Community Standards

Connect to your community

Local news and information help us live safer, more vibrant, truly connected lives by empowering our communities. NewsBreak’s commitment to editorial excellence and the use of cutting-edge technologies will enable us to provide trusted and timely information.

We look to our contributors and partners for relevant local content that enriches lives. We emphasize utility and celebrate innovation, aspiration, and compassion. Together with thousands of publishing partners, we tell stories about community concerns that change lives.

Our mutual success requires all of us to adhere to an agreed-upon set of principles, standards, and guidelines. Our commitment to transparency informs our vigilance in fighting disinformation and misinformation. We reject inappropriate efforts by governments, advertisers, and other interested parties to influence our coverage. We eschew political and religious extremism and reject racism and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, age, color, caste, national origin, immigration status, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental illness, disability, serious medical condition, socioeconomic class, or veteran status. We disclose and correct our mistakes.

Additionally, NewsBreak has developed detailed guidelines for each of the four categories of content in the ecosystem:

  1. Shared Community Guidelines
  2. Contributor Network Editorial Standards and Guidelines
  3. Publisher Network Standards and Guidelines
  4. Guidelines for Local Listings and Community Resources

These policies are part of the broader suite of policies governing your use of our platforms, including our Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy. Failure to comply with the guidelines listed here may result in disciplinary action including decreased distribution or removal from the platform. These policies and guidelines are non-exhaustive, and NewsBreak reserves the right to remove content or profiles in its sole discretion at any time.

The NewsBreak Principles:

NewsBreak is a safe space where people come together to engage with credible and relevant local information and to share their thoughts about it. We hold ourselves and our partners to high editorial standards to ensure our community can trust and rely on what they see on NewsBreak. In doing so, we aim to help people deepen ties to their communities and foster a greater sense of belonging.

These principles are designed to help foster a healthy, safe environment of authenticity for the NewsBreak community.

Accuracy

NewsBreak believes the foundation of a healthy community is credible information. NewsBreak takes the accuracy of the content on its platform very seriously and prohibits the publication of rumor, hearsay, or unverified information. This applies to all formats across written, video, audio, and still imagery.

Transparency

Integrity is imperative in establishing trust with our community. NewsBreak expects publishers and community organizations to provide transparent information to the public about who controls, owns, or provides significant funding to their operations and expects outlets or individuals to retain editorial independence from the influence of owners or funders. Publishers and contributors must be who they say they are.

Accountability

NewsBreak expects publishers, contributors, community organizers, and all users to be accountable for all of the information they publish, including what they re-publish, aggregate, quote, or embed. NewsBreak expects publishers, contributors, or community organizations not to provide information for which they do not have the proper expertise. Publishers and contributors must be clear when something is an opinion.

Fairness

NewsBreak believes in highlighting diverse voices, stories, opinions, and sources. We favor work that presents all relevant sides of a story and provides all necessary context. It is equally important that our contributors and partners do not draw false moral equivalencies where none exist.

Respectful discourse is the cornerstone of our communities. We seek to facilitate healthy debate within our community and showcase a variety of opinions in our editorial content. All editorial opinion pieces must be rooted in fact, labeled clearly, and not be intended to cause harm to groups or individuals.

Safety

We believe in doing what’s best for the communities we serve. We are an inclusive community for our neighbors to find credible information, share ideas and look out for one another. There is no place on the platform for hate speech or harassment. NewsBreak seeks to minimize harm to communities by prohibiting discriminatory, defamatory, harassing, or derogatory language, especially behavior intended to threaten violence or incite violence or discrimination against an individual or a group based on race, ethnicity, age, color, caste, national origin, immigration status, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental illness, disability, serious medical condition, socioeconomic class, or veteran status.

Shared Community Guidelines

NewsBreak is a space where people come together to find credible and relevant information and share their thoughts on it. We aim to make this space safe and trustworthy so people can deepen their ties to their communities and foster a greater sense of belonging. The following guidelines were developed to help foster an authentic, healthy and safe environment for NewsBreak users.

We expect all content posted to NewsBreak to adhere to the following content policies. The examples below are illustrative and are not all-inclusive. Although your activity may not violate one policy, when called to our attention, we apply all of our policies to make a decision. Content and activity restrictions may apply to all content, including but not limited to imagery, video, text, graphic description, links to other sites or apps, comments, profiles, and embedded content.

Publishers and contributors must also adhere to the guidelines for their content categories. If we become aware that you have posted content that goes against these Guidelines, we’ll remove it and give you a violation. In some situations, such as if someone were to upload child sexual exploitation content on NewsBreak, we will disable your account after just one occurrence. If you receive multiple violations, NewsBreak may take further action, including disabling your account. We do not allow:

Nothing in these guidelines is intended to prohibit journalistic coverage of newsworthy events, or fact-based and informed analysis, commentary, or opinion of newsworthy events.

see more below

1. Unacceptable Behavior

a. Hateful Behavior

  • NewsBreak is a diverse and inclusive community and we have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind. We do not allow content with discriminatory, defamatory, or derogatory language, especially that which is intended to threaten or incite violence or discriminate against an individual or a group based on race, ethnicity, age, color, caste, national origin, immigration status, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, mental illness, disability, serious medical condition, socioeconomic class, or veteran status.
  • We do not allow glorification or promotion of hate groups or the symbols and imagery associated with such movements, as cataloged by reputable organizations.
  • This policy is not intended to prohibit editorial coverage of newsworthy incidents involving subjects covered in the below as long as it includes relevant context.

