Content Guidelines for Recommendation Eligibility

Released: March 15, 2023


Snapchat’s approach to content  

Snapchat is primarily a visual messaging app. It is built to help people communicate with their family and friends. But there are parts of the app where content may reach a larger audience:

  • On the Stories tab, in addition to content from friends and subscriptions, Snapchatters can view recommended content from professional media publishers and popular creators.

  • On Spotlight, Snapchatters can watch the best snaps created and submitted by our community.  

Snapchat is designed to be different from other platforms. We do not distribute unmoderated content to a large audience. All content everywhere on Snapchat must adhere to our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service. Then, in order to be eligible for algorithmic recommendation beyond the creator’s friends or followers, content must meet the additional, higher standards described on this page.

We enforce these standards with proactive moderation using technology and human review. We also provide in-app tools for Snapchatters to report content that they find objectionable. We respond to user reports quickly, and we use feedback to improve the content experience for all Snapchatters. 

On both the Stories and Spotlight tabs, Snapchatters may see content that is recommended by our algorithms — including content that may come from accounts that they do not follow. While we use algorithms to feature content based on individual interests, they are applied to a limited and vetted pool of content, which is a different approach from other platforms.

Snapchatters represent a diverse range of ages, cultures and beliefs, and we want to provide a safe, healthy, valuable experience for all users, including those as young as 13. Recognizing that many Snapchatters may see content without actively choosing to do so, we designed these guidelines to protect Snapchatters from experiences that may be unsuitable or unwanted.

Within the pool of eligible content, we strive to personalize recommendations, especially for sensitive content. For example: content about acne treatments may seem gross to some Snapchatters, while others may find it useful or fascinating. Content featuring people in swimwear might seem sexually suggestive, depending on the context or the viewer. While some sensitive content is eligible for recommendation, we may decline to recommend it to certain Snapchatters based on their age, location, preferences, or other criteria. Please note that the “sensitive” criteria in these guidelines should serve as a non-exhaustive list of examples. We may use our editorial discretion and engagement signals to further personalize or restrict any content.

These recommendation eligibility guidelines apply equally to all content, whether it comes from an individual or an organization of any kind. Content is not eligible for recommendation to anyone if it is harmful, shocking, exaggerated, deceptive, intended to disgust, or in poor taste. Accounts that repeatedly or egregiously violate the eligibility criteria below may be temporarily or permanently disqualified from recommendations. Accounts that repeatedly or egregiously violate our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service may be temporarily or permanently suspended. 

Media partners agree to additional guidelines and terms, which require that content is accurate, fact-checked, and age- or location-gated when appropriate. 

To recap:

  • Any content that violates our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service is prohibited anywhere on Snapchat.

  • We algorithmically recommend content from pre-approved partners or proactively-moderated Snaps. 

  • Stories and Spotlight content must meet a higher bar to be eligible for recommendation beyond the content creator’s followers. Content that is “not eligible for recommendation” will only be shown to Snapchatters who proactively chose to follow that content’s creator. 

Sensitive” content is eligible for recommendation, but we may decline to promote it to certain Snapchatters based on their age, location, or personal preferences. 

Creative Quality

We want recommended content to reflect Snap's standards of quality. We want you to succeed on Snapchat, so here is some additional guidance:

Not Eligible for Recommendation:

  • QR codes, including Snapcodes 

  • Polls that ask questions about sensitive personal information, including, but not limited to, users' racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade-union membership, personal health or sex life

  • Flashes or strobes without a warning for photosensitive users

  • Tile headlines that may be hard to read (due to issues with capitalization, punctuation, symbols or emojis) 

  • Partner tiles with obscured or missing logos

Public Interest Content

Context matters. Some content that is newsworthy, educational, satirical, or the subject of public discourse may be eligible for recommendation, even if it references or depicts things that might otherwise violate guidelines. We apply editorial judgment in such cases, and we ask that you do the same. We want to avoid shocking Snapchatters with graphic or disturbing content. 

Political content is not eligible for recommendation in Spotlight. Snapchatters can find news and commentary on Stories or explore current events on the Map. 

