WECHAT – ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY
Last updated – 2021-08-19
Welcome to WeChat!
This Acceptable Use Policy sets out rules to ensure good behaviour for the use of WeChat.
This Policy (as part of the WeChat Terms of Service) applies to anyone who uses WeChat. By using WeChat, you agree to this Policy. If you do not agree to this Policy, please do not use WeChat.
This Policy may be updated by us at any time at our sole discretion, in accordance with the Terms of Service.
Any defined terms used in this Policy will have the meaning given in this Policy or, if not defined in this Policy, the meaning given in the WeChat Terms of Service.
If you have any questions about this Policy, please contact us using the details at the end of this Policy.
Our aim for WeChat is that it will always make a positive impact on our users' lives, and that it will be a platform that benefits its users.
We are constantly looking to improve and innovate WeChat. Part of achieving this goal is ensuring that users can continue to use WeChat safely and that WeChat is used in an acceptable manner by all users. This Policy sets out rules to ensure good behaviour in the use of WeChat by users.
We are guided by continuous feedback from users and industry experts in developing this Policy, and we strive to ensure that this Policy is inclusive of diverse ideas, views and information. We are always open to receiving feedback from our users – if you wish to do so, please contact us using the details at the end of this Policy.
1.2. Enforcement and breach (or potential breach) of this Policy
Where you have (or we reasonably believe you have) breached this Policy, we may, at our discretion, do any or all of the following:
- a. Issue a warning regarding your behaviour.
- b. Refrain from displaying or remove the relevant content relating to such breach (or reasonably suspected breach).
- c. Display a notice to recipients of the relevant content to take precaution due to a suspected or confirmed breach of this Policy.
- d. Restrict you from using certain account functions or suspend or terminate your account.
- e. Where we reasonably believe that you have committed a crime or are otherwise required to do so under applicable laws, notify and cooperate with appropriate governmental and/or law enforcement authorities in the relevant jurisdiction.
While we will aim to apply this Policy consistently across all jurisdictions, in some jurisdictions there may be specific requirements under applicable laws which necessitate differing applications of parts of this Policy.
If you wish to report another user who may have potentially breached this policy, please refer to Section 12 of this Policy for our contact details.
1.3. How do we apply this Policy?
We will act reasonably in applying this Policy and considering whether any content or behaviour breach this Policy – including by:
- a. Attempting to distinguish between genuine and casual statements.
- b. Attempting to distinguish between credible and non-credible/aspirational statements.
- c. Attempting to distinguish legitimate newsworthy content from other content.
- d. Permitting humour and social commentary on various topics, subject to a reasonable standard.
- e. Additional information that is available to us, whether via WeChat or third parties.
We will continue to engage with our users and third-party experts from time to time, to ensure that this Policy continues to reflect our values and applicable laws and regulations, while ensuring that using WeChat remains a safe and fun experience for our users.
2. VIOLENCE AND CRIME
We prohibit violent, criminal, illegal, or inappropriate content on WeChat.
In particular, we aim to ensure that any content which may (in our opinion) constitute a genuine risk of harm or direct threat to public safety are removed as soon as practicable.
In addition, any content that breaches any applicable laws or regulations will be removed as soon as practicable.
Such content or behaviour may include the following:
- a. Threats to others, including statements of intent regarding committing violence (including murder or offering services for hire to kill others) or other criminal actions (e.g., kidnapping).
- b. Instructions on how to make weapons or explosives.
- c. Misinformation that contributes to imminent violence or physical harm.
- d. Any organisation that promotes or is in the business/has the aim of promoting any illegal activities.
- e. Promoting or publicising violent crime, theft, and/or fraud.
- f. Facilitating or coordinating future criminal activity.
We also ban any organisations or persons who are involved in any of the above, including any related coordination or promotion.
Criminal and/or illegal activities in different jurisdictions may include:
- g. Terrorist activity, organised hate, kidnapping, human trafficking, or organised criminal activity.
- h. Violent acts – e.g., murder, harm against people or animals (excluding legal activities such as boxing, hunting or food preparation).
- i. Offering of illegal goods or services – e.g., services for hire to kill others, sale of prohibited or illegal products, sale of goods or services that have been illegally procured (e.g., stolen information or goods), distribution of counterfeit currency.
- j. Theft.
- k. Vandalism/property damage.
- l. Swatting – i.e., making false reports of an emergency.
- m. Fraud/embezzlement, or money laundering.
- n. Activities that breach consumer protection-related requirements – e.g., false advertising and trading of fake goods/services.
- o. Gambling.
Further details regarding various illegal activities that we prohibit on WeChat are set out in the remainder of this Policy.
3. PERSONAL SAFETY
We want to ensure that WeChat is a safe environment for all of our users.
To that end, we prohibit any content or behaviour relating to, depicting, promoting or encouraging participation in, or soliciting any of the following:
- a. Suicide and self-injury – including euthanasia, self-mutilation, drastic weight loss and dangerous cosmetic procedures.
- b. Child nudity and exploitation – including any content where adults are soliciting minors (and vice versa).
