Illegal or Regulated Activities
Community Guidelines Explainer Series
Updated: January 2024
- Don’t use Snapchat for any illegal activity. This includes promoting, facilitating, or participating in criminal activity, such as buying, selling, exchanging, or facilitating sales of illegal or regulated drugs, contraband (such as child sexual abuse or exploitation imagery), weapons, or counterfeit goods or documents. It also includes promoting or facilitating any form of exploitation, including human trafficking or sex trafficking.
- We prohibit the illegal promotion of regulated goods or industries, including unauthorized promotion of gambling, tobacco products, and alcohol.
Our prohibition against illegal and regulated activities reflects our stalwart commitment to safety across Snapchat. Upholding these rules not only helps ensure our platform is not misused for unlawful purposes, but also helps protect Snapchatters from risks of serious harm. To help advance these aims, we partner extensively with safety stakeholders, NGOs, and law enforcement organizations to provide our community with educational resources and to generally promote public safety.
What you should expect
While laws and regulations differ in jurisdictions throughout the world––and Snapchat is an increasingly global community––users can expect that we will take action against any activity that undermines public safety or violates human rights, the laws of the United States, or the laws of the country in which the user is located.
In all cases, prohibited illegal activities will include promotion of criminal activity; facilitation or participation in cybercrime; and buying, selling or facilitating sales of illegal or regulated drugs, contraband, weapons, and counterfeit goods or documents.
Our rules also prohibit using our platform for the unauthorized sale or promotion of goods or activities that are regulated by government authorities in ways that require special licensing or other administrative compliance to be legally purchased, sold, or used. Examples of regulated activities that require prior approval from Snap include facilitating online gambling activities; selling alcoholic beverages; tobacco, or vape products; and promoting THC businesses. Businesses are encouraged to consult this resource for guidance regarding appropriate commerce and advertising activities on Snapchat.
We are committed to ensuring that Snapchatters have as much information as possible regarding the types of online behavior and activities that may violate the law and present serious risk to their safety. Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations and collaboration with diverse safety stakeholders, we are committed to raising awareness of high-risk activities and ways that Snapchatters can stay safe. This includes in-app resources, like Here for You and Heads Up, as well as external partnerships with stakeholders like the AdCouncil and the White House. We also cooperate with law enforcement agencies in response to valid legal process concerning activities on Snapchat that may provide evidence of a crime.
How we enforce these policies
Content that violates our rules against Illegal or Regulated Activities will be removed. In many cases, users who share, promote, or distribute violating content will receive a warning notice, and users who repeatedly violate these policies will have their account access restricted. However, there are certain illegal activities––like drug dealing or human trafficking, for instance––for which we truly have zero tolerance; these violations will result in a loss of account privileges following even a single infraction.
An important way to help us keep Snapchat safe is to immediately report illegal activities using our in-app reporting tool. Once we receive a report, our Trust & Safety teams can take action quickly to appropriately address the harm. On our high-reach surfaces, like Spotlight and Discover, we take a very proactive approach to moderating content and promoting information integrity, but it’s still enormously valuable to receive user reports regarding any harmful content you might encounter on these surfaces; they help alert us to any breakdowns in our processes for keeping these spaces free of unlawful or unsafe activity.
Doing our part to promote public safety and protect Snapchatters from harmful or illegal activities is a responsibility we take very seriously.
As we continue these efforts, we are committed to providing transparent insights into the effectiveness of our approach. Through our Transparency Reports, we provide country-level information related to our enforcements against illegal or regulated activities. To provide additional granularity regarding these efforts, we’ve broken out our reporting and enforcement data for drug-related and weapons-related violations in our Transparency Report, and we plan to provide more detailed breakdowns of these violations in our future reports.
We encourage users to report instances of illegal activity to help keep Snapchat a safe and inclusive space for all. We are always looking for opportunities to improve our ability to address harmful content or behavior, and we are committed to working with diverse leaders from across the safety community to ensure we are advancing these objectives responsibly. For more information about our safety efforts, please visit our Privacy and Safety Hub.