All Grokio communities endeavor to maintain as open a forum as possible. There are countless social media options offering a closed experience for those who want to carefully curate their friend networks—and we aim to provide something different. The result is an approach that tries to minimize the amount of direct moderation we do in the newsfeed.
However, we also strive to make all Grokio communities places where our users feel safe. And in the spirit of community safety, we have crafted the following community rules.
Unfortunately, we can’t make all “bad behavior” a punishable offense. As much as we would like everything to be smooth in our communities, sometimes people aren’t going to get along. Sometimes people are going to fight. It’s what happens when we have communities as big and diverse as ours. Policing such conflicts would be nearly impossible and so we’ve deliberately chosen not to do that. Instead, we focus on specific harmful behavior that is tangible.
How Violations Are Treated
Generally speaking, you’re going to get 1 or 2 warnings, depending on the nature of the violation.
Two Warning Violations: For less severe violations, you will receive a written warning for your first violation and both a written warning and a 7-day temporary ban for a second violation. A third violation in the same area will result in permanent removal.
One Warning Violations: For more severe violations, your first violation will come with both a written warning and a 7-day temporary ban. A second violation in the same area will result in permanent removal.
No Warning Violations: For the most severe violations--largely those that are illegal or threatening to the safety of our users--you will be permanently removed without any warning.
Violations are grouped by type, so different types of violations are counted separately. For example, if you are warned once for excessive posting in the newsfeed, and again for disparaging another user, each of those counts as your first warning in that area.
Warnings are kept on your profile for 18 months. If there are no new incidents with your profile after 18 months, your previous violations will be removed from your record. However, if you violate another rule within 18 months, all violations will stay on your record for a further 18 months.
GROKIO COMMUNITY CONDUCT RULES
The following rules of conduct apply to ALL Grokio communities, including Grommr, Feabie, Chasabl and Ferzu, except where noted.
1. MALICIOUS/ILLEGAL ACTIVITY: NO WARNINGS
Scamming, spamming or trolling: Any person determined to have joined a Grokio community with the sole intention of trying to scam, spam or troll our users will be immediately removed.
Threats of violence or sexual assault: We take all threats of violence seriously. Any threat that is determined to be actionable, specific and demonstrating intent will result in immediate removal.
Prostitution or solicitation of prostitution: While we welcome models and those selling content within the scope of the law, we do not allow the illegal selling or soliciting of sex for money.
Threatening to expose private information: Sharing sensitive, private information, photos or videos publicly or with individuals outside the community (also known as doxing)–or threatening to do so–is grounds for immediate removal.
All illegal behavior: Use of one of our communities to engage in or promote any illegal behavior is not allowed. This includes, but is not limited to, the illegal behavior outlined above, the buying/selling of drugs, bestiality, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, etc.
Underage users: Grokio communities are designed exclusively for those age 18 or older. We will not remove any user we merely suspect of being underage until we’ve given them the chance to verify their age.
Abuse of service: The use of bots or automated scripts on any Grokio community is strictly forbidden. Members should be careful not to make excessive web/API requests.
2. FALSE PORTRAYAL: ONE WARNING
Duplicate profile: Each user is entitled to one profile per Grokio community. Users found creating more than one profile in a Grokio community are in violation of this rule. Grokio admins use IP tracking to ensure compliance with this rule.
Fake photos: Users are not allowed to post photos of other people (or illustrations drawn by other people) with the intent of misleading others. Any images of someone other than the user must be clearly labeled as such, or they will be in violation of this rule.
Stolen photos: Users are not allowed to post photos of other users (or illustrations drawn by other users) without direct permission from that user. Any images posted without permission in this way will be removed as a violation of this rule.
False identity: Users are not allowed to assume fake identities, including posting intentionally misleading profile information, engaging in catfishing activities, or misrepresenting their gender identity in order to get additional features.
3. HARASSMENT: ONE WARNING
Sexual harassment (images): It is not okay to send nude photos to other users without asking first. If you choose to use the private photo-sharing feature to share nudity (defined as any photo that you would not otherwise be allowed to post on one of our communities), you MUST ask the other person first whether they are interested in receiving such content. This policy also includes linking to NSFW content without properly labeling it as NSFW or “adult content”.
Sexual harassment (text): Any unsolicited, graphic references to genitalia or specific sexual acts is not acceptable. Get permission first, and be respectful so we don’t have to take action.
Harassment (via message): Sending unprovoked and patently offensive or vulgar messages to another user is not allowed. This includes, but is not limited to, inciting someone to commit suicide.
In addition, users are not allowed to persistently message another user after that user has stated that they do not want to hear from them. If a user has clearly communicated that they do not wish to hear from you again, and you continue to send three or more messages without them commenting or re-joining the conversation, we consider that message harassment.
