We want SoundCloud to be a community where everyone feels empowered but also respected. It’s up to all of us to make that happen. This page includes important information about our rules and guidelines related to your use of SoundCloud. Please take the time to carefully read through this information; we take these guidelines seriously and expect you to do the same.
We have always set out to build a diverse, collaborative community where the rights of creators are respected.
You are responsible for all activity associated with your account, including all content that you post. If you post content that belongs to someone else (for example, if you are a distributor, promotional agency, manager, or radio plugger acting on behalf of an artist or label), or if you use someone else’s content in a remix or other similar work, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have the permission of all relevant rightsholders in order to post that content to SoundCloud. Anyone uploading another person’s content without the necessary permissions is liable to have that content removed and/or their account terminated.
When reporting content for infringement, we consider reports abusive if you are not the rightsholder or an authorized agent thereof (like the rightsholder’s attorney or manager). Abusive reporting may result in your civil liability for damages incurred by SoundCloud (including costs and legal fees), the person whose content you report, or any copyright owner or authorized licensee as a result of content being removed. Additionally, you risk having your account frozen or, in some cases, terminated if we believe that you have abusively reported content. If you do not own the copyright in the content, please do not report it for infringement.
If you are unsure whether you can upload something, read our copyright information pages. If you feel that someone is infringing your copyright, tell us about it.
SoundCloud gives people from all over the world the power to share and connect through music and audio and is the only global community where you can connect one on one with fellow fans, the biggest names in music and emerging artists. While engaging with the community can be rewarding, it can also be a source of frustration and misunderstanding if the context of the content is not considered or understood or users don’t communicate and interact in a respectful way.
As a general rule we’re unable to prescreen or proactively search for many kinds of content, but we aim to be fair in deciding what content is permitted on SoundCloud. While complaints and inquiries must be evaluated and addressed on a case-by-case basis, we aim to apply a uniform set of standards to every user. When determining whether to remove content, we ask ourselves a number of questions, such as:
- Is the behavior directed at an individual, group, or protected category of people?
- Clearly targeted content will increase likelihood of removal.
- Has the report been filed by the target of the abuse or a third party?
- In some instances we may not be able to take reports from third parties.
- Does the reported user have a history of violating our policies?
- How severe is the violation?
- The severity will be reflected in the respective action (i.e. warning vs. suspension).
- Is the content of legitimate public interest?
- The purpose of content will be considered.
When you see content that upsets or shocks you, step back and consider the above in addition to the possible context and intention of the person sharing the content. If you’re unsure of a user’s intentions, feel free to engage with them in a calm and level-headed manner. The comments section on SoundCloud provides a unique environment for people to engage in a conversation around the content. Alternatively, you could message the user privately to share any concerns.
Of course, it’s always possible to block or ignore a user as a means to no longer see unwanted content on SoundCloud, and sometimes this is the best or only way to resolve these issues.
Please consider the above and review the relevant section of our Community Guidelines below before reporting content to our Trust and Safety Team. This will both align your expectations with our policy and allow our team to focus on removing content that truly doesn’t have a place on SoundCloud.
Criticism should always focus on the content, and not on the individual who created it. We do not want criticism of the personal character of the creator, only the criticism of their content. Please share your opinion with others, but do so in a constructive way. Before posting feedback, always ask yourself whether you would appreciate receiving the same feedback. If not, don’t post it.
- “This wasn't my favorite track of yours”
- “I think different vocals on this track would work better”
- “I’m pretty disappointed with this track tbh”
Don't do this:
- “You’re a piece of s**t! No one’s ever gonna listen to your garbage!”
- “I hate you and your voice. You should stop making music. You’re so annoying and we all hate you bro”
- “What the hell is this!?”
We have zero tolerance for abusive or threatening behavior within the community and on the platform. We consider abuse to be any activity where the intent or likely result is to attack or demean someone else. This includes but is not limited to content aimed at sexualizing or degrading other users. Anyone found to be engaging in this type of activity risks the immediate, permanent termination of their account.
- “I like this track! Thanks for this!”
- Block a user who you do not wish to engage with.
- “You’re the GOAT!”
Don't do this:
- “F**k you”
- “I’ll find u and hurt u where u at man u don’t deserve to live”
- “You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, idiot!”
We define harassment as the unwanted, continued pursuit of contact with an individual who has indicated they do not wish to be in contact with another individual. The difference between abuse and harassment is that harassment is typically conducted over a sustained period of time, whereas abuse may be a one-off event. Therefore, if an individual is sending repeated unwanted messages or comments to another user, they risk the immediate, permanent termination of their account.
- Message or comment once: “Hey, you should check out my music, I think you’d like it”
Don't do this:
- Repeatedly message or comment: “hey I think you’re beautiful talk to me!”
- Engage with someone when they’ve told you to stop, or use SoundCloud to contact someone when they’ve blocked you on another platform.
- Create accounts or content with the sole purpose of “exposing” the behavior of a single identifiable individual or group of individuals.
