Abuse programme policies and enforcement

The programme policies below apply to the content that you post on Google Photos, comments on Google Photos and print content through Google Photos. Google Photos provides free storage and automatic organisation of your photos and videos to ensure that all of your memories are safe, secure and accessible. The policies play an important role in maintaining a positive experience for everyone using Google products.

We need to curb abuses that threaten our ability to provide these services, and we ask that everyone abides by the policies below to help us achieve this goal. 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.

We may take action on accounts that go above storage quota limits. For example, we may reject new uploads, compress existing content or delete content if you exceed your storage quota or fail to obtain sufficient additional storage. Read more about storage quotas here.

When applying these policies, we may make exceptions based on educational, documentary, scientific or artistic considerations, or where there are other substantial benefits to the public from not taking action on the content.

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. Beyond the policies listed below, note that several products and features may have additional policies and terms. For example, Google profile photo cannot include mature or offensive content, such as a photo that is a close-up of a person’s buttocks or cleavage.

Report abuse

If you believe that someone is violating the policies found below, please report it to us using the 'Report abuse' link (or similarly named link). Learn more about reporting abuse on Google Photos and about additional steps that you can take to block someone on Google Photos.

To report copyright infringement or other legal issues, please use this tool which will guide you through the process of reporting content that you believe warrants removal from Google's services based on applicable laws.

Programme policies

Account hijacking
Do not access another user's account without their permission. We may take appropriate action if we are notified of account hijacking, which may include reporting you to the relevant authorities, removing access to some of our products or disabling your Google Account.
Account inactivity
Use the product to remain active. Activity includes accessing the product's content or storing new content on the product at least once every 2 years. We may take action on inactive accounts, which may include deleting your content from the product. Read more here.
Child sexual abuse and exploitation

Do not create, upload or distribute content that exploits or abuses children. This includes all child sexual abuse materials. To report content on a Google product that may exploit a child, click 'Report abuse'. If you find content elsewhere on the Internet, please contact the appropriate agency in your country directly.

More broadly, Google prohibits the use of our products to endanger children. This includes but is not limited to, predatory behaviour towards children such as:

  • 'Child grooming' (for example, befriending a child online to facilitate, either online or offline, sexual contact and/or exchanging sexual imagery with that child);

  • 'Sextortion' (for example, threatening or blackmailing a child by using real or alleged access to a child's intimate images);

  • Sexualisation of a minor (for example, imagery that depicts, encourages or promotes the sexual abuse of children or the portrayal of children in a manner that could result in the sexual exploitation of children); and

  • Trafficking of a child (for example, advertising or solicitation of a child for commercial sexual exploitation).

We will remove such content and take appropriate action, which may include reporting to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, limiting access to product features and disabling accounts. If you believe that a child is in danger of or has been subject to abuse, exploitation or trafficking, contact the police immediately. If you have already made a report to the police and still need help or you have concerns a child is being or was being endangered on our products, you can report the behaviour to Google.

Circumvention
Do not engage in actions intended to bypass our policies or subvert restrictions placed on your account. This includes the creation or use of multiple accounts or other methods intended to engage in behaviour that was previously prohibited.
Dangerous and illegal activities
Do not use this product to engage in illegal activities, or to promote activities, goods, services or information that cause serious and immediate harm to people or animals. While we permit general information about this content for educational, documentary, scientific or artistic purposes, we draw the line when the content directly facilitates harm or encourages illegal activity. We will take appropriate action if we are notified of unlawful activities, which may include reporting you to the relevant authorities, removing access to some of our products or disabling your Google Account.
Harassment, bullying and threats
Don't harass, bully or threaten others. We also don’t allow this product to be used to engage or incite others in these activities. This includes singling someone out for malicious abuse, threatening someone with serious harm, sexualising someone in an unwanted way, exposing private information of someone else that could be used to carry out threats, disparaging or belittling targets of violence or tragedy, inciting others to carry out these activities or harassing someone in other ways. Keep in mind that online harassment is illegal in many places and can have serious offline consequences for both the harasser and the target. We may take appropriate action if we are notified of threats of harm or other dangerous situations, which may include reporting you to the relevant authorities, removing access to some of our products or disabling your Google Account.
Hate speech
Do not engage in 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.
Impersonation and misrepresentation of identity

Do not impersonate a person or organisation or misrepresent yourself. This includes impersonating any person or organisations that you don't represent or providing misleading information about a user/site's identity, qualifications, ownership, purpose, products, services or business.

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.

Malware and similar malicious content
Do not transmit malware or any content that harms or interferes with the operation of the networks, servers, end user devices or other infrastructure. This includes the direct hosting, embedding or transmission of malware, viruses, destructive code, or other harmful or unwanted software or similar content. This also includes content that transmits viruses, causes pop-ups, attempts to install software without the user’s consent or otherwise impacts users with malicious code. See our Safe Browsing policies for more information.
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.

