Medium Legal
The Medium Blog
Published in
2 min readJul 27, 2015

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We’ve been thinking hard about how to create a Medium where people treat each other well. Rules aren’t the only way to do this, but they help. Today we’re updating our rules to prohibit public shaming, revenge porn, and posting private or confidential information about others in order to harass.

Every online social platform has to come to terms with the tension between fostering free expression (“Say anything!”) and creating a place where everyone is free to be who they are (“You are welcome here!”). Somewhere on this spectrum, sooner or later, you have to land. Where you land says a lot about what kind of online space you want to be.

We want everyone to feel at home on Medium. This doesn’t mean you’re free from having your views challenged or your ideas re-characterized. Surprising or controversial views prompt exactly the kind of impassioned engagement we want here. But some speech shuts down more expression than it opens up, by causing silence, retreat, isolation, or intimidation. No one should feel any less than who they are from spending time here. And that’s where we decided to draw the line.

We want Medium’s rules to be like the most human and practical kinds of rules — rules of hospitality, rules of the road, golden rules. They show what we think it means for our guests to treat each other civilly, at least, and admirably, if possible. Now it’s our job to apply those rules thoughtfully and fairly. We know context matters a lot. If we ask you to explain conduct we think is harassing, you can count on having that conversation with a real human being, not an algorithm.

Our new rules aren’t simply about preventing harassment. They’re about fostering a place we’re all proud of and want to come to every day to see what’s going on. Speak freely, comment frankly, and respond sharply. But treat each other well.

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