We do not permit content that:

  • Mocks, shames, insults, uses excessive profanity, expresses contempt or disgust and abuses an individual or a group based on one or more attributes noted above.
  • Promotes hateful ideologies. These ideologies show hostility towards people because of their protected attributes and go against the inclusivity that we strive towards. This includes content with symbols, logos, slogans, imagery such as flags or t-shirts, salutes or other artwork, and objects related to a hateful ideology.
  • Denies documented violent events targetting protected groups (eg: Holocaust denial) and other conspiracy theories with the intent to justify hateful ideologies
  • Promotes or glorifies hate groups and individuals as identified by reputable organizations.
  • Claims one group is superior to another while referencing protected attributes.
  • When identified as such, purposely misgenders or deadnames an individual.
  • Contains inflammatory religious commentary with the intent to incite violent responses from the reader.

2. Criminal and Violent Behavior

a. Violent Extremism

  • Terrorists and related organizations are not permitted to use NewsBreak for any reason, including recruitment. Content that encourages, glorifies, or promotes terrorism, such as content that praises terrorist acts or incites violence, is likewise absolutely prohibited on our platform. Content shared in editorial coverage of newsworthy events that do not promote terrorism, and where clear context is established, is allowed. Content shared in an educational, documentary, scientific, or creative setting which establishes clear context is allowed.

We do not permit content that:

  • Glorifies, praises or memorializes terrorist organizations or terrorists, criminal organizations or criminals as identified by reputable organizations
  • Advocates or justifies terrorist or criminal activities
  • Is produced by the above criminal or terrorist organizations
  • Depicts key imagery that symbolizes terrorist organizations for the purpose of praising them
  • Intends to radicalize or recruit individuals to join criminal or violent extremist groups

b. Promotion of Illegal Activity and Regulated Goods

While we allow editorial coverage of newsworthy events, content that could directly facilitate or promote illegal activities is not permitted. The following list is nonexhaustive, and when alerted to other illegal activity by properly verified authorities, NewsBreak will remove such content.

We do not permit content that:

  • Glorifies or promotes any organization or gang that engages in criminal activities, violent criminal behavior, human trafficking, or any criminal activity, as documented by reputable authorities.
  • Provides instructions on how to perform activities meant to kill or harm, for example, how to build a bomb.
  • Promotes or facilitates human trafficking.
  • Displays the use of hard drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamines, with the exception of editorial coverage of newsworthy events.

-Note that coverage of cannabis use, or the cannabis industry, is acceptable in jurisdictions where medicinal or recreational cannabis use has been legalized or is being considered

  • Explains how to make illegal substances or items.
  • Exploits others through extortion
  • Contains any promotion for the sales of the following:

- Alcohol and Tobacco products (including vaporizers, electronic cigarettes) with the exception of a brand presence in the form of legitimate brick-and-mortar companies, such as retail businesses, websites, or brands

- Illegal drugs or unapproved pharmaceuticals

- Supplements not approved by the FDA

- Alcohol

- Illegal Gambling or betting with exceptions for promotion of physical real-money gambling activity or establishments, fantasy sports and online sports betting, where legal.

- Weapons, ammunition, or explosives

- Adult products or services

- Payday loans, paycheck advances, or penny auctions

- Multi-level marketing schemes or prohibited financial services

- Any form of hacking or cracking and/or provides users with instructions, equipment, or software that tampers with or provides unauthorized access to devices, software, servers, or websites, including but not limited to spyware or malware

- Counterfeit products

- Trafficking or hunting of endangered or threatened species

- Human trafficking of any kind including the facilitation of marriage to a foreigner, e.g., “mail order brides”

c. Incitement of Violence

We aim to prevent offline harm potentially related to content on NewsBreak. Although we celebrate freedom of expression and understand it’s common to show disagreement with hyperbolic speech, we remove content and disable accounts when we see a real risk of physical harm or credible threats to the public’s safety. For example, an aspirational and standalone statement like, “Terrorists should be shot” are non-credible.

We do not permit content that contains:

  • Threats to kill someone or a group
  • Threats of sexual assault
  • Threats to hurt others, or commit a violent act that could lead to people’s injury or death
  • Statements advocating violence
  • Requests or otherwise inciting violence when there is a target (clear or not)
  • Credible threats include stating the intention to inflict violence on specific people or groups, either via direct statement (“I will”, “I plan to”) or via conditional statements (“If you X, I’ll Y”) will also be removed.

d. Fraudulent Behavior

NewsBreak removes content that actively deceives, knowingly misrepresents, or similarly defrauds or exploits the community for property, money or other advantages. This includes any activity utilizing NewsBreak to coordinate or promote such activities and behavior. We allow for counterspeech and warning or condemning these behaviors as long as other policies are not violated.

We do not permit content that:

  • Provides instructions on how to cheat or promote dishonest behaviors, such as how to steal goods, how to bypass paywalls, how to hack into social media accounts, how to use bots to exploit systems in an unethical or illegal manner, stream sniping
  • Product or reward scams, such as fake benefits, insurance, spiritual, credit or debt relief, and employment scams.
  • Promotes fake identities, such as romance, charity, or fake business scams.
  • Financial scams include loans, advance fees, high-return investments, cash gifts, multilevel marketing, and “get rich quick” scams ( e.g. Ponzi or pyramid schemes).
  • Credit card fraud and purchases of products using stolen financial information. We don’t allow for the trade, selling, or purchase of fake reviews, future exams (scholastic cheating methods), subscription service credentials, and coupons.

