Last Modified: 6/23/2015

Community Guidelines

As a global platform for creativity and self-expression, HighSchoolBall is deeply committed to supporting and protecting freedom of speech. At the same time, we draw lines around a few narrowly defined but deeply important categories of content and behavior that jeopardize our users, threaten our infrastructure, and damage our community.

What HighSchoolBall is not for:


  • Malicious Speech. Don't encourage violence or hatred on the basis of things like race, ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation. We encourage you to dismantle negative speech through argument rather than censorship. We will, however, remove anything that is overtly malicious.
  • Report malicious speech
  • Harm to Minors. Be thoughtful when posting anything involving a minor. Don't post or solicit anything relating to minors that is sexually suggestive or violent. Don't bully minors, even if you are one. Being a teenager is complicated enough without the anxiety, sadness, and isolation caused by bullying.
  • Report harm to minors
  • Promotion or Glorification of Self-Harm. Don't post content that actively promotes or glorifies self-harm. This includes content that urges or encourages others to: cut or injure themselves; embrace anorexia, bulimia, or other eating disorders; or commit suicide rather than, e.g., seeking counseling or treatment, or joining together in supportive conversation with those suffering or recovering from depression or other conditions. Dialogue about these behaviors is incredibly important and online communities can be extraordinarily helpful to people struggling with these difficult conditions. We aim for HighSchoolBall to be a place that facilitates awareness, support and recovery, and we will remove only those posts that cross the line into active promotion or glorification of self-harm.

  • Gore, Mutilation, Bestiality, or Necrophilia. Don't post gore just to be shocking. Don't showcase the mutilation or torture of human beings, animals, or their remains.
  • Report self-harm
  • Uploading Sexually Explicit Video. You can embed anything in a HighSchoolBall post as long as it's lawful and follows our other guidelines, but please don't use HighSchoolBall's Upload Video feature to upload sexually explicit video. We're not in the business of hosting adult-oriented videos.

  • Non-Genuine Social Gesture Schemes. Don't participate in schemes to drive up non-genuine Follows, Likes, etc. Don't orchestrate or engage in "follow trains", where users are encouraged to follow lists of other users to gain more followers for themselves. Don't make bulk or indiscriminate use of messaging features, like Fan Mail or Asks, to, for example, bait Follows or drive traffic to your website. If you want people to like you, just play it cool and be yourself.

  • Deceptive or Fraudulent Links. Don't post deceptive or fraudulent links in your posts. This includes giving links misleading descriptions, putting the wrong “source” field in a post, setting misleading click-through links on images, or embedding links to interstitial or pop-up ads.

  • Misattribution or Non-Attribution. Make sure you always give proper attribution and include full links back to original sources. It's less work and more fun, anyway.
  • Misattribution or non-attribution
  • Username/URL Abuse or Squatting. HighSchoolBall's usernames/URLs are meant for the use and enjoyment of all of our users. Don't squat, hoard, amass, accumulate, accrue, stockpile, rack up, buy, trade, sell, launder, invest in, ingest, get drunk on, cyber with, grope, or jealously guard HighSchoolBall usernames/URLs.

  • Spam. Don't spam people. Don't make spammy posts, don't post spammy replies, don't send people spammy messages. Be a regular human. Don't put tags on your posts that will mislead or deceive searchers. For example, don't tag a photo of your cat with "doctor who" unless the name of your cat is actually Doctor Who, and don't overload your posts with #barely #relevant #tags. Of course, meaningful uses of tags are always fine (for example, ironic "punchline" tags that add meaning or context to a post). Don't put dubious code in your posts, like using JavaScript to cause redirects or inject unwanted ads. Don't use deceptive means to generate revenue or traffic with the primary purpose of affiliate marketing. Spam doesn't belong on HighSchoolBall.

  • Mass Registration or Automation. Don't register accounts or post content automatically, systematically, or programmatically.