Harassment (via newsfeed): Users are not allowed to use the newsfeed to post patently offensive or vulgar things about other users. This includes, but is not limited to, inciting someone to commit suicide.
4. TROLLING: ONE WARNING
Newsfeed trolling: We define trolling as the use of inflammatory, patently offensive or obnoxious content for the sole purpose of getting a negative reaction from others. They key is intent: Does the user intend to simply share an opinion and provoke thoughtful discussion? Or is the user attempting to simply get a negative reaction from others.
Trolling includes, but is not limited to: Posting and re-posting the same content over and over; posting almost entirely irrelevant content (sometimes called “shitposting”); and posting patently hateful rhetoric that is not covered under our intolerance policy in order to provoke others. Controversial and provocative opinions (so long as they are not in violation of our hate speech policies) are not by themselves defined as trolling, however, posting almost entirely irrelevant and inflammatory political posts is.
False Reporting: Our rules leave a lot of room for interpretation and so we welcome all users to report behavior they think violates those rules. However, users that continually report others for non-rule-breaking behavior after being warned not to do so by our admins are in violation of our false reporting policy. We consider such repeat false reports as a form of trolling.
5. RE-SHARING PHOTOS PUBLICLY: ONE WARNING
Photos posted on any Grokio community are intended to be seen in that community only. Re-posting photos you found on one of our communities on another platform (Tumblr, Reddit, your blog, etc.) is a violation of this rule. Our admins have helped Tumblr take down dozens of blogs for re-posting photos—and removed the users who took the photos.
6. INTOLERANCE: ONE WARNING
Racist, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic or ableist content: There is absolutely NO ROOM for misogyny, racism, homophobia, transphobia or ableism in any Grokio community. Our communities are diverse and that makes us stronger. Any hate speech that goes against any protected class will be dealt with as a violation, even if there was no intent to cause harm. This goes for posts, as well as photos. For example, images of the confederate flag are not allowed.
Belittling or mocking sex crimes: The belittling or mocking of rape, pedophilia and other sex crimes has no place in our communities. Some of our users have experienced such traumas and do not deserve to have their pain reduced to a joke.
On Grommr, Feabie and Chasabl Only:
Anti-fat content: Unprovoked attacks on overweight people are not allowed on Grommr, Feabie or Chasabl. Users are free to express neutral statements, such as “I’m not interested in chubs” or “I’m not attracted to people over/under X pounds”. However those posts cannot cross the line to disparagement, such as “fat people are disgusting” or "I'm trying to lose weight because my body is gross".
On Grommr and Feabie Only:
Anti-feedism or anti-gaining content: Unprovoked attacks on feedism, gaining or any of the people who take part in them, are not allowed on Grommr or Feabie. Users are free to express neutral statements, such as “I’m not interested in feeders” or “I’m not into gaining”. However those posts cannot cross the line to disparagement, such as “gainers are gross” or “feedees are just trying to kill themselves”.
On Ferzu Only:
Anti-furry or anti-otherkin content: Unprovoked attacks on furries, the furry fandom or otherkin are not allowed on Ferzu. Users are free to express neutral statements, such as “I’m not interested in otherkin,” however those posts cannot cross the line to disparagement, such as “otherkin are freaks”.
7. DONATION REQUESTS: TWO WARNINGS
Requests for donations, gifts or money are not allowed in the newsfeed or photofeed. We allow Users to include such appeals in the body of their profile or in conversations in private notes (though not if those notes are spamming). We encourage users in need to talk to someone first, get to know each other and let them offer to help. Attempts to circumvent this rule, for example by posting subtle requests or referring users to one's profile (where there is a link to an Amazon wishlist), are considered violations.
Additionally, we do not allow users to ask for donations or payment in exchange for private folder access.
8. PROMOTIONAL POSTINGS: ADDITIONAL WARNINGS
While we strictly forbid users to charge access for the private folder on their profile, we do allow content creators to use the newsfeeds/photofeeds to promote community-relevant paid content, as long as the promotional postings adhere to the following conditions:
- Requirement 1: Only users who have been a member of our network for at least 30 days may make promotional postings.
- Requirement 2 (FEABIE ONLY): The user making promotional postings must be verified. In response to the rise of many new profiles abusing our previous solicitation rules on Feabie, we have worked closely with the content creators of our community to create a verification process. On Feabie, only verified users will be allowed to promote their content in the newsfeeds/photofeeds, provided they adhere to the preceding rules. For details on how to verify, please read and follow the instructions here.
Additionally, all promotional posts need to meet the following Conditions:
- Condition 1: No more than 1 promotional posting per 24 hour period. A promotional posting can be a newsfeed post, a photo or a photo caption. All such postings are treated the same (e.g. posting a promotional photo and a promotional status on the same day is a violation of this rule).