3. Safety

a. Promotion of Suicide, Self-harm, and Eating Disorders

NewsBreak cares about its communities and their wellness. While we support members of our community in sharing their personal experiences with these issues in a safe way to raise awareness and find community support, we do not allow the promotion of any content that encourages self-harm, suicide, eating disorders, or drug abuse.

We do not permit content that:

  • Promotes or glorifies, normalizes, or includes instructions on suicide, self-harm, or eating disorders in any way.
  • Glorifies, normalizes, or otherwise promotes harmful weight loss habits associated with eating disorders.
  • Glorifies, normalizes, or otherwise promotes the use of illegal drugs or misuse of prescription drugs.

b. Harassment and Bullying

Everyone has the right to use NewsBreak free of harassment, bullying, or the threat of violence. Content that targets individuals with harassment or bullying is not permitted. We also don't allow content that makes repeated or malicious comments against one’s inherent characteristics. These inherent characteristics include protected group status, physical characteristics, or one’s status as a survivor of exploitation of non-consensual intimate imagery, sexual assault, and domestic abuse to name a few.

We do not permit content that:

  • Sexually harasses a target. Examples include attempts to make unwanted sexual contact, disparaging another’s sexual activity, simulating sexual activity with another, threatening to reveal one’s sexual history and non-consensual exposure of one’s sexual orientation.
  • Threatens or contains derogatory words, excessive profanities or obscenities intended to mock, humiliate, intimidate, or harm an individual may be removed.
  • Threatens an individual with malicious or prolonged insults.
  • Threatens to release or releases (“doxxing”) another’s personal information, such as their home address, without their permission.
  • Is posted to provoke or antagonize people, such as “trolling.”
  • Contains language intended to shame, insult, or deride physical attributes.
  • Exploits or extorts others. Examples are Revenge porn, blackmail or content removals on NewsBreak with exploitative intent.
  • Incites others to harass or bully a clear target.

While we allow critical comments directed toward public figures to allow for expression on subjects of newsworthiness and public concern, major abusive attacks against public figures are prohibited.

c. Endangering Minors

NewsBreak is for users aged 13 and above. We do not allow content that potentially places minors at risk, exploits them, or portrays them in a negative or harmful manner physically or psychologically. This includes animated, implied, or dramatized situations. In order to protect this more vulnerable group, we have even more strict guidelines where relevant. In most cases, those that violate these rules will immediately be removed from the platform upon discovery.

We do not permit content that:

  • Contains graphic details, pictures or videos of sexual abuse, murder, assault, abuse, or any violent acts involving minors (0-18 years old)
  • Sexualizes a minor or someone who appears to be a minor (animated, implied, or dramatized)
  • Promotes minors participating in dangerous activities, for example, playing with fire, explosives, knives, weapons, etc
  • Threatens, depicts, praises, supports, provides instructions for or makes declarations of purpose, admitting participation in, or sharing links or ways to obtain material that sexually exploits minors
  • Contains inappropriate interactions with minors such as grooming behavior or planning to meet in real life; soliciting sexual material, such as conversations or language from minors.
  • Is primarily directed at children (under age 13)

If you find any child sexual abuse or exploitative material, report it to compliance@newsbreak.com. If you believe a child is in danger, contact law enforcement immediately.

4. Integrity and Authenticity

a. False or Misleading Content

NewsBreak is not a place for misinformation or disinformation. We want all information on NewsBreak to be credible and thus we prohibit the distribution of false or misleading content that may harm our users or the public’s well-being, safety, or trust.

We do not permit:

i. Misinformation and Disinformation

  • Unsupported and unsubstantiated claims are presented as fact.
  • Unsubstantiated accusations of illegal or unethical behavior about individuals, groups, or businesses, including content that presumes guilt, or implies a presumption of guilt, of people who have been arrested or are on trial for crimes.
  • Promotion of conspiracy theories that may result in real-world harm
  • Unproven rumors likely to result in impending violence or physical harm to the community. These are claims that are hard or impossible to trace, no authoritative sources exist and are not specific enough to be contradicted. Content that falsely implies having an affiliation with, or endorsement by, another individual, organization, product, or service
  • Manipulated and synthetic media. Including media that is significantly and deceptively altered, fabricated, or manipulated and shared either deceptively or with misleading context. Engagement in coordinated inauthentic behavior, such as the collaborative use of fake accounts to mislead others into thinking the behavior is authentic.
  • Misleading quotations of religious texts

ii. Impersonation

  • Accounts and articles in which the author pretends to be another person, brand, or organization to confuse or deceive others may be permanently suspended.
  • Claims or quotes attributed to an individual without citation, quotation, or other appropriately explained sourcing.

iii. Endangering Public Health

  • We do not allow content that endangers public health. We want to protect our community from content that contributes to real-world harm.

We do not permit content that:

  • Claims that substances or treatments can have health benefits without citing any reputable medical journals or studies
  • Promotes the consumption or insertion of inedible objects that have no legitimate medical purpose.
  • Contains non-expert health claims that risk public health and safety, such as the promotion of false cures or anti-vaccination advice
  • Presents scientific, medical, or health-related information without proper context as to the nature of the research behind the claim. Proper context includes clearly stating the institution behind any study, the methods used, and the status of the study.
  • Presents scientific, medical, or health-related information in a style that exaggerates the claim does not provide the proper context in the headline by withholding key information or is otherwise intended to produce an outsized emotional reaction with the intention of generating clicks.

iv. Spam

  • Spam is content intended to deceive or mislead users to increase viewership. This creates a negative user experience and deters their authentic engagement. Any misuse of NewsBreak product features to disrupt users’ experience is prohibited. These are enforced in tandem with editorial policies found here.