  • Unauthorized Contests, Sweepstakes, or Giveaways. Please follow our guidelines for contests, sweepstakes, and giveaways.

  • Copyright or Trademark Infringement. Respect the copyrights and trademarks of others. If you aren't allowed to use someone else's copyrighted or trademarked work (either by license or by legal exceptions and limitations such as fair use), don't post it.

    Intellectual property is a tricky issue, so now is as good a time as any to explain some aspects of the process we use for handling copyright and trademark complaints. We respond to notices of alleged copyright infringement as per our Terms of Service and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act; please submit an email to DMCA Copyright. Please note that we require a valid DMCA notice before removing content. Parties asserting a trademark infringement claim should identify the allegedly infringing work and the legal basis for their claim, and include the registration and/or application number(s) pertaining to their trademark. Each claim is reviewed by a trained member of our Trust and Safety team.

    If we remove material in response to a copyright or trademark claim, the user who posted the allegedly infringing material will be provided with information from the complainant's notice (like identification of the rightsholder and the allegedly infringed work) so they can determine the basis of the claim.

    We always want to make sure there is room in any copyright or trademark complaint for both parties to make their case. With regard to copyright claims, the posting user can file a DMCA counter-notification with us, as described in our Terms of Service. Counter-notifications that we determine to be valid will result in restoration of the content at issue following the required waiting period prescribed by the DMCA. With regard to trademark claims, the posting user can send us an appeal explaining their side of the situation, along with any relevant materials we should look at. A successful trademark appeal will also result in restoration of the content at issue.

    With regard to repeat copyright infringement, we use a three-strike system to evaluate the standing of a user's account, where, generally, each valid copyright infringement notice constitutes a strike, and three strikes results in the termination of a user's account. When a user submits a valid DMCA counter-notification, we remove the associated strike from their record.

    Whew. It's a complex process, but one we're proud of, and that we think strikes all the appropriate balances.
  • Report copyright infringement
    Report trademark infringement
  • Confusion or Impersonation. Don't do things that would cause confusion between you and a person or company, like registering a deliberately confusing URL. Don't impersonate anyone. While you're free to ridicule, parody, or marvel at the alien beauty of Benedict Cumberbatch, you can't pretend to actually be Benedict Cumberbatch.
  • Report confusion or impersonation
  • Harassment. Don't attempt to circumvent the Ignore feature or otherwise try to communicate with someone who has asked you to stop.
  • Report harassment
  • Privacy Violations. Don't use HighSchoolBall to deceptively obtain personal information. Don't post content that violates anyone's privacy, especially personally identifying or confidential information like credit card numbers, social security numbers, unlisted contact information, or private photos of your ex's junk (no matter how remarkable).
  • Report privacy violations
  • Disruptions, Exploits, or Resource Abuse. Our servers, and the valiant engineers behind them, work hard for you. Don't attempt unauthorized use, disruption, or exploitation of HighSchoolBall.com or our other products and services, or otherwise abuse HighSchoolBall's resources.

  • Unlawful Uses or Content. This one's pretty obvious, but HighSchoolBall is not a place for illegal behavior, including fraud, phishing, or illegally inciting violence.
If we conclude that you are violating these guidelines, you may receive a notice via email. If you don't explain or correct your behavior, we may take action against your account. We do our best to ensure fair outcomes, but in all cases we reserve the right to suspend accounts, or remove content, without notice, for any reason, but particularly to protect our services, infrastructure, users, and community. We reserve the right to enforce, or not enforce, these guidelines in our sole discretion, and these guidelines don't create a duty or contractual obligation for us to act in any particular manner.

You can report violations of these guidelines to us directly.

You can remove your own content whenever you want, of course. If you need help doing that, you can find instructions over in our help docs.

We also reserve the right to amend these guidelines using the procedures set forth in our Terms of Service.

If you have questions or feedback, don't hesitate to let us know.

Thanks for reading all of this, by the way. Welcome to HighSchoolBall.