Ko-fi Content Guidelines

Last updated 6th February 2024

Here at Ko-fi, we're committed to creator freedom. We want you to be able to produce the content you want and share it with your fans and supporters. At the same time we also must make sure Ko-fi remains a safe place for everyone. Please take a moment to read these guidelines which must be followed by everyone using Ko-fi.

Read the full terms and conditions of use here.

 

1. Payment Provider Requirements

Without payment providers such as PayPal and Stripe, there can be no Ko-fi.

Ko-fi uses PayPal and Stripe for transactions. This means creators must stick to the rules set by PayPal and Stripe. If you're getting payments through Ko-fi for something not allowed by your payment provider, we might need to Unpublish your Ko-fi account (i.e. page) temporarily or, in more serious or repeated cases, permanently.

To be clear, creators can't use Ko-fi in ways that go against PayPal's acceptable use policy or Stripe's prohibited businesses terms. When you sign up for these services, you're agreeing to their terms individually.

2. Scope of Guidelines, Web Linking Rules, and Offsite Conduct

2.1 These guidelines apply to all aspects of the Ko-fi platform including but not limited to imagery, text, video, audio, services, physical items, and links located anywhere on Ko-fi including direct messages, galleries, profiles, posts, comments, commissions, shop, and any other location where content can be added to the service.

For the sale or offer of physical items, our Content Guidance on Physical Items article offers some further clarification - this information is additional; our main guidelines still apply.

2.2 Web Linking Rules

Links to/from Ko-fi:

We reserve the right to enforce our guidelines even if the violating content/activity occurs on an external page, profile or site linked to Ko-fi. This applies to both links to your Ko-fi page from other pages/profiles/sites and links from your Ko-fi page to other pages/profiles/sites. With the exception of Ko-fi pages that link from Ko-fi to illegal content/activity, we are not obligated to enforce our guidelines in this capacity but reserve the right to take the appropriate action on our platform at our discretion.

Review of External Activities:

If we have verifiable evidence of your external content/activity and it being specifically connected to how your Ko-fi page is used, and this content/activity is not allowed on Ko-fi or by your payment provider, we may take action as stated. Verifiable evidence consists of information and/or data (such as screenshots, links, reports or other forms of documentation) that is reliable, credible and capable of supporting us in making a decision. If we decide to take action, this may include the Ko-fi page being temporarily unpublished until it aligns with our rules. In cases of serious or repeat violations, we may permanently unpublish or ban your page. If the external content/activity is primarily illegal, hateful, sexually explicit, or is in another way in violation of our guidelines, we may also request the removal of such links, irrespective of whether there is a financial connection between that content/activity and your Ko-fi page.

Prohibited Content Transactions:

Ko-fi should not be used to arrange the sale, purchase or transfer of prohibited content via other channels, such as third-party messaging services.

Limitation of Responsibility:

Ko-fi is ultimately not responsible for offences, behaviours, or posting activities elsewhere on the internet. As stated, if we find that external content/activity in breach of our guidelines has a direct connection to how a Ko-fi page is being used, we reserve the right but are not obligated to take enforcement action on our platform except in cases where Ko-fi pages have linked from Ko-fi to illegal content/activity.

Right to Take Action in Severe Cases:

Furthermore, in cases of severe offsite conduct unrelated to Ko-fi (i.e., without links to or from Ko-fi), we also reserve the right to unpublish a Ko-fi page if we have verifiable evidence. This includes but is not limited to involvement in activities like Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (CSEA); distribution or solicitation of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM); terrorist plots, recruitment, or other forms of violent extremism.

 

3. Prohibited Content or Uses of Ko-fi

Ko-fi pages and content must not be used in connection with any of the following:

3.1 Child Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (CSEA)/Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM)

Ko-fi reports CSEA/CSAM to the relevant authority/law enforcement

We treat CSEA/CSAM very seriously. If we find evidence of such content/activity on or associated with a Ko-fi page, this will result in an account ban and escalation to the authorities. This includes purchasing, requesting, or otherwise enquiring about CSAM.

We will also ban and report related activities such as grooming minors; sexting minors; and impersonation of minors including the use of images/videos of them to solicit payments.

Due to the seriousness of this area, where we have determined a potential risk based on the indicators present, we reserve the right to ban an individual on account of suspected activity.

