As an open platform, we’re committed to freedom of expression. You’ll see a range of perspectives here, as all of the petitions on Change.org have been created by people in the community. Anyone can use Change.org no matter who they are, where they live, and what they believe, as long as they follow simple guidelines to keep our platform safe and open.
This applies to all content you post. “Content” includes, but is not limited to, petitions, updates, comments, photographs, and usernames.
These Community Guidelines, along with our Terms of Service, lay out the rules for using Change.org.
First, here are few things we love to see you do on Change.org:
- Speak out on any issue you want to change
Tell your personal story when you start a petition — hearing how you are affected by a problem is powerful. Explain the problem, how it impacts you, your family, friends, or community. Then explain the solution and how others can be a part of it. We recognize the need for anonymity in some cases and allow aliases to be used. For example, if you are concerned that using your real name may put your safety, livelihood, or privacy at risk.
- Choose the right decision maker
Choose the decision maker who can give you what you want. A decision maker may be a particular person, group, or company, who has the direct ability to fix your problem. Work with them constructively both on and off our platform to come up with solutions.
- Mobilize your friends, family, and community
Mobilize your friends, family, and community by sharing your petition to raise awareness. Use the tools on the platform to show your cause to others through social media.
- Be open to disagreement
Listen to other people’s opinions. You might disagree strongly with a petition’s content, but change happens when people with different backgrounds and perspectives can participate in a constructive conversation. As long as it complies with these Community Guidelines, all content, no matter how contentious, is allowed on our platform. We see petitions on opposing sides of one issue all the time. It’s one of the many great things about being an open platform. The most effective way to respond to content you disagree with is to start a counter-petition and mobilize others to see your perspective, rather than asking Change.org to remove content you don’t like. However, if you believe content you see is not following Community Guidelines, you should report it to us.
- Fundraise for your campaign
You may want to raise money for your cause. We allow you to share links to recognized crowdfunding sites and charities, but to help prevent fraud, we do not allow links to direct payment technology such as Venmo, PayPal or individual bank details.
- Update your supporters with developments
Keep them posted on the highs and lows of your campaign and suggest ways they can take further action online and offline to stay involved.
Here are the things we don’t like to see on Change.org, which may force us to remove or restrict content and accounts in line with our policies.
Hate Speech Policy
- No violence — We don’t allow content that incites, glorifies, supports or encourages violence against anyone — and this includes support for violent groups or individuals. No matter how passionately you feel about an issue, don’t use calls for violence to express your feelings or support the same behavior from others.
- No hate speech — On Change.org we consider hate speech to be any content that directly or indirectly attacks an entire class of people because of a characteristic they share. We include in this definition coded language that is used with the intent or impact of harming a class of people. Don’t post content which attacks anyone based on their:
- ethnic origin,
- gender identity,
- medical condition,
- national origin,
- sexual orientation, or
- veteran status.
- We don’t allow content (including symbols and logos) from organizations recognized as hate groups or individuals linked to them on Change.org. We will also consider content which supports those groups, individuals, or their aims to be in breach of the Community Guidelines.
Misinformation and Disinformation Policy
- Don’t post misinformation — Misinformation is the sharing of information that is incorrect. Where information is verified to be untrue, we will remove it. We may ask you to verify any claims you make if they are disputed.
- Don’t spread disinformation — Disinformation is the deliberate sharing of information that is incorrect and designed to distort facts and mislead others, often as part of a coordinated campaign. We use tools to monitor attempts to start or share disinformation campaigns on Change.org and will remove any content of this nature.
- Don’t mislead others — We will remove content which is misleading and has the potential to cause harm to others.
- Don’t impersonate others — Change.org is designed to share the stories of real people, supporting real issues. You need to use an email address that belongs to you to start or sign a petition and we don’t allow multiple accounts. Don’t sign petitions pretending to be other people, use anyone else’s email address, or impersonate people, including public figures or organizations.
