Every social media platform has a set of rules called community guidelines that they require all their users to follow. Threads, the new “Twitter killer” from tech giant Meta is no exception.
If you want to promote yourself and your brand on this new app, it’s crucial that you get yourself up to date with the Threads Community Guidelines. Knowing your limits on what you can and can’t post will help you keep your account active, and prevent your growth from being derailed by a suspension – or worse, deletion!
What Are Community Guidelines?
Community guidelines are rules that are designed to keep social media users safe by preventing violence, abuse, and the promotion or enablement of illegal activities. The ultimate goal behind them is to create a safe, communal space on their platform so that everyone can use it without getting harassed; hence the inclusion of the word “community.”
Here’s What’s Allowed According to Threads Community Guidelines
1. Interacting Respectfully with Other Users
You’re absolutely allowed to interact with other users – providing it’s respectfully done. That means you’re allowed to praise, converse, debate, even criticize. Just remember that there’s another person on the other side of your screen, and once in a while, go outside and touch some grass.
2. Posting Images and Videos that You Have the Right to Use
You have Threads’ full permission to post any images or videos that you have the right to use. This covers any footage or pictures that:
- You took using your camera.
- You have explicit permission from the original owner or creator to use.
- You purchased a license for, or that are for common usage (i.e., free stock photos).
- You have a right to use under the legal doctrine of fair use, which covers parodies, satire, commentaries, news reporting, and criticism (among other things).
3. Buying, Selling, and Trading Non-Restricted Goods and Services
Good news for all our entrepreneurs: you can buy, sell, and trade any goods that aren’t on Meta’s Restricted Goods and Services list. That’s most things, so whether you’re in the business of selling beauty products, vehicle replacement parts, or supplements, you can sell it on Threads.
Here’s What’s NOT Allowed According to Threads Community Guidelines
Now for the not-so-fun part: what you can’t post on Threads without violating its Community Guidelines.
1. Sharing Content Depicting Nudity
Heads up to all the NSFW creators out there: Threads strictly forbids posting or sharing any images or videos that depict nudity, except in a few specific situations. Those situations include the following:
- Photos of breastfeeding, giving birth, and after birth
- Health-related photos, such as those related to mastectomies, breast cancer awareness, and gender confirmation surgeries
- Photos of acts of protest involving nudity
- Depictions of nude paintings and sculpture
2. Posting Content That You Don’t Have the Rights To
It should always be a rule of thumb that if you don’t own a certain image or video, you should never post it on Threads – or any other social media platform, for that matter. That’s like stealing someone else’s work and passing it off as your own, even if you give credit to the original creator.
And if you happen to post something that you don’t have the rights to, intentionally, or not, Threads will simply take the post down. They’ll also issue you a copyright strike, which takes a full year to expire. If you get too many copyright strikes, then – you guessed it – you’re out of the platform.
3. Buying, Selling, or Trading Restricted Goods and Services
Meta has a list of Restricted Goods and Services that they’ve banned across all their platforms, including Threads. Anything on this list is not free to buy, sell, or trade, and it includes:
- Non-medical drugs that are used to get high
- Pharmaceutical drugs
- Endangered wildlife and plants
- Live non-endangered animals (except livestock)
- Human blood
- Weight loss products
- Historical artifacts
- Hazardous goods and materials
4. Posting Threats or Hate Speech
In an effort to make Threads welcoming to all, Threads has banned violent threads and hate speech. This shouldn’t be a topic of debate, and it also isn’t a rule that anyone should have trouble adhering to.
5. Sharing Content Depicting Self-Injury
Any content depicting self-injury (AKA self-harm) is forbidden on Threads.
6. Praising or Encouraging Terrorism, Organized Crime, or Hate Groups
Just as you shouldn’t threaten anyone with physical violence or send them hate messages, you also shouldn’t praise or encourage any groups that thrive off that type of toxic behavior. This includes terrorist organizations like the Taliban and hate groups like the KKK.