We do not permit:

  • Over-frequent or massive posts, shares, and other engagements, content or accounts either automatically or at high frequencies to increase viewership, manipulate ranking, or distribute content in large numbers for gain.
  • Selling or exchanging on-site accounts or account permissions on NewsBreak.
  • Requiring engagement (liking or sharing) as a prerequisite to gaining access to more content.
  • Encouraging engagement in exchange for false promises.
  • Deceptive use of engagement features on NewsBreak in order to improve one’s rank
  • Offers for off-platform goods/services disguised as community comments.

5. Promotion of Activity that undermines Fair Elections

NewsBreak does not allow any content that incites interference with democratic processes or provides false or misleading information about elections or the democratic processes.

We do not permit:

  • Encouraging voters to misrepresent themselves or illegally participate in elections.
  • Calling for violence to prevent a peaceful transfer of power or orderly succession.
  • Unsubstantiated claims that call into question an election’s integrity.
  • Any information designed to impede an individual’s or group’s civic participation.
  • False or misleading claims about the results of an election that could lead to interference with the election process or vote-counting process.

6. Sensitive Content

a. Violent and Gory Content

We want to prevent potential harm that can be related to content on NewsBreak. Because of this, we prohibit content that glorifies or incites violent acts that could encourage our audience to replicate similar behaviors. We also do not allow violent, gruesome, or gory content where the sole intention is to shock or disgust our audience and has no inherent news value.

Where there is news value, NewsBreak prioritizes coverage that properly discloses the graphic nature of the footage, imagery, or descriptions to the users, and avoids placing graphic footage or imagery of violent acts, or weapons pointed directly at the user, before any such warnings.

We do not permit:

  • Glorification of any criminal or terrorist organizations that engage in violence (including attempted violence)
  • The video, still imagery, or graphic descriptions of violent crimes that resulted in death or physical injury, such as homicides, shootings, attacks, robberies, street fights, sexual assaults, or torture, in which weapons, violence, or injured victims are visible, except when the details of the incident are newsworthy.
  • Content featuring natural disasters, war aftermath, immolation, protests or riots, or other such scenarios where the intent of the content is to exploit, shock or disgust, as opposed to editorial coverage of newsworthy events.
  • The footage, imagery, or graphic descriptions of the human body that are intended to disgust or shock, including corpses or severed body parts, gratuitous bodily fluids, medical procedure footage, imagery of open wounds, or exploitative display of medical conditions. Exceptions are made for editorial coverage of newsworthy events.
  • Content depicting animal abuse, cruelty, or violence, where the intent is to glorify, promote, or shock as opposed to editorial coverage of newsworthy events. This includes glorification of animal abuse or slaughter, and footage, imagery, or graphic depictions of humans forcing animals to attack each other, e.g dogfighting, animals attacking humans, causing severe injury or death; animal-to-animal battle or attack where excessive blood or severed body parts are visible.

b. Nudity or Sexual Content

We do not allow sexually explicit content that is intended to arouse, shock, or offend. We do not allow content meant to demean, objectify, or otherwise inappropriately sexualize an individual or group based on physical attributes, sexuality, or sexual behavior. We do allow reputable outlets that cover sexual health and wellness and reproductive medicine. Content that is not appropriate for minors must be clearly marked as such, with warnings that precede the content.

We do not permit:

  • Exposed female breasts, nipples, buttocks, or genitalia and exposed male buttocks or genitalia. This includes minimal coverage of the above, where the imagery is not in context such as beach, pool, red carpet, or performance.
  • Footage or imagery of inanimate sexual objects (e.g, sex toys, replicas of sex organs, etc,)
  • The footage, imagery, or graphic description of sexual intercourse, genital or anal stimulation, or other by-products of sexual activity, including illustrated, simulated, and animated.
  • Celebrity or personal sexual life or history that is not consensually provided by the celebrity or individual.
  • Disrobing or other sexual behavior or depiction intended to arouse the consumer.
  • Content that promotes or provides links to porn, adult, or x-rated sites.
  • Nudity in photos, paintings, and sculptures, where the focal point of the imagery is on genitalia.
  • Content that in any way promotes or facilitates human trafficking or compensated sexual acts.
  • Explicit or implicit sexual solicitation for sex, sexual partners, sex chats or sexual imagery.

7. Content Rights

a. Intellectual Property

  • NewsBreak treats intellectual property rights in earnest; they are the backbone of allowing the community to creatively express themselves. When posting on NewsBreak, confirm you have the right to do so. We do not allow the improper use of intellectual property and upon processing a report from the rights holder or authorized representative, we remove the following:
  • Anything that infringes another’s intellectual property, including copyright, patent, trade secret, rights of publicity, or trademark rights.
  • Copyright infringement (including plagiarism, music, unlicensed imagery, etc)
  • Trademark infringement
  • Other legal intellectual property rights
  • All imagery must be credited
  • If someone is using your copyrighted work without your permission, you can send in a complete written notification to our designated Copyright Agent as described in our Terms of Use.

b. Privacy

Privacy and the protection of personal information are key in allowing our community to feel safe. NewsBreak may remove content including but not limited to, violations of applicable privacy laws or our Privacy Policy when receiving proper notice at privacy@newsbreak.com. Please note that this email address is reserved for people reporting potential violations of their privacy concerning their image on NewsBreak.