Non-Consensual Explicit Imagery (NCEI)
Do not store or distribute private nude, sexually explicit or non-explicit intimate and sexual images or videos without the subject's consent. If someone has sent a private nude, sexually explicit or non-explicit intimate and sexual image or video of you, please report it to us here.
Personal and confidential information
Do not store or distribute other people’s personal or confidential information without authorisation. This includes the use of sensitive information, such as UK National Insurance numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, images of signatures and personal health documents. In most cases where this information is broadly available elsewhere on the Internet or in public records, such as national ID numbers listed on a government website, we generally don’t process enforcement actions.
Phishing
Do not use this product for phishing. This includes soliciting or collecting sensitive data such as passwords, financial details and national insurance numbers.
Regulated goods and services
Do not sell, advertise or facilitate the sale of regulated goods and services. Regulated goods and services include alcohol, gambling, pharmaceuticals, unapproved supplements, tobacco, fireworks, weapons or health/medical devices.
Sexually explicit content
Do not distribute content that contains sexually explicit material, such as nudity, graphic sex acts and pornographic material. This includes driving traffic to commercial pornography sites. We allow nudity for educational, documentary, scientific or artistic purposes.
Spam
Do not spam. This may include unwanted promotional or commercial content, unwanted content that is created by an automated programme, unwanted repetitive content, nonsensical content or anything that appears to be a mass solicitation.
System interference and abuse
Do not abuse this product and do not harm, degrade or negatively affect the operation of networks, devices or other infrastructure of Google or others. This includes degrading, disabling or negatively interfering with any aspect of the product or its services. We may take appropriate action if we are notified of system interference and abuse, which may include reporting you to the relevant authorities, removing access to some of our products or disabling your Google Account.
Terrorist activities
Terrorist organisations are not permitted to use this product for any purpose, including recruitment. We'll also take action against the user for content related to terrorism, such as promoting terrorist acts, inciting violence or celebrating terrorist attacks. If storing or distributing content related to terrorism for an educational, documentary, scientific or artistic purpose, be mindful to provide enough information so that viewers understand the context.
Unauthorised images of minors
Do not store or distribute images of minors without explicit consent from the child's parent, guardian or legal representative. If someone has stored or distributed an image of a minor without necessary consent, please report it to us here.
Violence and gore
Do not store or distribute violent or gory content involving real-life people or animals that's primarily intended to be shocking, sensational or gratuitous. This includes ultra-graphic material, such as dismemberment or close-up footage of mutilated corpses, and graphic material, such as content containing significant amounts of blood. Content may be allowed in an educational, documentary, scientific or artistic context, but please be mindful to provide enough information to help people understand the context. 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.

Additional policies

Printed products content policy

All images in printed products should comply with legal regulations and content policies. We therefore do not allow certain types of images to be printed in our products. We will not print any products that contain images that violate the following policies.

Please note that any content submitted to be printed in a product may be reviewed to determine whether it violates this policy.

Dangerous and illegal activities

We will not print content that is an illegal activity or that promotes activities, goods, services or information that cause serious and immediate harm to people or animals. While we permit general information for educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic purposes, we draw the line when the content directly facilitates harm or encourages illegal activity.

Below are examples of what we do not allow in printed products:

  • Images that infringe on anyone else's legal rights, including copyright
  • Images that depict or include instruction on dangerous or illegal acts

Harassment, bullying and threats

We will not print content that harasses, bullies or threatens others. We also won’t print content that engages or incites others in these activities. This includes singling someone out for malicious abuse, threatening someone with serious harm, sexualising someone in an unwanted way, exposing private information of someone else that could be used to carry out threats, disparaging or belittling targets of violence or tragedy, inciting others to carry out these activities or harassing someone in other ways. We may take appropriate action if we are notified of threats of harm or other dangerous situations, which may include reporting you to the relevant authorities, removing access to some of our products or disabling your Google Account.

Below are examples of what we do not allow in printed products:

  • Content that harasses, intimidates or bullies an individual or group of individuals

Hate speech

We will not print 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.

Below are examples of what we do not allow in printed products:

  • Content that incites 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 other characteristic that is associated with systemic discrimination or marginalisation

Sexually explicit content

We will not print content that contains sexually explicit material. Nudity for educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic purposes and non-sexual nudity may be permitted. We never allow content that sexually exploits children.

Below are examples of what we do not allow in printed products:

  • Images containing graphic sexual acts intended to arouse, including depictions of genitalia, pornography or illustrations
  • Content promoting underage, non-consensual or other illegal sexual themes, whether simulated or real
  • Content promoting the sexual exploitation of minors

Terrorist activities

Terrorist organisations are not permitted to print content for any purpose, including recruitment. We will not print content related to terrorism, such as promoting terrorist acts, inciting violence or celebrating terrorist attacks. If printing content related to terrorism for an educational, documentary, scientific or artistic purpose be mindful to provide enough information so that viewers understand the context.

Below are examples of what we do not allow in printed products:

  • Content produced by or on behalf of terrorist groups

Violence and gore

We will not print violent or gory content involving real-life people or animals that’s primarily intended to be shocking, sensational or gratuitous. This includes ultra-graphic material, such as dismemberment or close-up footage of mutilated corpses, and graphic material, such as content containing significant amounts of blood. We may print content used in an educational, documentary, scientific or artistic context. In some cases, content may be so violent or shocking that no amount of context will allow that content to be printed. Lastly, we will not print content encouraging others to commit specific acts of violence.
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