Cloister is a community of readers and writers committed to thoughtful and civil dialogue.
We welcome discussion from the broad spectrum of viewpoints. Nevertheless, to maintain a safe and welcoming environment for a wide range of people to engage in meaningful conversations, we prohibit certain conduct.
Each participant in our community is responsible for maintaining these standards.
In deciding whether someone has violated the rules, we will take into account things like newsworthiness, the context and nature of the posted information, and applicable privacy laws.
Violations of our rules may result in consequences such as account restrictions, limited distribution of your posts, and suspension of your account. We may limit the distribution of controversial or extreme content.
Threats of violence and incitement
We do not allow content or actions that threaten, encourage, or incite violence against anyone, directly or indirectly.
We do not allow content that promotes violence or hatred against people based on characteristics like race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, disease, age, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity.
We do not allow posts or accounts that glorify, celebrate, downplay, or trivialize violence, suffering, abuse, or deaths of individuals or groups. This includes the use of scientific or pseudoscientific claims to pathologize, dehumanize, or disempower others. We do not allow calls for intolerance, exclusion, or segregation based on protected characteristics, nor do we allow the glorification of groups which do any of the above.
We do not allow hateful text, images, symbols, or other content in your username, profile, or bio.
Cloister exists to share and discuss ideas. We don’t tolerate harassment, which includes:
- Bullying, threatening, or shaming someone, or posting things likely to encourage others to do so
- Posting copies of private communications between private individuals without the explicit consent of all parties to the communication
- Doxing, which includes not only private or obscure personal information but also the aggregation of publicly available information to target, shame, blackmail, harass, intimidate, threaten, or endanger
- Using Cloister features like responses, private notes, mentions, follows, story requests, or writer requests in a way intended to annoy or harass someone
- Posting intimate or explicit images taken or posted without the subject’s express consent
We do not allow posts or accounts that engage in on-platform, off-platform, or cross-platform campaigns of targeting, harassment, hate speech, violence, or disinformation. We may consider off-platform actions in assessing a Cloister account, and restrict access or availability to that account.
We do not allow spam on Cloister. All spam will be immediately removed from Cloister. While it is hard to define this content with precision or completeness, here are some representative behaviors we look for that are characteristic of spam:
- Posting content primarily to drive traffic to, or increase the search rankings of, an external site, product, or service
- Scraping and reposting content from other sources for the primary purpose of generating revenue or other personal gains
- Posting duplicate content, whether from a single account or across multiple accounts
- Stories where the content is clipped with the sole purpose of linking to the rest of the article on a different website.
- Performing a disproportionately large number of interactions, particularly by automated means. This includes bulk, indiscriminate interactions, such as following of other accounts (follow spam) clapping, or highlighting
- Repeatedly using responses or other interactions as a method of promotion
- Participating in bounty campaigns or brigades to artificially inflate rankings for posts, accounts, businesses, or products
For each of these behaviors, when we talk about “content,” we mean not only posts but also any other feature that allows you to add your own text or media. When we talk about “interactions,” we mean any feature that allows one user to interact with another, or with a post.
Paid, automatic, bulk, or non-genuine interactions
Cloister depends on various user behaviors — like follows and claps — to determine what content to feature and make the site work well for everyone. So, we don’t allow artificial behaviors that skew this system and as a result degrade or distort other users’ experiences. This includes:
- Buying, selling, or trading in accounts or account interactions — including follows, claps, highlights, responses or other traffic
- Using services, apps, or arrangements that offer you more follows, claps, or other interactions on your Cloister account or content
- Registering accounts, posting content, or interacting with users or content automatically, systematically, or programmatically
Copyright and trademark infringement
Respect the copyrights and trademarks of others. Unless you’re authorized to use someone else’s copyrighted work or trademark (either expressly or by legal exceptions and limitations like fair use), don’t do it. We respond to notices of alleged infringement as described in our Terms of Service, Copyright and DMCA Policy, and Trademark Policy.
We do not allow deceptive conduct on Cloister. This includes:
- Posting content or impersonating a person or organization in a way likely to deceive people. Parody and satire are fine, but make clear that is what you’re doing.
- Using Cloister for phishing or fraud. Don’t use tags, links, titles, or other metadata in a misleading way. Don’t link to or embed malicious or harmful code or software in your posts.
- Don’t use deception to generate revenue or traffic
- If you have received compensation, free goods/services or anything of value in connection with the topic of a post, you must make this clear
We do not allow pornographic images or videos. We do allow erotic writing and non-graphic erotic images.
We do not allow gratuitously graphic or disturbing media, even if it’s not pornographic.
Exploitation of minors
We do not allow the posting of anything promoting the sexual or violent exploitation of children.
We do not allow content that violates others’ privacy, including personally identifying or confidential information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, non-public phone numbers, physical addresses, email addresses, or other non-public information.
Promotion and glorification of self-harm
We do not allow activities that encourage, promote or glorify acts of self-harm, such as cutting, eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia, and suicide. If you encounter users contemplating or threatening self-harm, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to report a violation
If you find a post or account on Cloister that violates these rules, please flag it. You can use email us at email@example.com to provide more detail or to report other conduct you believe violates our rules.
If you break the rules
If it looks like you’ve violated our rules, we may send you an email and ask you to explain what you’re up to and why. Context is important, and we want to understand the big picture. If you don’t adequately explain yourself or fix the problem, we may suspend your account or remove your content. We strive to be fair, but we reserve the right to suspend accounts or remove content, without notice, for any reason, particularly to protect our services, infrastructure, users, or community. If you attempt to evade suspension by creating new accounts, we will suspend your new accounts.
Before disabling content associated with your account, we will give you advance notice, unless we believe your account is automated or operating in bad faith, or that notifying you is likely to cause, maintain or exacerbate harm to someone.
If you believe your content or account have been restricted or disabled in error, or believe there is relevant context we were not aware of in reaching our determination, you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will consider all good faith efforts to appeal.
Government Takedown Requests
If Cloister receives a request from a government actor to restrict access to content associated with your account, we will notify you unless we are prohibited by law or believe doing so may endanger others. Where applicable, we will work to limit legally-ordered content restrictions to jurisdictions where we have a good faith belief that we are legally required to restrict the content.
We may enforce, or not enforce, these policies at our sole discretion. These policies don’t create a duty or contractual obligation for us to act.
We also may change these rules at any time.