7. Impersonating Other People
Using your Threads account to impersonate someone else is never cool. If you want to parody a famous individual, that’s fine, but you should clearly indicate that it’s a parody in your profile name and bio.
8. Artificially Collecting Engagement
Threads wants to reward creators who build followings and generate engagement organically from real and active Threads users. By contrast, they will punish creators who artificially collect engagement via bot accounts, or by spamming users with requests to like, comment, repost, and follow their posts.
9. Promoting Fake or Misleading Reviews or Ratings
Part of keeping innocent people safe on a social media platform is protecting them from dishonest and fake reviews or ratings. By reading a fake review or rating of a product on Threads, people might be duped into making a purchase that scams them out of their money. It’s something that Meta has decided is simply not allowed on Threads.
What Happens When You Violate Threads Community Guidelines?
Let’s say you violate the Community Guidelines on Threads in some way. What happens next?
At the very least, Threads will remove the post by which you violated the rules. This makes sense because they don’t want that post to be able to accumulate engagement and disrupt the Threads community.
However, you should thank your lucky stars if removing the post is all that Threads does. Because there is also a very real possibility that they will delete your account altogether. But that’s only likely to occur if the violation was particularly severe, or if you broke the guidelines multiple times in a row.
How To Avoid Violating Threads Community Guidelines
Avoiding violating Threads’ Community Guidelines shouldn’t be difficult. But anytime there are rules, it’s natural to be nervous that you’ll accidentally break them.
With that in mind, here’s how to make sure you never violate these rules on Threads that are there for your protection.
1. Always Get Permission Before Posting Content That’s Not Yours
Anytime you want to post a photo or a video that you didn’t film, do your due diligence, and get permission before publishing it. It’s worth it to avoid a copyright claim that could result in your post getting removed, as well as in your account getting a strike against it.
2. Don’t Respond to Trolls
One of the ways that Threads users get sucked into saying hateful or inappropriate things is they’re egged on or angered by a troll.
A troll is a person on the internet who thrives off inciting anger and other negative emotions in people they don’t even know.
Don’t let them ruin your good reputation on Threads. Instead, make it your policy to never respond to any trolls who may be targeting you.
3. Block or Report Accounts That Are Harassing You
Another way to avoid problematic Threads disputes that can get you suspended or banned is to block or report accounts that are making you upset. That way, they’re out of sight and out of mind, and you won’t be tempted to lose your cool and type out something you will regret later.
4. When in Doubt, Don’t Post It
If you’re composing a post and you’re doubtful of whether or not it violates Threads’ Community Guidelines, do future you a favor and don’t post it. Doubt is often your gut telling you that something is a bad idea. Just scrap the first idea and start your post over from scratch.
5. Remember That Social Media Isn’t The Most Important Thing in the World
This is something we would all do well to remember: social media is not the most important thing in the world. In fact, if we were to rank things that were important, social media would be very, very low on the list – almost in last place.
That thought may help you to hesitate before posting anything on Threads that you know could very well get you banned from the app.
What If I’ve Already Broken Threads Community Guidelines?
If you’ve already broken the Community Guidelines that Meta has set up for Threads, don’t panic!
Instead, if you’ve already received a warning from Threads or your access to your account has been restricted, contact Meta customer support. They will tell you what you need to do to reinstate your good standing on the Threads platform.
What Can I Sell on Threads?
You can sell anything that’s not on Meta’s list of Restricted Goods and Services. Firearms, drugs, and marijuana are just a few examples of contraband material that you will get in trouble for trying to sell on Threads.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Happens If I Break Threads Community Guidelines?
Depending on the severity or frequency of your violations, your post may get taken down. Alternatively, your account may be suspended or deleted.
The Community Guidelines on Threads exist to help keep users safe. This goes for everyday people as well as influencers and brands. Everyone deserves to be able to operate their businesses and experience social media in a hate-free way. Do your part and follow Threads’ Community Guidelines, so that your posts and your account don’t suffer the consequences.