For fictional variants of CSAM (e.g. loli/shota illustrations, 3D renders, AI-generated content), as well as any content that whatsoever sexualises children, it is important to recognise that these, too, are illegal in some countries. While we prioritise reporting CSAM/CSEA content that affects real children, we will still ban Ko-fi accounts if we find that fictional variants are posted on, linked to/from, and/or are being sold via our platform.

 

3.2 All other forms of illegal content/activity

  • Terrorist and violent extremist content. This extends to support, promotion, glorification, or praise of terrorist groups, acts or ideology; raising financial support for terrorist groups; grooming and recruitment; incitement to violence; planning or threatening to, or joking about, committing an act of terrorism/extreme violence
  • Hate speech/offences - See section 3.3 for more information
  • Aiding or promoting self-harm or suicide
  • Threats to kill
  • Controlling or coercive behaviour
  • Public order offences, harassment, stalking, abuse, and fear or provocation of violence - See section 3.6 for more information on sexual harassment, specifically
  • Unlawful supply or offer to supply drugs, psychoactive substances and/or articles on how to these. This extends to purchase, attempted purchase or enquiry about purchasing
  • Firearms and other weapons - Selling, buying, or stating intent to sell or buy real weapons, along with their parts, accessories or ammunition
  • Assisting/involvement in unlawful immigration or human trafficking (in the context of Ko-fi, this includes fundraising for that purpose)
  • Foreign interference
  • Sexual exploitation of adults (causing or inciting prostitution for gain)
  • Possession of extreme pornography
  • Disclosing, or threatening to disclose, private sexual images and films with intent to cause distress
  • Proceeds of crime (i.e. use of illegal funds/assets). This includes hiding, getting, using, holding, or helping someone get these assets
  • Fraud - See section 3.8 for more information
  • Financial services violations (e.g. trading when not allowed; falsely saying you're allowed to trade; not following rules about promoting financial services; making misleading statements or claims in finance)
  • Any involvement in planning or trying to do any of the illegal acts listed above. This includes planning or trying to commit these acts; urging, helping, or telling someone else to do them; supporting, advising, or getting involved in these acts in any way
  • Animal abuse/cruelty (note: this does not include circumstances where existing material is being used by organisations advocating against abuse/cruelty)
  • Swatting i.e. false reporting of a serious crime, resulting in a raid


3.3 Hate speech, harassment, intimidation, abuse and/or other offences targeting any individual, group, or institution

As stated, Ko-fi believes in freedom of expression but also respects the dignity of all individuals. Our hate speech policy is designed to create a balance between these principles and ensure Ko-fi remains a platform where everyone feels welcome.

What is hate speech?

We define hate speech as any form of communication or content that threatens, insults, or discriminates groups or individuals based on any of the following:

  • Race, ethnicity, national origin, or skin colour
  • Religion, caste, or immigration status
  • Sex, sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity
  • Disability, serious conditions, diseases, or mental health disorders

Areas of hate speech:

  • Stereotyping and harmful generalisations
    Generalisations and promotion of stereotypes intended to harm a group’s reputation and/or promote prejudice against them. For example, blaming an entire group for one person’s actions simply because of that person’s characteristics

  • Offensive language or visual representations
    Language that offends, insults, or discriminates, including racial, religious, sexist anti-LGBTQIA+ slurs, and culturally insensitive language, is prohibited. Degrading or mocking a person or group based on their characteristics through memes, artwork, photo alteration, and other media is also not allowed

  • Dehumanising speech
    Content that dehumanises an individual or group, or suggests that they are inferior or unworthy of respect, is not allowed. This includes comparisons, generalisations, or statements that diminish their humanity (e.g. comparing a specific group to a plague)

  • Violent speech
    We do not allow content that includes threats or promotes violence against individuals or groups

  • Segregation and exclusion We do not permit calls for segregation or exclusion based on protected characteristics

Educational and awareness content
We allow content that raises awareness or educates about hate speech, provided it does not promote or condone such speech.