If you report that someone has posted your personal information or uploaded content of you without your knowledge and consent, we will investigate. NewsBreak also prohibits the publication of non-public personal information, such as the phone number or address of an individual, unless the approval has been obtained from said individual. We take down content that: shares, offers, or solicits personally identifiable information or other private information that could lead to bodily or financial harm. Examples are financial, residential, or medical information, and private information obtained illegally. As private information may be made public through news coverage, court filings, and press releases, we may allow for this use.

We do not permit content containing:

  • Government-issued numbers such as national ID numbers. Examples include Social Security numbers, passport numbers, and government IDs.
  • Personal information that identifies an individual with an ID number and individual’s name. These include civil registry information like marriage certificates, driver’s licenses, and immigration documents.
  • Digital IDs. These include email addresses with passwords and standalone passwords that allow further access to information or those with digital IDs.
  • Medical information that contains psychological, physical or genetic, or biometric details of another.
  • Personal contact information such as addresses and phone numbers unless volunteered in certain cases by the owner.
  • Residential information, including images of one’s private home combined with GPS coordinates, or further identifying the resident of said home.
  • Revealing safe house addresses or identifiable information of the home or residents.
  • Financial information like personal bank statements, account numbers, or credit card information with PINs or validity information.
  • Business financial information unless self-shared by the business or is publicly available.

The Contributor Network Standards and Guidelines

NewsBreak connects and empowers local audiences, contributors and businesses with the goal of helping people everywhere live safer, more vibrant, more truly-connected lives. Our contributors are a big part of our effort to inform and inspire communities by providing them with credible and trustworthy information about the world around them.

Because we place a premium on quality, NewsBreak requires each contributor to comply with Editorial Standards and Guidelines in order to ensure the safety of our community.

There are three levels of contributors on NewsBreak (learn more here):

  • Journalists
  • Community Voice Pros
  • Community Voices

Our Contributor Editorial Standards & Guidelines apply to all contributors on NewsBreak. Failure to comply with the guidelines listed here may result in disciplinary action including decreased distribution or removal from the platform.

1. Reporting Guidelines

Accuracy & Fact-Checking

NewsBreak takes the accuracy of the content on its platform seriously. NewsBreak prohibits contributors from publishing rumor, hearsay, or unvetted or unverified information. Attempts to introduce misinformation or disinformation are grounds for account termination. The introduction of provably false information into stories is also grounds for account termination.

All contributors are responsible for fact-checking their stories. Our internal editorial team may remove stories that do not appear to be properly fact-checked.

Fabrication of information is strictly prohibited on NewsBreak. False information presented as fact will result in immediate removal from the platform.

The use of clickbait by contributors is prohibited. NewsBreak defines clickbait as a headline or photo that deliberately teases, misleads or omits key information in order to elicit clicks or where the headline does not accurately represent the article’s content.

Fairness

All Contributors should strive for truth and accuracy. It is important to present all relevant sides of a story. Contributors should not intentionally omit information that provides vital context to the story. Similarly, it’s also important not to draw a false moral equivalency where none exists.

Contributors should only refer to the race, gender, or sexuality of an individual if it is relevant to the story.

Specifically for Journalist Contributors or those doing reporting in their pieces, a reasonable amount of time must be allowed for comment from organizations, officials and/or individuals mentioned in a story before publication.

When it comes to reporting on crime, Contributors must not name a suspect or person of interest unless they are formally charged with a crime. An exception to this rule is if the person in question is named by police because she is a fugitive and considered dangerous.

NewsBreak does not publish mugshots of suspects unless they have been charged and may remove any articles published that contain them.

If charges against a suspect have been dismissed, NewsBreak will consider removing or updating stories on a case-by-case basis. We will also consider requests for removal of stories involving misdemeanors in which suspects are named on a case-by-case basis where the story does not contribute to discourse.

Attribution

Contributors must attribute all facts that reasonably could be challenged (in other words, are not well understood common knowledge). This includes information received first-hand from police, politicians, officials, victims, or any other entity providing the information.

If a Contributor is quoting from a document (such as an email or a press release), the contributor should indicate so. Original reporting is preferred, but when citing others’ work, Contributors must attribute to the original source unless that source itself lacks credibility. Contributors should not report information received from a source that lacks credibility without first independently verifying the facts reported

When referencing other reporting, it must be hyperlinked and video, tweets, posts, and photos should be embedded unless those sources are not credible. For help with how to evaluate the credibility of a source, refer to this Poynter source evaluation guide.

The use of unnamed sources in all storytelling is allowed only when there are two unattributed sources who corroborate the same information. Granting unnamed sources confidential status requires approval of the content team.

In a non-news context, such as advice or relationship columns, Contributors who are recounting experiences of others must never present the experience as their own.

Contributors must accurately quote individuals, sources and/or documents and never take words or actions out of context. Where quotes have been shortened for length, Contributors should indicate that’s the case by using an ellipses.

Impartiality

The role of a Journalist Contributor is to remain impartial. Journalist Contributors should seek to avoid bias in their storytelling, reflecting all relevant sides and not favoring any one side in particular.

The Impartiality policy does not apply to Contributors who were brought onto the platform specifically to offer their opinions on local happenings, politics, restaurants, etc. (as long as their content is labeled as such). But Journalists, in particular, should refrain from political or social commentary unless they have been expressly invited or approved to write commentary. If they are approved, such content must be clearly labeled as opinion or commentary.

Prior Review from Sources

We prohibit Contributors from sending stories to sources for approval prior to their publication, except in the cases of Sponsored content which must be clearly labeled. In some cases we’ll recognize as appropriate, a source may ask to see a copy of her quotes or a journalist may want to send an excerpt to a source to ensure accuracy. However, sources should never get final sign-off on or approval of a piece before it is published.