- c. Sexual exploitation of adults – e.g., acts or photos involving non-consenting adults, paid sexual services, and other types of pornography (whether its public distribution was consented to or otherwise).
- d. Bullying and harassment – with a focus particularly on those who are underage and including any contact (e.g., messages or calls) that involves any bullying behaviour.
- e. Human exploitation – e.g., human trafficking (depriving a person of liberty for profit) and human smuggling (procuring or facilitating illegal entry into a state), with or without coercion or force and with or without a sexual element.
- f. Other behaviour that (in our opinion) is reasonably likely to cause upset and/or distress.
4. PROTECTION OF PRIVACY AND PRIVATE/CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION
We are committed to protecting our users' privacy and private/confidential information and prohibit the sharing or publication of any such information without the relevant user's express consent or other legal basis. Such prohibited behaviours include:
- a. Identity theft.
- b. Posting of personal information without consent (including "doxxing" – i.e., the publication of a data subject's identity information with the intent of causing harassment, alarm or distress).
- c. Posting of any information that was procured via hacking or other illegal or unethical means.
- d. Unauthorised exposure of residences/safe houses.
- e. Posting of a minor's information.
5. OBJECTIONABLE CONTENT
We prohibit objectionable content and behaviour on WeChat. We view objectionable content and behaviour as being any content or behaviour that is reasonably likely to cause upset and/or distress, either to the subject and/or to the public. This may include:
- a. Hate speech – e.g., a direct attack based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental disabilities, or other forms of "dehumanising" speech or imagery.
- b. Graphic content of violence – including against both human beings and animals (and whether alive or dead).
- c. Nudity and sexual activity.
- d. Sexual solicitation – e.g., sharing of pornography or explicit offers of/requests for sexual services.
- e. Cruel and insensitive material, or other abusive behaviour – e.g., targeting victims of serious physical or emotional harm, calls for a person's death, revenge pornography, and false claims (e.g., false negative character/ability claims).
6. AUTHENTIC CONTENT AND BEHAVIOUR
We aim to ensure that content and behaviour on WeChat remains authentic, by attempting to eliminate false news, disinformation, misinformation, false advertising, fraud and security breaches on WeChat.
To that end, we prohibit the following content:
- a. Spam content – including using fake accounts or compromising other people's accounts to message people or otherwise create connections or content; and attempting to engage with other users under false pretences (e.g., falsely using login credentials, or distributing fake information).
- b. Any manipulation or disruption of WeChat – including manipulating or disrupting other users' use of WeChat.
- c. Coordinating, spreading, distributing or participating in inauthentic behaviour, including in relation to false news, disinformation or misinformation and in relation to a topic or individual).
- d. Using WeChat on behalf of governmental entities, without full disclosure.
Various jurisdictions have implemented laws in this area. We will comply with such laws where required to do so (including governmental requests and court orders made in accordance with such laws). For further information regarding how we deal with governmental requests, please see our Law Enforcement Data Request Guidelines and Governmental Request Policy.
7. MISUSE OF WECHAT
We prohibit misuse of WeChat. This includes:
- a. Misrepresenting your own identity – e.g., using a false name or birth date, uploading false photos that purport to be you, misleading users or WeChat about the source or origin of any content.
- b. Creating false accounts, or creating multiple accounts for misuse of WeChat.
- c. Creating an account after we have prohibited your use of WeChat.
- d. Providing false information to us, including during your registration process.
- e. Sharing your account with another user(s).
- f. Using WeChat to harass any other users.
- g. Breaching any other registration requirements that we may have from time to time.
7.2. Infringement of our rights and other technical disruption of WeChat
We prohibit any use of WeChat that infringes (or potentially infringes) on our rights, or otherwise is technically disruptive of WeChat. Such use may include the following:
- a. using or exploiting any of our intellectual property rights (including our trademarks, brand name, logo, any other of our proprietary information or the layout or design of any page), or otherwise infringing any of our intellectual property rights (including attempting to reverse engineer any applications or software used to access WeChat);
- b. accessing WeChat, collecting or processing any content made available through WeChat, or sending or redirecting any communications through WeChat, in each case through the use of any automated bots, software, engines, crawlers, scrapers, data mining tools or the like, or attempting to do any of the foregoing;
- c. engaging in any "framing," "mirroring" or other techniques to simulate the appearance or function of WeChat;
- d. interfering with, or attempting to interfere with, any user's or any other party's access to WeChat;
- e. intentionally distributing viruses, worms, Trojan horses, corrupted files or other malicious code or items;
- f. probing or testing the vulnerability of, or otherwise circumventing (or attempting to circumvent) any security features on, WeChat, our systems or the systems of other users;
- g. decompiling, reverse compiling or reverse engineering any of WeChat Software, or seeking to do any of the foregoing, except to the extent that applicable laws and regulations do not allow us to prevent you from doing this;
- h. sub-licensing, renting, leasing or selling WeChat Software;
- i. using WeChat Software to gain unauthorised access to any system, account or data;
- j. directly or indirectly charging others for use or access to WeChat Software;
- k. directly or indirectly suggesting our support or endorsement of any product, service or content;
- l. making WeChat Software available for copying, download or use by any person or persons;
- m. removing, obscuring or modifying any copyright, trademark or other proprietary rights notice, marks or indications found in or on WeChat Software;
- n. misrepresenting the source or ownership of WeChat Software;
- o. copying, reproducing, adapting, modifying, translating or creating derivate works from WeChat Software, or lending, hiring, renting, performing, sub-licensing, making available to the public, broadcasting, distributing, transmitting or otherwise using any Item in whole or in part, or attempting to do any of the foregoing;
- p. attempting to disrupt or interfere with WeChat Software including manipulating the legitimate operation of WeChat Software;
- q. using cheats, exploits, automation software or any unauthorised third-party software designed to modify or interfere with WeChat Software;
- r. disrupting or overburdening any computer or server used to offer or support WeChat Software, or other users' use of WeChat Software; or
- s. developing any plug-ins, external components, compatibles or interconnection elements or other technology that inter-operate with WeChat Software, except where we expressly permit you to do so via WeChat (and where this is the case, your use of such WeChat Software may be subject to additional terms and conditions as notified by us to you).