Bullying and Harassment Policy
- Don’t violate others’ privacy — Most content on Change.org is public, so respect the privacy of anyone else you mention. Don’t post private information, such as private email addresses, identification documents, credit card numbers, home addresses, or private telephone numbers. Don’t post photographs of people in private settings without their consent.
- Don’t bully — You can be influential and respectful at the same time. When working to persuade decision makers and other users, focus on people’s actions rather than their personal characteristics. While we expect debate and disagreement, we don’t tolerate abuse, stalking, threats, trolling, any form of bullying, or harassment.
Child Protection Policy
- Don’t cause harm to children — Only parents and legal guardians have the right to post content about their children online, including images.
- Don’t use Change.org to post content that violates laws on child protection, including child sexual exploitation and abusive content.
- Use of Change.org — We want to protect children, which is one of the reasons why you have to be 16 years or older to use Change.org, unless otherwise allowed by law.
- Don’t be unnecessarily graphic — Emotionally powerful content can make or break a campaign. Graphic content can be used to condemn behavior or show the seriousness of an issue. However, give other users a warning about such content, where possible. Don’t post gratuitously violent, sexually explicit, or needlessly upsetting images and words.
- Don’t spam — Change.org is for issues of public interest. It’s OK to have a commercial interest in your petition’s success, but you shouldn’t use the platform to directly sell products or services, send bulk, unsolicited communications, or for any other spam-like behavior.
- Don’t include personal information, such as your email address, telephone number, or bank details in anything you post on Change.org.
- Don’t break the law — You can use Change.org to raise awareness about laws you want to change, but this isn’t a platform for illegal activity. Make sure that your use of Change.org doesn’t violate applicable national laws, including laws protecting the rights of other people. For example, make sure you have evidence for claims you make, as content that is established to be defamatory is illegal.
If we discover that your content violates our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service, we reserve the right to remove it or restrict it. If you post content that is a serious or repeated breach of these policies, we may suspend your account temporarily, permanently, or remove your account altogether
Please report problems
How to report a petition on Change.org
If you see content that you believe may violate our Community Guidelines, you can report it by logging-in and clicking the “Report a policy violation” button (below “Reasons for signing”) on petitions, or by writing to us through our firstname.lastname@example.org email address.
If you come across content on Change.org indicating an emergency situation — for example, if a person is in danger — let us know by contacting email@example.com, but first contact your local emergency services immediately.
Who will review reports?
We have moderators based across the globe to keep our platform and those who use it safe. Once we receive a report, our moderators will review each report under our policies. After their review, our moderators will assess what steps we need to take to address the matter. We ensure to act on reports within 24 hours during working days, unless the report requires further investigation.
What actions might be taken by Change.org?
- Removal of content — We will remove content from Change.org where violations of the Community Guidelines are found. When we remove a petition from Change.org, we will let the petition starter know by contacting them by email. Any promotions made on the petition will be refunded, where the payment methods allow it, and according to our refund policy.
- Review of petition updates — When we receive complaints or concerns on a petition, new updates may be reviewed on whether they are suitable to be emailed via Change.org. This does not affect the publication of the update; the update will be seen on the petition page, unless there is a breach of the Community Guidelines, in which case it will be removed.
- Removal from Change.org recommendations — Change.org has a number of ways to highlight petitions on the platform and people can “chip in” via Promoted Petitions to have petitions recommended to other people using the platform . Where a petition may pose risk of harm, we may remove the ability for it to be promoted in this way.
Is content pre-moderated on Change.org?
As an open platform, we do not pre-moderate content that is published on Change.org.
We have over 70,000 petitions started on our platform each month — a number which continues to grow. To manage that content we use artificial intelligence technology to find content which may not comply with our Community Guidelines. That content is often reviewed by a moderator before action is taken.
Thank you for being a part of Change.org, and supporting change in your community. We can’t wait to see what you’ll change next!