Labeling

Pieces that express opinion or are satirical in nature must have "Opinion:" or "Satire:" at the beginning of the headline. This also applies to other disclaimers that might be needed at the beginning of certain posts.

Language

Written and video posts must be written/produced in legible, intelligible English. Poor grammar and/or syntax is not permitted.

2. Fictitious content

NewsBreak does not allow Contributors to publish fictional content, this includes poems and song lyrics. Exceptions are made for editorial coverage of newsworthy excerpts.

3. Altered Media Content

Contributors are prohibited from publishing media that is altered with the intent to confuse, harm, or mislead. Media may not be edited in a way that changes its meaning or provides false context that could confuse the audience.

For example, Contributors may edit media to improve technical quality for color correction or to add graphics in post-production. Editorial manipulation of videos to deliberately mischaracterize an event or subject is strictly prohibited.

All editing of photos must be done in service of restoring their accuracy. Cropping and small adjustments to tone and color density are acceptable as long as it doesn’t alter the meaning of the photo. For example, cropping an individual out of a photo to intentionally be misleading is prohibited.

NewsBreak also prohibits the use of video captured secretly with malicious intent or in any manner that violates the law. This includes, but is not limited to, filming someone without their permission in an embarrassing or inappropriate environment where a reasonable expectation of privacy is held. Unless that footage violates state law, surveillance video or doorbell camera footage does not fall within this category.

Deep fakes (synthetic media manipulated to replace the person in the original video with someone else) are prohibited unless the deep fake is the subject of the story itself and clearly labeled as such for the audience.

Contributors who airbrush beyond recognition or manipulate the content of an image must indicate that it is a composite image or graphic in its caption.

In photos or videos relating to crimes, Contributors must blur the faces of minors unless the child’s photo has been released by law enforcement to assist in investigation of the crime or Contributors obtain the parents’ permission. We also ask Contributors blur faces of alleged victims in certain circumstances such as stories about sexual assault where the accuser wishes to remain anonymous.

4. Standards

Conflicts of Interest

Contributors should avoid even the appearance of conflicts of interest to preserve the integrity of their storytelling and the credibility of the platform.

Contributors should avoid reporting on friends or family unless it is essential to the telling of a story. In such cases, these ties must be disclosed at the top of the story.

Contributors should not accept gifts from sources of coverage and if they do, must disclose that conflict of interest in accordance with NewsBreak’s promotions policies.

For Contributors who receive goods or services to review them or receive any other form of compensation in exchange for a review, they must disclose that they have received compensation at the top of the post.

Contributors should refrain from covering subject matter from which they would directly benefit. If unavoidable, the conflict must be cited at the top of the story.

Contributors covering the stock market should be mindful of securities laws. For example, if a Contributor writes about a stock with the intention to inflate the price and sell the stock afterward, it could be considered fraud or insider trading. Contributors may not have any other financial interest in a company, enterprise, or industry that may be likely to figure in coverage that they provide.

The penalties for not complying with these Standards and Guidelines can result in penalties and may lead to account suspension or removal from the platform.

Thank you for helping to make the NewsBreak community a safe and healthy environment!

Publisher Network Standards and Guidelines

NewsBreak connects and empowers local audiences, contributors and businesses with the goal of helping people everywhere live safer, more vibrant, more truly-connected lives. We provide communities access to accurate information so they can make important decisions about their lives. Professional editorial outlets, especially local outlets focused on original reporting and cultural coverage, are an essential part of the NewsBreak ecosystem. Publishers provide a multiplicity of voices, stories, and perspectives. NewsBreak places a premium on quality and seeks to feature reputable outlets of all sizes and from all communities in the markets in which we operate.

These Standards and Guidelines apply to all Publishers on NewsBreak. Failure to comply with these guidelines can lead to disciplinary action such as restricting distribution and/or up-to and including removal from the platform. Publisher’s content may be removed if they do not comply with these policies.

All of these policies and guidelines are non-exhaustive, and NewsBreak reserves the right to remove content or profiles at any time.

NewsBreak Publisher Network Standards + Guidelines:

To be distributed on NewsBreak as a publisher, you must:

1. Be an editorial outlet, with staff creating original editorial work and a unique URL housing your work.

  • Sites predominantly focused on listings (e.g. event listings, marketplaces) will be categorized as “Information” not “Publishers”
  • Individual YouTube channels, podcasts, blogs or newsletters hosted within another network, or social media creators should apply to be a part of the Contributor Network rather than the Publisher Network.

2. Be who you say you are

  • Have a reporting presence in any communities you cover
  • Have easily accessible information on your staff and ownership online
  • In order to establish credibility and accountability, all content on NewsBreak must have the contributor clearly stated, via byline or credits. Where content is created by an entity vs an individual or is anonymous, there must be discoverable policies explaining this choice from the originating outlet.

3. Operate in an ethical manner, and at the accepted standards of the industry


4. Maintain editorial independence from funding, and provide transparency to the user by:

  • Disclosing ownership
  • Adhering to FTC guidelines on advertising, including branded, sponsored, and affiliate marketing
  • If nonprofit, adhere to industry standards of disclosing funding practices, including large gifts or donors, and have policies to maintain independence from funding


5. Be accountable that everything on your site that is sent to NewsBreak adheres to these policies by being the owner, creator, or licensor of the work

  • If you use a community-generated model or have forums, you must either ensure every submission adheres to NewsBreak guidelines, or omit this portion from your feed
  • If you use wire services, you are responsible to ensure these services also adhere to the policies or you must omit them from your feed. Services that do adhere to these policies include national wire services from organizations such as AP, Reuters, NBC, CBS, ABC, USAToday, and NPR.