 

3.4 Political or religious radicalism and other extreme views

We understand that everyone has their views on political and religious matters. However, we believe in maintaining a safe, respectful environment for all users. As such, we strictly prohibit political or religious radicalism and other extreme views, especially in the following scenarios:

  • Incitement to violence, vigilantism or vandalism
  • Calling for insurrection, rebellion, or any form of violent uprising against governments or institutions
  • Encouraging the doxing, harassment, or abuse of a specific individual or group
  • Plotting, glorifying, or advocating acts of terrorism or propagating terrorist ideology
  • Hate speech (this includes any form of hate speech directed towards individuals or groups based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or any other characteristic) - See section 3.3 for a more detailed explanation of our hate speech policy
  • Promotion of extremist ideologies
  • Fundraising or soliciting payments for extremist activities
  • Use of symbols, images, or language associated with extremist ideologies or groups
  • Harmful misinformation and conspiracy theories - See section 3.5 for more information

 

3.5 Harmful Misinformation

We recognise the dangers of harmful misinformation and prohibit it on or in connection with Ko-fi; this extends to any form of activity that seeks to promote or profit from this.

  • Political conspiracy theories with racist undertones or that stoke hatred/condemnation of a specific group (e.g. an ethnic or minority group)
  • Denying the existence of a genocidal event, including the Holocaust
  • Anti-vaccine conspiracies and other medical falsehoods - note: participating in mainstream media discussion about the possible origins of COVID-19 is allowed. Claims about the vaccine that public health authorities have debunked and that may cause people harm due to their belief in them (e.g. refusing to get vaccinated) are not allowed
  • Promotion of harmful health practices that could pose a health risk
  • Potentially harmful claims about public figures or entities
  • Spreading false information about public safety events (e.g., natural disasters, terrorist attacks) that can cause panic or hinder emergency response efforts
  • Content that spreads false information about voting methods, election results, or the integrity of electoral processes
  • Deepfake content or other manipulated media intended to mislead or harm individuals or the public

 

3.6 Sexual Harassment

All forms of sexual harassment are prohibited on Ko-fi, including:

  • Cyberstalking
  • Non-consensual upskirt photography or groping content
  • Cyberflashing
  • Uninvited sexual remarks, advances or adult content-related requests
  • Sexist insults

 

3.7 Content relating to self-harm or suicide

Content that glorifies, encourages, or instructs on self-harm or suicide is prohibited.

We do make allowances for Creators to responsibly explore and depict this subject matter and related themes in their fictional artwork. We also take into consideration mainstream images from movies and other creative contexts that do not fall foul of the above.

In the event of real, non-fictional content, if we have reason to believe that the content involves the individual who has uploaded it, we will proactively remove this content to protect other users and reach out to that person with resources that may be of help to them. In severe cases, we may have to temporarily unpublish the person’s Ko-fi page for safety reasons.

Assisting someone to take their life is an illegal act - See section 3.2.

 

3.8 Fraudulent activity

This includes:

  • Money laundering or activity that violates any money laundering regulation
  • Using stolen cards to send money through Ko-fi
  • Chargeback fraud and ‘attacks’
  • Impersonating another person to solicit donations
  • Scamming e.g. collecting financial aid for stories of plight that have been proven false
  • Intentionally misleading Supporters about a service or content in exchange for donations

Where there is sufficient evidence with regard to suspected fraudulent activity or there are signs of irregular financial activity, your page may be temporarily unpublished until we verify this with you.

 

3.9 Other prohibited means of soliciting or sending payments

These include:

  • Coercion
  • Blackmail, including emotional blackmail
  • Threatening harm to oneself or others in exchange for money
  • Funding a ransom, human trafficking or exploitation, vigilantism, bribes or bounties
  • Transactions for the sale of items, goods or services including digital downloads with the purpose of avoiding paying taxes
  • Funding legal cases and challenges of any kind
  • Raffles, lotteries, giveaways or games of chance where a fee is paid to enter and winners are selected at random
  • Using payments as a form of harassment - if a payment is unwanted and has been refunded by the creator and/or they have blocked the sender, we will accept their report of harassment on these grounds
  • Impersonating an individual or organisation for financial gain

 

3.10 Doxing

Deliberate doxing i.e. sharing another person’s private details, such as their full name and address, contact info, private social media handle(s), and/or an aggregation of non-private information such as their name, photograph and city/town of residence, with the intention of harming their reputation and/or publicly exposing them is prohibited on Ko-fi.