Sexual Content


Our Community Guidelines prohibit pornographic nudity, sexual solicitation, non-consensual sexual material, and child sexual exploitation. For more information, please see this explainer

Not Eligible for Recommendation:

  • Explicit imagery. This includes all nudity, as well as all depictions of sexual activity, even if clothed, and even if the imagery is not real (for example, drawings or AI-generated images). 

  • Explicit language that describes sex acts, genitalia, sex toys, sex work, or sexual taboos (for example, incest or bestiality). This includes emojis in explicitly sexual contexts. It also includes innuendo that is specific enough to refer to particular sex acts or body parts. 

  • Overtly suggestive imagery, which draws attention to frequently-sexualized body parts via the camera, attire, pose or other elements in a sexually provocative way. This applies even if the individual is not nude, or even if the individual is not a real person (such as animations or drawings). This includes disembodied closeups of sexualized body parts. This also includes simulated sexual activity, such as posing in sex positions, mimicking sex acts, displaying sex toys, or interacting with objects in a sexually provocative way. 

  • Insensitive or demeaning sexual content (for example, sexual objectification, sharing sexual content to embarrass someone, speculation about someone’s gender or sexuality, or coverage of sex crimes in a lurid, sensationalized format)

  • Manipulated media that sexualizes someone without their consent (for example, editing someone’s appearance to exaggerate sexualized body parts, or editing their face into a sexual scene)


  • Revealing, non-nude body imagery. This means imagery that happens to call attention to frequently-sexualized body parts, but where overt sexual suggestiveness is not the intent (for example, scant or tight clothing in an activity-appropriate context, such as swimwear or fitness attire). 

  • Moderately suggestive language. This includes subtle innuendo that indicates sexual interest without alluding to specific sex acts or specific body parts.

  • Sexual health content that is educational, focuses on safety, does not promote dangerous behavior and is suitable for Snapchatters as young as 13. 

  • Sexual content in the context of news, public interest commentary, or education (for example, art history).

  • Content featuring individuals who are primarily known for their work in adult entertainment

Harassment & Bullying


Our Community Guidelines prohibit harassment and bullying anywhere on Snapchat. This includes attempts to embarrass or humiliate someone, wishing harm upon someone, sexual harassment, and invasions of privacy. For more information, please review this explainer

Not Eligible for Recommendation:

  • Coarse language or profanity directed at an individual or group, even if it is bleeped or obscured

  • Demeaning, belittling, or objectifying someone based on their appearance (even if they are a public figure)

  • Pranks that could cause the victim to believe they are in imminent danger of injury, death or loss.

  • Insensitivity regarding tragic events or topics (for example, mocking survivors of intimate partner violence)

Criticizing or satirizing the words or actions of prominent public adults or organizations would not be considered harassment or bullying.

Disturbing or Violent Content


Our Community Guidelines prohibit engaging in or encouraging threats, violence and harm anywhere on Snapchat. We prohibit Snaps of gratuitous or graphic violence, including animal abuse. We don’t allow the glorification of self-harm, including the promotion of self-injury, suicide or eating disorders. For more information, please review this explainer

Not Eligible for Recommendation:

  • Gratuitous or graphic imagery of human physical maladies. This includes graphic imagery of human suffering, illness, injury, or death. It also includes all imagery of bodily fluids or waste, such as pus, blood, urine, excrement, bile, infection or decay.  

  • Graphic or gratuitous imagery of animal suffering (for example, open wounds, emaciation, broken or mangled body parts) or death. 

  • Glorification of violence. This includes expressing support for violence, or encouraging violence against anyone.

  • Lurid or sensationalized coverage of disturbing incidents, such as violent or sexual crimes, or local interest crime news that involves minors.  

  • Dangerous activities performed by non-professionals. This includes stunts or “challenges” that could result in injury, illness, death, or property damage. 

  • Encouraging dangerous behavior that could result in injury, death, or property damage. 

  • Intentionally, viscerally disturbing human body imagery, such as sharp objects near the skin or eyes, or vermin near the mouth


  • Violence in the context of national news, education, or public discourse, where there is no graphic imagery of death or mutilation. Disturbing incidents, such as sexual or violent crimes, may be newsworthy when they involve a person, organization or political issue that was already prominent before the incident.

