2020 United States Election Content Policy

Public conversation in times of election is a crucial and important element of a healthy democracy. It is in keeping with Medium’s mission that we provide an open platform for people of all political beliefs to share their knowledge, opinion, and expertise, and engage in civil, constructive, and open dialogue. 

Medium is an open platform which hosts both user-generated content, as well as news and information produced by professional sources, which includes Medium's Editorial Group. The work of the Medium Editorial Group applies a high standard of accuracy and quality to the work it publishes. Our full editorial content policy is available here. For user-generated content, we also strongly recommend contributors read and abide by our journalism best practices. These practices are now more important than ever in helping both information producers and consumers separate fact from fiction. As an open platform, Medium does not fact-check user-generated content published by third-party contributors, and we encourage readers to always fact-check content posted, and seek the most up-to-date information from official sources.

Beyond our editorial policies and journalism best practices, Medium’s Rules set guidelines for acceptable content and behavior on the platform. Each participant in our community is responsible for maintaining these standards, whether they are a professional journalist, amateur commentator, or an expert in a related field. We rely on and investigate all reports of potential content violations. When Medium’s Trust & Safety team becomes aware of potentially problematic content, we analyze the reported content under those Rules, and where necessary apply other secondary frameworks to come to an enforcement decision. 

Risk Analysis

One such secondary framework is a system of triage based on risk analysis for potentially controversial, suspect, or extreme content. This includes, at minimum, asking and answering the following questions:

  1. What are the foreseeable negative consequences of the information being propagated by our network, and shared on other social media networks?
  2. How severe might the potential impact be?
  3. What is the likelihood of the negative consequence occurring?
  4. Who will likely be affected as a result?
  5. Is there information from nationally and internationally recognized institutions, to help us determine if content presents an elevated risk and potentially violates our rules?

This means that broadly we may take action on content which includes:

  • Attempts at voter suppression
    • We do not allow content that discourages eligible voters via misinformation, disinformation, intimidation, or other suppressions
    • We do not allow content with fake or false election or polling instructions or information
  • Foreign information operations
    • When identified, we will remove known, identifiable networks of misinformation or disinformation by coordinated foreign state actors
  • Manipulated media
    • We will not allow deceptive conduct on Medium, including use of manipulated media with the intent to deceive or distort information or messaging, which will be assessed in conjunction with our aforementioned Risk Analysis and triage based on risk analysis
  • Impersonation
    • In keeping with our Username Policy and Rules against deceptive conduct, which disallow all impersonation, we will not allow impersonation of political office holders, candidates, or any other election influencers
  • Census Integrity
    • We do not allow content which discourages census participation via misinformation, disinformation, intimidation, or other suppressions

How to report a violation

If you find a post or account on Medium that violates these rules, please flag it. You can use this form to provide more detail or to report other conduct you believe violates our rules. Additionally, you can send us an email to trust@medium.com.

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