All publishers on NewsBreak must adhere to the Shared Community Guidelines, as well as the following, Publisher-specific guidelines:

1. Opinion and Fairness

NewsBreak believes in highlighting diverse voices, stories, opinions, and sources. We favor work that presents all relevant sides of a story and provides the necessary context. It is equally important that our partner publishers do not draw false moral equivalencies where none exist.

NewsBreak believes in facilitating healthy debate on the platform by showcasing opinion content. Such content is labeled as opinion when it appears and should always be grounded in fact. Where an entire outlet, publication, or channel is rooted in a subjective point of view, all content coming from that outlet is considered opinion.

Excessive bias that distorts or misrepresents is not allowed.

What is in violation of the policy?

  • Any articles, columns, videos, podcasts, or imagery expressing opinion that are not clearly labeled as “Opinion”, “Commentary”, “Analysis”, “Reaction”, “Humor”, “Satire”, “Letter to the Editor”, “Column”, “Review”, etc and depending on the format.
  • Opinion content with no factual basis, such as no evidence or citations to back up claims, or that relies on unverified facts or information.
  • Insinuation of the opinion or belief of another individual without direct quotation or citation.
  • Opinion content that relies on excessive vulgarity, profanity, obscenity, insults, or demeaning language to argue a point.

2. Original Content

NewsBreak prioritizes original reporting and prohibits plagiarism of any kind. When work comes from a third party, either open-source use or is licensed, it must be properly credited, and the origin must be clear to the user at all points.

Official announcements or press releases must be framed as such, with the originating organization clearly written. NewsBreak prioritizes original reporting over such aggregation in terms of how content is amplified and distributed.

We do not permit:

  • Rewrites of police blotters that do not include editorial improvements, added information, and/or added contextual value
  • Verbatim press releases designed to appear as original reporting via the addition of bylines, editorialized headlines, or lack of citation for the source of the release
  • AI-generated rewrites of press releases or the original reporting of other outlets
  • Aggregation of the work of others without proper crediting
  • Articles with mugshots of individuals who have been arrested, but not charged (An exception to this rule is if the person in question is named by police because they are a fugitive and considered dangerous.)Verbatim press releases are designed to appear as original reporting via the addition of bylines, editorialized headlines, or lack of citation for the source of the release

3. Credibility and expertise

NewsBreak seeks to create a trustworthy ecosystem for its users by providing content from sources that are credible, that have proven expertise, and that are accountable for what they provide. Content designed to mislead is not permitted.

In order to establish credibility and accountability, all content on NewsBreak must have the contributor clearly stated, via byline or credits. Where content is created by an entity vs an individual, or is anonymous, there must be discoverable policies explaining this choice from the originating outlet.

We do not permit:

  • Formats or edits designed to mislead, including:

- Articles with quotes in a headline that never appear in the story body and are not attributed to any source

- Headlines or titles that withhold information, or use inflated and/or salacious language to encourage clicks

- Digitally manipulated video or images intended to obscure facts and/or distort information

- Deepfakes of any kind

- Content that contains links that lead to unrelated or deceptive websites, or that encourages accidental and/or inflated clickthroughs.

- Outdated content presented as new content and where originating date is not clear

-Articles without bylines

- Satire news stories when they are not labeled clearly

- Wholly-fictional pieces, with exceptions for editorial coverage of newsworthy excerpts

  • Potentially harmful or misleading advice, including:

- Providing answers, responses, comments, or opinions that you are not properly licensed or otherwise qualified to provide (such as providing medical, financial, or legal advice, without appropriate licenses or professional background)

- Horoscope content that is fear-mongering in nature and includes actual instruction for people’s life

- Promotion of content, products, or services using false, dishonest, or deceptive claims

4. Commercial and Promotional Content

Sponsored, branded, promotional, and affiliated content (defined below) is allowed on NewsBreak only if the relationship is disclosed and it does not violate any other community guidelines, policies or terms of use. We do not allow content that conceals or misrepresents sponsored content as editorial content. Sponsorship, including, but not limited to, ownership or affiliate interests, payment, or material support, should be clearly disclosed to users. You must also comply with all applicable laws and regulations, which vary by jurisdiction.

Outlets that are entirely commercial in nature, such as the websites of brands, stores, or professional services are not allowed as publishers or contributors on NewsBreak even if they have an editorial feed. Publishers whose sole purpose is to sell a commercial service they provide (e.g. travel bookings, financial services, real estate) are not allowed. Marketplaces and listings may be acceptable under the Community Resources & Listings section of NewsBreak.

Sponsored, branded or promotional content is any content in which the content producer has a material connection with the brand. A material connection includes any personal, family, or employment relationship or a financial relationship – such as the brand paying you or giving you free or discounted products or services.

Any promotional links should not be excessive or distracting for the user. It is recommended that even if your post is promotional, a majority of the content is not and the content should still provide value to the user. If video content is branded, it should be disclosed at the outset of the video.

This policy applies to any content on our Platform, including verbal statements, demonstrations, or depictions of a name, signature, or likeness.