  • Discussion of self-harm, including eating disorders.  

  • Non-graphic depictions of health issues, procedures, medical settings or equipment. This includes preserved body organs in educational or newsworthy contexts.  

  • Cosmetic procedures where the skin is not broken. 

  • Tattoo needles, piercings in progress, or other body modifications. 

  • Animals in danger or distress in natural settings, without graphic imagery of death or gore

  • Species that commonly trigger phobias, such as spider, insects, or snakes

  • Fake but potentially disturbing imagery. This includes violence in fictional entertainment contexts (for example, in a movie, video game or comedy skit). This also includes horror-themed content (for example, special effects makeup, costumes, props). It also includes imagery meant to provoke a visceral reaction (for example, porous objects to trigger trypophobia, glue to simulate peeling skin, or seeds to simulate ticks).

  • Profanity or coarse language, if it is not directed at an individual, not derogatory to a group, and not sexually explicit. 

False or Deceptive Information


Our Community Guidelines prohibit spreading harmful false or deceptive information anywhere on Snapchat. This includes denying the existence of tragic events, unsubstantiated medical claims, undermining the integrity of civic processes, manipulating content for false or misleading purposes, deceptive impersonations of other people, brands or organizations, and fraud, scams, spam, and deceptive marketing tactics of any kind. For more information, please review this explainer.

Not Eligible for Recommendation:

  • Engagement bait. This means content where the intent is not to entertain or inform the viewer, but to manipulate them to boost the Snap’s views or interactions. Engagement bait often sets up an expectation that never pays off. Some examples:

    • A “wait for it” caption, but “it” never happens

    • Challenges based on nonexistent Snapchat features, such as, “Snapchat won’t let you like this 10 times”

    • Attempts to leverage likes or shares, such as, “If this gets 20,000 likes, I’ll shave my head”

    • Attempt to trick people into re-watching or pausing a Snap via long blocks of text, brief glimpses of something, or “spot the difference” games

    • Misleading or sensationalized headlines

Illegal or Regulated Activities


Our Community Guidelines prohibit illegal activity and restrict regulated activity across Snapchat. This includes buying, selling, exchanging, or facilitating sales of illegal or regulated drugs, contraband, weapons, or counterfeit goods or documents. It also includes promoting or facilitating any form of exploitation, including human trafficking or sex trafficking. We prohibit the illegal promotion of regulated goods or industries, including unauthorized promotion of gambling, tobacco products, and alcohol. For more information, please review this explainer.

Snap offers age and location targeting tools to help brands comply with local laws, our Advertising Policies and our Commercial Content Policy.  

Not Eligible for Recommendation:

  • Depictions of tobacco, nicotine, or cannabis products or paraphernalia

  • Excessive or dangerous alcohol use by an adult, such as rapidly consuming large quantities, or operating heavy machinery while intoxicated or while alcohol is present, or drinking to the point of slurred speech or loss of consciousness

  • Real weapons (guns, knives, explosives, etc.) outside of a news, education, or sports context


  • Moderate alcohol use by adults 

  • Content related to gambling, real-money gaming, sports betting, or fantasy sports, from licensed organizations with proper targeting

  • Health content that focuses on weight loss 

  • Fictional content (for example, jokes, skits, scenes from movies or video games) related to illegal or regulated activities

Hateful Content, Terrorism, and Violent Extremism


Our Community Guidelines prohibit hateful content, terrorism, and violent extremism anywhere on Snapchat. For more information, please see this explainer.


  • Hate speech, hate symbols, terrorism or violent extremism in the contexts of news, counterspeech, education or respectful public discourse, as long as slurs and hate symbols are obscured.

Commercial Content

Our Commercial Content Policy applies to content that is sponsored by, promotes, or advertises any brand, products, goods, or service, but is not an ad served by Snap. 

Presently, sponsored content is eligible for recommendation only if it comes from select, pre-approved partners and creators.  

Not Eligible for Recommendation:

  • Overt solicitation from non-approved creators. This includes any call-to-action, such as “buy now,” links to purchase, discount codes, pricing information, etc.