Hangouts and Hangouts Chat Acceptable Use Policy

Our policies play an important role in maintaining a positive experience for our users. Please follow these policies when using Hangouts and Hangouts Chat (collectively, 'Hangouts'). Make sure that you check 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).

Learn more about Google's efforts to fight spam and how to block users in Hangouts.

Fraud, phishing and other deceptive practices

Do not use 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 Hangouts to trick, mislead or deceive other users into sharing information under false pretences.

Do not impersonate another person, or otherwise misrepresent yourself or the source of a 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 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 or exploitation, or has been trafficked, contact your local police immediately.

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

Harassment

Do not use 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 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 that it was a mistake, please follow the instructions on this page.

Additional terms for Hangouts Invitations, Publicly Shared Hangouts and Hangouts on Air

Google's social and sharing products and services enable people from diverse backgrounds to start conversations, share experiences, collaborate on projects and form new communities. Our policies play an important role in maintaining a positive experience for our users on Hangouts. Please follow these policies as you:
  • Send Hangouts invitations
  • Participated in publicly shared Hangouts or Hangouts on Air

We depend heavily upon users to let us know about content that may violate our policies. After we are notified of a potential policy violation, we may review the content and take action, including restricting access to the content, removing the content, refusing to print the content, and limiting or terminating a user’s access to Google products. Note that we may make exceptions to these policies based on artistic, educational or documentary considerations, or when there are other substantial benefits to the public from not taking action.

We occasionally modify these policies, so please check back here for any updates.

  1. Hate speech
    Our products are platforms for free expression, but we don’t permit hate speech. Hate speech is content that promotes or condones violence against, or has the primary purpose of inciting hatred against, an individual or group on the basis of their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, nationality, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or any other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalisation.

  2. Sexually explicit material
    Do not distribute sexually explicit or pornographic material. Do not drive traffic to commercial pornography sites.

    We do allow naturalistic and documentary depictions of nudity (such as an image of a breastfeeding infant), as well as depictions of nudity that serve a clear educational, scientific or artistic purpose.

    Please note that your Google profile photo cannot include mature or offensive content. For example, do not use a photo that is a close-up of a person’s buttocks or cleavage.

  3. Violence 
    It's not OK to share violent or gory content that's primarily intended to be shocking, sensational or gratuitous. If posting graphic content in a news, documentary, scientific or artistic context, please be careful to provide enough information to help people understand what's going on. In some cases, content may be so violent or shocking that no amount of context will allow that content to remain on our platforms. Lastly, don't encourage others to commit specific acts of violence.

  4. Regulated goods and services
    Our products enable discussion of many topics, but we do not allow content that facilitates the sale of regulated products and services, including alcohol, gambling, pharmaceuticals and unapproved supplements, tobacco, fireworks, weapons or health/medical devices.

  5. Impersonation and misrepresentation
    Do not use Hangouts with the intent to deceive, mislead or confuse users by either impersonating any person or organisations that you do not represent, or concealing your ownership or primary purpose. This includes directing content about politics, social issues or matters of public concern to users in a country other than your own, if you misrepresent or intentionally conceal your country of origin or other material details about yourself. We're not saying that you can't publish parody, satire or use a pseudonym/pen name – just avoid content that is likely to mislead readers about your true identity.

  6. Use of multiple accounts
    Do not create or use multiple accounts to evade our policies or bypass blocks or otherwise subvert restrictions placed on your account. For example, if you've been blocked by another user, don't create a replacement account that engages in similar activity.

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