseudonyms or pen names—just avoid content that is likely to mislead your audience about your true identity.

Misleading content: Do not distribute content that deceives, misleads, or confuses users. This includes:

Misleading content related to civic and democratic processes: content that is demonstrably false and could significantly undermine participation or trust in civic or democratic processes. This includes information about public voting procedures, political candidate eligibility based on age/birthplace, election results, or census participation that contradicts official government records. It also includes incorrect claims that a political figure or government official has died, been involved in an accident, or is suffering from a sudden serious illness.

Misleading content related to harmful health practices: misleading health or medical content that promotes or encourages others to engage in practices that may lead to serious physical or emotional harm to individuals, or serious public health harm.

Manipulated media: media that has been technically manipulated or doctored in a way that misleads users and may pose a serious risk of egregious harm.

Misleading content may be allowed in an educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic context, but please be mindful to provide enough information to help people understand this context. In some cases, no amount of context will allow this content to remain on our platforms.

Illegal activities: Do not use Groups to engage in illegal activities or to promote dangerous and illegal activities. For example, don't author a post encouraging people to drink and drive. Please also do not use Groups to sell or promote regulated or illegal drugs. Otherwise, we may delete your content. Also, in serious cases such as those involving the abuse of children, we will report you to the appropriate authorities.

Spam: Spam takes several forms on Groups, all of which can result in deletion of your account or group. Some examples include creating groups designed to drive traffic to your site or to move it up in search listings, posting replies on other people’s messages just to promote your site or product, and scraping existing content from other sources for the primary purpose of generating revenue or other personal gains.

Malware and viruses: Do not create groups that transmit viruses, cause pop-ups, attempt to install software without the reader's consent, or otherwise impact readers with malicious code. This is strictly forbidden on Google Groups.

Regulated Goods and Services: Do not use Groups to sell or facilitate the sale of regulated goods and services, such as alcohol, gambling, pharmaceuticals and unapproved supplements, tobacco, fireworks, weapons, or health/medical devices. Discussion of such goods and services, however, is allowed.

Enforcement of Google Groups’ Content Policy

If you encounter a group or message that you believe violates our content policies, please report it to us using the 'Report Abuse' option. More information on reporting can be found here.

Our team reviews these flags for policy violations. If the content does not violate our policies, we will not take any action. If we find that the content does violate our policies, we take one or more of the following actions based on the severity of the violation:

  • Delete the offending content
  • Disable the author's access to his/her Google account
  • Report the user to law enforcement
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