Please respect everyone’s privacy, including that of Ko-fi staff.

 

3.11 Copyright infringement

This refers to products or services that directly infringe or facilitate infringement upon the trademark, patent, copyright, trade secrets, or proprietary or privacy rights of any third party e.g. unofficial translations and/or circulation of written, audio or video works.

For details on how to submit a valid copyright infringement claim, and to understand more about Ko-fi’s role in copyright matters, please head to our Copyright Guidelines.

 

3.12 Spamming

We have different approaches for different forms of spamming.

  • Commercial spamming i.e. using the Ko-fi platform to boost the SEO ranking of a company or product unrelated to content creation and/or advertise on behalf of a client. For example, linking to or directly promoting gambling, spa, dentistry,medical, retail, and other third-party services. We do not allow SEO abuse and, particularly where our automated systems have identified efforts to mass-create Ko-fi accounts for this purpose, this will result in an immediate ban.

  • Spam comments such as repeatedly posting comments on a user’s Ko-fi page that have been reported to us as unwanted by that user.
    • Concerning comments etiquette in the comments section of posts published by our official Ko-fi page, we will treat the following as spam:
      1. Promotion of personal Ko-fi pages unless on topic. One-off comments will be deleted; repeated comments will result in that user being blocked by our official page.
      2. One-word, offtopic comments (e.g. ‘hello’, etc.) - these will be deleted.
      3. Promoting links to entirely unrelated products/services will result in temporary suspension (if found to be SEO abuse upon further investigation, this will instead result in a ban).

 

3.13 Violence and gore

Real-life extreme violence and gore, including violence-related illegal content, are not allowed on or in connection with Ko-fi (i.e. receiving payments for such content that is located elsewhere online).

Ko-fi allows moderate fictional gore and violence in most circumstances but prohibits convincingly real and/or gratuitously detailed content such as fake snuff footage and graphic depictions of torture.

For a more extensive list of examples of what is versus what isn’t allowed, see our NSFW Tag article. If you’re still unsure, contact us.

 

3.14 Adult content

Ko-fi offers an NSFW Tag option, but using this doesn’t mean that all kinds of NSFW content is allowed. Read more about using the tag here to see when it does/doesn’t apply.

Here is a list of adult-related content, services, and activities that we do not allow:

  • Sexual services (e.g. prostitution, escorts, pay-per-view, striptease/stripping, masturbation, adult chat/sexting, genital ratings, taking and fulfilling requests relating to any prohibited adult content in this list, etc.) For the avoidance of doubt, sexting includes euphemisms, visual and textual
  • Pornography, depictions of rape, incest, bestiality, and any other explicit adult or obscene content of a similar nature including implied, emulated, censored, and cropped versions across all content categories (e.g. illustrative, videos, literature, audio, etc.)
  • Sexualised nudity (i.e. genitalia and areolae exposed in a way intended to be sexually provocative or arousing) including partial (i.e. partial exposure of genitalia and/or areolae). We recognise that nudity is also expressed non-sexually in cultural, medical, educational and/or artistic contexts and also consider the difference in risk and intent between fictional and real content. For detailed examples of what is versus what isn’t allowed, see our NSFW Tag article. If you’re still unsure, contact us
  • Offering uncensored versions of sexualised nudity or other prohibited adult content in this list to subscribers or at third-party sites or links in connection with Ko-fi. If we find evidence that money has been received for such content despite an absence of direct URL link(s) to/from Ko-fi, we may still take action in this context
  • Select uses of covering or censoring sexualised nudity and other prohibited adult content in this list. We consider various factors such as the extent to which the content is covered/censored; the severity of the content being covered/censored; and/or if the content is fictional artwork or real-life adult content creation. See our NSFW Tag article for detailed examples of what is versus what isn’t allowed. If you’re still unsure, contact us
  • High-risk fetish and paraphilia content, including findom (financial domination) themes. Factors we consider to distinguish between high-risk and low-to-no risk include how sexually explicit the content is, if at all; if the content is real or fictional; what harm it may pose to the health of participants and/or viewers; and/or whether the content has any basis in reality. See our NSFW Tag article for detailed examples of what is versus what isn’t allowed. If you’re still unsure, contact us
  • Providing, or activity related to the production of, sex simulators and other games solely or mainly focused on explicit adult content
  • Sale of other sexually explicit material, including physical items (e.g. sex toys, etc.).

