From clearer language to creator advocacy, here’s a look at our 2022 policy updates
The new year is already well underway, but we wanted to take a quick moment to spotlight some of the big strides we made on Community Guidelines, moderation, and advocacy in 2022. Read on to learn how your feedback helped us shape our most recent policy updates and initiatives.
What is CPEP?
These updates are part of our Creator Policy Engagement Program (CPEP), which we launched in 2021 to give creators a voice in building inclusive and transparent policies. Each quarter, we propose policy updates and give creators a chance to weigh in through policy livestreams, Discord discussions, individual office hours, and email. That feedback informs which policies get finalized and what they’ll look like.
New policy implementation: Violent and Graphic Content
We always aim to create a safe environment for all creators and patrons. That’s why we proposed adding a section to our Community Guidelines on “Violent and Graphic Content” clarifying where we draw the line when it comes to content that depicts or glorifies real-world violence and suffering. Creators supported this proposal, and we’ve now added new language to our Community Guidelines:
“Patreon will not allow content that promotes violence that is graphic, gratuitous, sadistic, or glorifies real-world suffering. Additionally, content that depicts violent or graphic imagery, such as animal abuse, decapitation, gore, and violent death, will not be permitted.”
We also recognize that depictions of this content can be necessary in certain non-gratuitous contexts, and creator input helped us clarify what those exceptions should look like. Our creator community urged us to emphasize that works containing fictional violent and graphic content are permissible on the platform. We included that clarification in the language, noting that the creator should just give the audience a statement or context to inform viewers that the content is dramatized.
Key policy developments in 2022
The “Violent and Graphic Content” policy is just one example of how creator feedback enriched the policies we developed in 2022. Here are a few more:
- We clarified the types of content that qualify as hate speech and types of dangerous organizations that are not permitted to earn money on Patreon.
- We introduced a more creator-first content moderation approach that will reduce instances of single moderation actions resulting in full page suspensions. This will help creators feel more informed and better protected on Patreon.
- We provided more detail for Adult/18+ creators the process of age verification, which is a requirement from payment processing partners to ensure that these creators are over 18. To afford creators as many resources on the topic as possible, we published a range of Help Center articles:
We loved engaging with you on these policies during our quarterly livestreams. For a comprehensive look into last year’s policy updates, check out livestream recordings from Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4.
The Creator Advocacy Initiative
Patreon has long been an advocate for creators in governmental, legal, and regulatory spaces. Last year, we expanded CPEP to include what we call the Creator Advocacy Initiative, to share the advocacy work we do on behalf of the creator economy and creative small businesses. We joined dozens of companies in public policy advocacy to:
- Support a United States bill designed to stop major tech companies from “preferencing” their own products on their online marketplaces (because big companies should not be gatekeepers to the creator economy).
- Denounce a directive against health care access for transgender children and their families by Governor Abbott of Texas, United States. (More details here.)
- Caution against proposed United States legislation which was intended to protect consumers from unsafe products, but in practice would saddle digital service businesses with burdensome compliance requirements that would “limit creative expression.”
What else did we get up to last year? We submitted evidence to the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee to advocate for the membership model as a clear driver of growth in the creator economy, and we sent the British Parliament a letter about the draft Online Safety Bill, which would impact thousands of tech companies. Also, the Policy team’s own Courtney Duffy hosted a South by Southwest panel in Austin, Texas on how leaders in the private, public, and government sectors can build enduring policies to promote the creator economy.
We’re already hard at work to build upon last year’s progress. Keep an eye out for new policy proposals to help make Patreon the best place for creators in 2023. In the meantime, you can always reach the Policy team by emailing us at CreatorPolicy@Patreon.com. Thank you creators for your continued support and partnership.