We do not permit:

  • Affiliate content without a proper disclosure before the link appears (“proper disclosure” is a clear and conspicuous description of how you benefit, such as: This post includes affiliate links. If you purchase anything through these affiliated links, the author/website may earn a commission.)
  • Sponsored or branded content without clear disclosure using the words “Sponsored” “Ad” or “Paid” at the top of/ beginning of the piece of content
  • Promotional or advertising pieces created directly by a brand
  • Excessive links to products, brands, or services in article or video descriptions.
  • Content or sites that promote religion, or primarily publish religious texts, without any relevance to current news or events.
  • Major financial services (loans, mortgages, credit cards, retirement) where the commercial relationship between the publisher and the brokers for those services is not clear to the user at all touchpoints
  • Direct money transfers or donations

5. Obscenity, Profanity, and Vulgarity

Contributors, Publishers, and Community Organizations should refrain from excessive use of obscene, profane, or vulgar language that may be inappropriate for audiences under 18 years old. This includes:

  • Severe profanity, obscenity and vulgarity in a headline. Exceptions can be made for editorial coverage of newsworthy events, where the profanity, obscenity, or vulgarity is appropriately self-moderated.
  • Excessive unblocked obscenity, profanity and vulgarity throughout the body text.
  • Unblocked crude gestures or vulgar motions. Exceptions can be made for editorial coverage of newsworthy events, where the gesture or motion is either appropriately edited, or a content warning is included before the gesture or motion could be viewed.

Exceptions are made for editorial coverage of newsworthy events, where the obscenity, profanity, or vulgarity is appropriately self-moderated.

6. Style Guidelines

Content on NewsBreak must be legible, understandable, and easily viewable by the majority of users. Content must also be in one of our supported languages.

For anyone posting as a contributor, publisher, or official organization, posts cannot have excessive grammatical or typographical errors that would make the reader question the validity of the published content. NewsBreak prefers publisher or contributor content that meets or exceeds the following guidelines.

  • The headline or title is clear, complete, and concise (preferably no more than 20 words)
  • The headline is in title or sentence case, and avoids overuse of emoji, all caps, or other typographical emphases.
  • Articles are at least 250 words, with exceptions for breaking news.
  • Articles contain a clear lede image and videos contain a thumbnail image.

- Blurred images, low-resolution screengrabs, or mugshots of charged persons are not preferred for lede imagery.

  • All imagery or video in articles are directly related to the content.
  • All photos are captioned with photographer or licensor credit.
  • Articles contain a byline that indicates the name of the writer, preferably at the top of the article.
  • Videos contain clear production credits.

All content on NewsBreak should be primarily focused on the subject indicated by the headline or title. Clickbait is discouraged, as is overly promotional content, or content that encourages inflated accidental click

Guidelines for Local listings and Community Resources

NewsBreak connects and empowers local audiences, contributors and businesses with the goal of helping people everywhere live safer, more vibrant, more truly-connected lives. We provide communities access to accurate information so they can make important decisions about their lives. To provide communities with as much information as possible, NewsBreak offers community resources, such as local listings and updates from government websites.

Such offerings are only accessible in clearly demarcated portions of the NewsBreak experience and are clearly labeled to differentiate from reporting by professional journalism outlets or the Contributor Network.

All sources of listings and community resources are expected to adhere to the NewsBreak tenets, and must meet the standards of their respective industries. If your site also contains a forum, or community-generated information, we expect you to be accountable for that material to meet NewsBreak’s standards as well.

Sections 1-8 and 11-12 of the NewsBreak Publisher Content Policies are also applicable to all content covered by these Guidelines.

NewsBreak accepts these types of sites in this category:

1. Official Governmental entities
a. Parks departments
b. Public safety organizations
i.Fire departments
ii.Police departments
iii.Local health departments

2. Schools & Universities

3. Community organizations
a. Local Chamber of Commerce
b. Tourism organizations
c. Community centers
d. Religious institutions such as churches, mosques, or synagogues
i. For community listings only, not for religious content

4. Community commercial listings
a. Real Estate (verified by MLS)
b. Career organizations
c. Marketplaces


5. Sports organizations
a. Professional leagues and teams
b.Community leagues and teams

6. Weather

Style Guidelines for Community Organizations

Content on NewsBreak must be legible, understandable, and easily viewable by most users. Content must also be in one of our supported languages.

For anyone posting as a Contributor, Publisher, or official organization, posts cannot have excessive grammatical or typographical errors that would make the reader question the validity of the published content.

  • Post title is clear, complete, and concise (preferably no more than 20 words)
  • Post title is in title or sentence case, and avoids overuse of emoji, all caps, or other typographical emphasis.
  • All imagery or video in post is directly related to the content.
  • All photos are captioned with photographer or licensor credit.
  • All posts contain information on who authored, and relevant links.
  • Videos contain clear production credits.

All informative posts on NewsBreak should be primarily focused on the subject indicated by the post title. Clickbait is discouraged, as is overly promotional content, or content that encourages inflated accidental clicks.

Obscenity, Profanity, and Vulgarity

Contributors, Publishers, and Community Organizations should refrain from excessive use of obscene, profane, or vulgar language that may be inappropriate for audiences under 18 years old. This includes:

  • Severe profanity, obscenity and vulgarity in a headline. Exceptions can be made for editorial coverage of newsworthy events, where the profanity, obscenity, or vulgarity is appropriately self-moderated.
  • Excessive unblocked obscenity, profanity and vulgarity throughout the body text.
  • Unblocked crude gestures or vulgar motions. Exceptions can be made for editorial coverage of newsworthy events, where the gesture or motion is either appropriately edited, or a content warning is included before the gesture or motion could be viewed.

Exceptions are made for editorial coverage of newsworthy events, where the obscenity, profanity, or vulgarity is appropriately self-moderated.