 

3.15 Non-sexual, non-abuse child nudity

As such images might be exploited by individuals with malicious intent, especially in an online environment, content that features child nudity, even if it does not classify as Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) and isn’t of a suggestive nature, is also prohibited.

 

3.16 Underage users

If you are underage, your account will be unpublished until you turn 18 years of age and verify this with us through our verification steps. To do this, you should provide a well-lit, unobstructed photo of yourself holding legible government-issued ID and a slip of paper with your Ko-fi page name.

Successful verification will result in your account being republished.

However, in cases where the use of an account is further incompatible with our guidelines (e.g. connected to illegal content/activity), the account will remain unpublished and turning 18 years old age will not change this outcome.

 

3.17 Content relating to drugs or alcohol

The unlawful sale, offer or provision of drugs, psychoactive substances, and/or guidance on administering drugs/psychoactive substances is illegal - See Section 3.2.

We also do not permit the sale or purchase of drug paraphernalia or alcohol on Ko-fi. For content depicting, discussing or promoting drugs or alcohol, we take into account whether the content is real or fictional; the level of harm that the content may pose; and the type of drugs involved.

Please see our NSFW Tag article for detailed examples of what is versus what isn’t allowed. If you’re still unsure, contact us.

 

3.18 Other content/activity harmful to Ko-fi and/or our Community

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Content that slanders, libels, misinforms about or otherwise intentionally harms the reputation of Ko-fi, its affiliates, and other third parties
  • Spreading spyware, malware, viruses or linking to malicious websites containing such links, software or bots
  • Attempting to compromise the Ko-fi platform or individual accounts/pages on Ko-fi
  • Exposing log in details for Ko-fi accounts/pages
  • Scraping data from the Ko-fi platform
  • Re-selling or recirculating private content that has been purchased from another Creator/Supporter
  • Intentional misuse of Ko-fi's reporting processes, including:
    - Submitting patently unfounded/false reports about another Ko-fi user
    - Encouraging or arranging mass reporting of another Ko-fi user
    - Knowingly using Ko-fi's illegal content/activity report form for unrelated matters

 

3.19 Select AI-generated content uses

Content/activity found to be illegal/criminal may be reported to the relevant authority

Using AI-generated content for any illegal purposes (e.g. creation of CSAM; identity theft; etc.) will result in an account ban and may be reported.

It is also against Ko-fi's Terms to scrape content from the Ko-fi platform - this includes scraping to train AI models.

The following uses concerning AI-generated content are also prohibited:

  • AI models that have been trained to for prohibited adult content purposes
  • AI-generated content that uses the likeness of known individuals (e.g. celebrities) for NSFW purposes
  • AI-generated content which can be proven to have to have directly infringed on an artist’s copyrighted work

 

4. Other Reasons Why a Ko-fi Page Might Be Unpublished

Other reasons why we might unpublish a page

  • We sometimes need to do a verification check to understand why money is being received through a Ko-fi page. If your page is unpublished for this reason, you can demonstrate how you have received payments e.g. connect your Ko-fi page to the external profile/page/site through which you received money; upload or link to the content/services you provide if applicable; upload screenshots that show when your Ko-fi link was posted on an external profile/page/site; and/or, if you are fundraising, upload screenshots that show how your received payments are being used/spent
  • If we have reason to believe that prohibited content is being provided offsite but through Ko-fi (e.g. being offered via Memberships), we may need to verify this with you - this is likelier to happen if a Creator has previously been unpublished for prohibited content. If your page is unpublished for this reason, please refer to the instructions in the above point
  • You’ve used all three strikes on your page or pages - this means that any remaining or newly created Ko-fi pages will also be unpublished or banned as this will count as a permanent suspension. Or, similarly, you have already been permanently suspended on a previous page, whether due to 3/3 strikes or a separate reason
  • If your Ko-fi page references (e.g. you’ve written in your bio text) a potentially prohibited content focus or other use of Ko-fi and we have evidence that you have tried to use Ko-fi for this purpose (e.g. our automated systems have prevented you from uploading related prohibited content), we may unpublish your page either temporarily or permanently (this depends on the intended content/use, its severity, etc.)
  • As part of our efforts to tackle fraud and spam, Ko-fi pages can also be banned as a result of automated rules. If you believe you have been wrongly unpublished in this regard, you can appeal to have that action/decision reviewed

 

5. What if I Tag My Page as NSFW (Not Safe for Work)?

Ko-fi offers the ability to tag your page as NSFW, but this tag does not mean that a Ko-fi page can be used for prohibited content or uses detailed in these guidelines.