7.3. Prohibited users
You may not register for or use WeChat if:
- a. you have been convicted of any child abuse offence or sex offence;
- b. you are less than 13 years of age or the relevant age in your jurisdiction where you are considered a minor; or
- c. we have previously terminated your account and advised you that you may no longer use WeChat or any of our other services.
8. REGULATED GOODS AND SERVICES
In various jurisdictions, certain goods and services may be illegal, or they may only be distributed and/or sold subject to qualifications and restrictions.
We acknowledge that different jurisdictions may treat various goods and services differently. This needs to be balanced against our aim of applying this Policy fairly and consistently for all users internationally.
Therefore, in some circumstances, we may entirely prohibit the sale or distribution of certain items. In other circumstances, we may permit such sale or distribution, subject to certain restrictions as issued by us (e.g., age or geographical limit). Such restrictions will take into account applicable laws and guidelines, and may be updated by us from time to time at our sole discretion.
Such items may include:
- a. Drugs – including medical or pharmaceutical drugs that require licensing or other legal approvals before they can be distributed, and other non-medical or recreational drugs (e.g., marijuana).
- b. Firearm parts, ammunition and other weapons of violence – including 3D printing files of such items.
- c. Sale or trade of human organs and body parts, including human blood.
- d. Alcohol and tobacco products.
- e. Cosmetic procedures, including weight loss products.
Further restrictions (and details regarding such restrictions) may be set out in other applicable terms and conditions.
9. OUR TREATMENT OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS AND OTHER CONTENT
We take intellectual property rights seriously, and always aim to ensure that WeChat complies with all applicable intellectual property rights-related laws and regulations. We may at any time remove any content that infringes upon a party's intellectual property and/or other proprietary rights.
Our treatment of intellectual property rights and other content is subject to:
In addition, we comply with the following requests (subject to applicable laws and in accordance with relevant WeChat policies):
- e. User requests to remove their own account, including parents requesting for removal of an underage account.
- f. Requests to remove a deceased user's account from a verified immediate family member or executor.
- g. Requests to remove an incapacitated user's account from an authorised representative.
- h. Requests to remove material relating to an underage minor in certain circumstances.
10. REQUEST FROM GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITIES
10.1. We receive various requests from governmental authorities in relation to WeChat. Where such request is made:
- a. by law enforcement authorities and in accordance with legal processes (e.g., court injunction, court orders, subpoenas, police investigations), we will treat such request in accordance with the Law Enforcement Data Request Guidelines; and
- b. in any manner and by any governmental entity other than pursuant to paragraph (a), we will treat such request in accordance with our Governmental Request Policy.
11. PROMOTIONAL POLITICAL CONTENT
11.1. We prohibit promotional political content on WeChat, where:
- a. a person or entity has paid for such promotional political content (including any relevant advertisements) to be displayed on WeChat; or
- b. the relevant promotional political content does not comply with any applicable laws or regulations.
11.2. "Promotional political content" is any promotional content regarding:
- a. a candidate for an election; a political party; or any elected or appointed government official (and an "election" includes an election, referendum or political ballot); or
- b. a law, regulation or judicial outcome, including changes to any such matter.
In addition, we do not accept promotional political content from or paid for by a candidate for an election; a political party; or any elected or appointed government official.
11.3. Promotional political content may include the following:
- a. Appealing for votes for an election.
- b. Appealing for financial support for a political purpose.
- c. Appealing for changes to a law, regulation or judicial outcome.
- d. Advocacy for or against any subject matter of promotional political content.
11.4. We acknowledge that different jurisdictions have various laws governing promotional political content. We will comply with such laws where required to do so, including the maintenance of information regarding political advertisements and disclosure of such information to relevant regulatory authorities. In addition, governmental authorities may require the removal of promotional political content in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, and pursuant to our Governmental Request Policy.
11.5. We will continue to review this area, and will consider implementing country-specific or other restrictions or qualifications from time to time. We will notify our users where we implement such restrictions or qualifications.
Please contact us at email@example.com to report any breaches (or potential breaches) of this Policy, or if you have any other questions regarding this Policy.