- Condition 2: No more than 25% of your postings can be promotional. That means for every promotional posting, you must also make three non-promotional postings (pose a question, say what you ate for lunch… anything non-promotional).
- Condition 3: No more than 1 of the same promotional posting (the content or presentation needs to change each time). Deleting and re-posting the same update or photo will be considered a violation of these conditions.
Additionally, as a result of SESTA/FOSTA, we do not allow the use of the term "sex worker" to be used by those offering legally allowable content or services on our communities, as that term could be misinterpreted to mean prostitution, which is strictly forbidden.
We understand that these conditions are detailed, which is why anyone making mistakes when trying to promote their content will receive two educational warnings before any action we take is escalated to a temporary suspension. We will not be automatically removing users who keep violating our promotional content rules and instead, repeated violations that occur after a user has received the first two warnings will result in increasingly longer suspensions for each new rule violation. The first temp ban will start with a 1 week suspension, followed by 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 16 weeks and finally a 32 week suspension. After a 32 week suspension, we will evaluate whether or not to permanently remove that member.
9. DISPARAGEMENT OF OTHERS: TWO WARNINGS
Under no circumstances are users allowed to post disparaging comments about another user in the newsfeed or photofeed. Naming-and-shaming in an attempt to punish users for behavior you don’t like or disagree with is considered disparagement.
On Feabie Only:
While we don’t allow users to disparage others in the newsfeed, we understand the need to warn others of particularly problematic users on Feabie. For this reason we do allow Feabie users to make posts naming other users for the purposes of warning their followers of another person’s rule violations. If you are going to make such a post, please be sure to follow the following 3 conditions.
**Failure to adhere to the following 3 conditions may result in your profile receiving a warning for disparagement and repeat violations may result in your removal from the site.**
Condition 1: We don’t believe every minor rule violation is worthy of warning others about. For this reason, these warning posts can only be made for the rule violations that fall under the False Portrayal, Harassment or Intolerance categories. All of these rules result in an immediate temp-ban along with their first warning, and so we believe that these are severe enough infractions to warrant warning others about.
Condition 2: Only reported rule violations can be posted about. You must have filed a report with us and we must have responded to that report stating there was a violation. Once you’ve received confirmation in your report that the infraction was indeed a rule violation AND that we have temporarily banned the profile, you may make your post about it.
Condition 3: Only one post per incident per reporter. Once you’ve received our confirmation that a rule has been violated you’re allowed to make one - and only one - post about this rule violation. If you did not report the profile and receive confirmation from us that the user was temp banned - then you cannot make a post just because someone else did. If you made a post about a user’s rule violation already, then you can’t make one again. The purpose of this rule is to allow you to warn your followers and others who see your posts in the global newsfeed. The purpose is not to promote mob justice or to give you an avenue to repeatedly call someone out. We want our users to feel safe, so this post can only be used to promote that safety, not for users to punish other users.
10. SPAM - TWO WARNINGS
Posting the same update or a link to the same website over-and-over or sending the same mass note repeatedly is considered spamming. The rule of thumb should be to never re-post the same thing twice in the same day (that includes deleting it and re-posting it) and to never send the same exact text to more than a few users.
11. UN-CREDITED ARTWORK: TWO WARNINGS
All furry-community artwork on Ferzu must be properly credited with its creator. Any furry-community artwork posted on Ferzu that has been reported as stolen without it’s artist in the caption of the photo, gets removed immediately and warned for stolen art. Stolen art removed this way is a 2-warning violation.
If an artist requests that their art be removed, THEY must be the ones that contact us to have it removed, OR have it publicly posted on their own webpage that they do not want their art posted elsewhere. If an artist has requested their art not be posted elsewhere, or has asked the user to remove the artwork, then this counts as a 1-warning violation.
The preceding rules only apply to furry-community artwork. Artwork originating outside the community (for example, public domain images or images from pop culture) are not subject to these restrictions.
12. DISCUSSING COMMUNITIES WITH MAINSTREAM MEDIA OUTLETS
Grommr and Feabie Only:
In order to protect the privacy of the Grommr and Feabie communities, we ask that our users be conscientious when discussing the gaining and feedism communities with major media outlets.
While we encourage everyone to be as open as they are comfortable being, it is important to understand that the gaining and feedism communities are heavily stigmatized by the public. Because of this, articles written about the gaining and feedism communities come in a variety of colors, many of them painting our communities in a negative light. To prevent an influx of trolls or those who might disrupt the privacy of our members, we ask that users not name Grommr or Feabie explicitly when discussing their personal journeys with the media.
Feel free to say that you use an app to meet like minded people, or that there’s a website where we gather and get along--but don’t outright name our community. Since cases where this occurs are rare and vary wildly in severity, we will review each as they arise but violation of this rule will in most cases be punished severely including the possible removal of your account and a permanent ban from our platform.