Find out more about what content is and is not allowed with the NSFW tag.

 

6. How Does Ko-fi Moderate Content?

6.1 Enforcement Approach

For content/activity on or in connection with Ko-fi, we endeavour to look at context, severity, and volume before deciding what, if any, action to take. If we do take action, this can range from temporary to permanent unpublishing (i.e., suspension) to a ban.

In cases of addressing harmful misinformation specifically (section 3.5), we consider whether:

  • The information has been disproved by numerous credible sources (e.g. health organisations, major news organisations, verified experts, and academic institutions)
  • The information has changed over time or is in a state of flux (e.g. what was once true is now false or vice versa)
  • The information is being shared with harmful intent or as a result of personal error or misunderstanding
  • The information is conveyed through provocative, incendiary language designed to stir up emotions

6.2 Moderation Methods

  • Reports: Anyone can report a Ko-fi page to us and we’ll investigate.
  • Automated systems: Ko-fi uses a variety of automated screening systems to review content. Some content, including certain prohibited adult images or illegal content, may be automatically removed while other content is sent for manual review. We supervise our automated rules and systems to detect and unpublish illegal content and actively update and track their performance to ensure they perform as accurately as possible.
  • Human moderators: Pages and content are manually reviewed, reports investigated, and appeals processed daily by our dedicated Trust & Safety team.

 

7. Unpublished Accounts

When an account (i.e. page) is unpublished, it means that it has been suspended. In most cases, accounts are only temporarily unpublished and can be appealed. Find out more about appeals here.

In cases of severe or repeated violations, or otherwise complete unsuitability for the Ko-fi platform as per our guidelines, an account may instead be permanently unpublished.

Unpublished accounts can still be accessed/used by the account owner but will not be viewable to the public nor will it be possible to send Direct Messages (DMs) to other users.

 

8. Banned Accounts

Accounts (i.e. pages) on Ko-fi can also be banned. The difference between a banned and unpublished account is that a banned account, in addition to not being viewable to the public, cannot be accessed/used at all by the account owner.

We may ban an account due but not limited to mass SEO abuse (commercial spam); illegal content/activity (including suspected cases); or creating a new account after being permanently unpublished.

Bans can also be appealed via the same process as suspensions; see here for more information.

 

9. Strike System

Ko-fi runs a three-strike system which applies in most circumstances.

For example, uploading a prohibited image(s) would result in strike one of three. Doing so again after the image(s) have been removed would result in a second strike. A third time would then result in a third and final strike - at this point, a Ko-fi account (i.e. page) becomes permanently unpublished.

To be clear, we do not issue a strike per piece of individual content at the same time. For example, if there are five prohibited pieces of content on a Ko-fi page, that’s still one strike on that occasion. But if more are uploaded after you have removed those, that would then be two strikes.

This system applies even if someone owns multiple Ko-fi accounts (e.g. one strike per page still contributes toward a total of three strikes).

Accounts using Ko-fi in connection with illegal content/activity are not eligible for strikes and will instead be actioned immediately and permanently. We also reserve the right to take the same approach with other prohibited uses of Ko-fi mentioned in these guidelines based on the prevalence and/or severity of the content/activity/behaviour.

We encourage you to reach out to us if you’re unsure about your content/services being suitable for Ko-fi - we’re always happy to help!

 

10. Can I create a new page if I have been unpublished?

Sometimes, yes.

If your initial account (i.e. page) has been unpublished for a relatively minor reason (e.g. we just need you to remove a few images) but you decide you’d rather start over on a new account, that’s okay with us - remember that strikes do carry over to new pages, though.

If a Ko-fi account has been permanently unpublished either due to an overall unsuitable use of the platform or as a result of having used up three strikes, or it has been banned, it is not possible to create a new account after that.