Unauthorized recording or publishing of private information
We do not allow the sharing of personal details of another person (or entity), without their permission. This includes recordings of private conversations, full names, photographs, unlisted phone numbers, and home or email addresses.
- Reference a person by their first name without them being identifiable.
- Express thoughts without any direct references to another person.
Don't do this:
- Include personal details such as “Sarah Smith at Elmwood High School”
- Use photos of other individuals without their consent.
- Upload recordings of private phone calls between two individuals without consent.
- Use screenshots of private conversations as profile/track/playlist artwork.
As a platform built with creator needs in mind, we welcome the use of stage names or professional identities on SoundCloud. However, you cannot impersonate another person or post content that is intentionally misleading.
This means that you must not create profiles or post content that is intended to make people think you are someone else. You must not use someone else’s name or trademark without their permission, or pretend to be associated with someone you aren’t, even if you feel that you are helping that person by doing so. This applies to everyone from the most popular creators to casual users on SoundCloud.
- Use tags to indicate similarities to artists that inspire you.
- Use your own name as a display name or URL where this is also the name of an existing artist and no ™ infringement is taking place.
- Use your own original artwork on your profile.
- Mention artists that inspire you in your profile bio (i.e. “X, Y and Z artist inspire me”)
- Create fan accounts with the permission or endorsement of the artist in question. These must be clearly distinguished from official profiles.
Don't do this:
- Upload tracks with an artist’s name in the title who is not officially associated with it.
- Use another artist’s name or variation of an artist’s name as your display name, URL or Track URL.
- Use an image of an artist or images associated with an artist (album covers etc.) as an avatar, banner, track or playlist image where the artist is not officially associated with the account or track.
- List artist names in your bio as a means of attempting to game our search.
- Create fan accounts without the permission of the artist in question.
We do not allow any content that is predominantly sexual in nature or that could be perceived as an aid to sexual gratification. This includes, but is not limited to, images containing nudity and recordings or detailed descriptions of sexual acts, or links to pornographic sites.
- Post ASMR of your dog eating treats, or you brushing your hair.
Don't do this:
- Post noises directly associated with sexual acts disguised as ASMR.
- Link to any pornographic content in your profile bio.
Violence and threatening behavior
We do not allow any use of intimidation or threats of violence between our users, against the wider public or against SoundCloud employees. Likewise, we don’t permit any incitement to, or glorification of, violent acts either against an individual or the wider public. Additionally, the use of excessive gore in regards to both imagery or language is not permitted.
- Provide commentary on violence in regards to a specific event (i.e. something that happened to you in the context of a podcast episode).
- Refer to violence where this serves an educational purpose.
Don't do this:
- Upload content that has the intention to intimidate an individual into fearing a physical attack against their person.
- Upload content inciting violence (i.e. calling on or encouraging others to complete violent acts against an individual or against the wider public).
- Upload graphic images of real or dramatized violence with the intent to glorify violent acts or to shock/disgust.
SoundCloud allows for the presentation of individual beliefs and opinions. We do not, however, allow content that promotes or encourages hatred, discrimination or violence against others based on race, cultural identity or ethnic background, religious beliefs, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. We will use our discretion when necessary to determine if beliefs or opinions incite hatred.
Please keep in mind that applicable laws state that Nazi and ISIS content is illegal, and will be removed without discussion, unless clearly used for educational or journalistic purposes.
- Speak about a hate group in a purely educational manner, making it clear when you are quoting directly and not presenting them as your own views.
- Specifically state that you do not endorse the groups/events/etc. that you may be quoting.
Don't do this:
- “I mean, these [protected group], they know what’s wrong with them”
- “[protected group] are threatening us. We need to get them out”
- Host a podcast about your favorite foods.
- Host a historical podcast.
Don't do this:
- Dedicate your entire podcast or a section of your podcast to “issues with” or reasons you dislike a protected group.
- Host a podcast to share a revisionist view of the holocaust.
- Host a podcast in violation of our Misinformation Guidelines, as seen below.
As a platform that promotes freedom of speech and connects millions of people, we feel we have a responsibility to take a clear stance on the issue of misinformation. Although not a new concept, the digital age has made it easier than ever to spread information almost anywhere in the world.
We understand that in today’s day and age many people rely on the internet and social platforms as their main news source. Therefore, in order to maintain the trust and safety of our community, the use of false, fabricated or manipulated information is something we do not condone, especially when presented as fact and when posing a potential threat or allowing for long term harm to the wellbeing of both our user base and society at large. This type of information can take many forms, but is often uploaded with the aim of affecting political discourse.
Furthermore, we feel we must be explicit in stating we do not under any circumstances allow the posting or sharing of harmful ideologies that misinform the public, such as those that deny the occurrence of violent events, or those that target an individual or protected group by inciting fear, hate or prejudice.
With that all being said, we do encourage you to offer and discuss your opinion with others should it be very clearly presented as such and kept in line with the rest of our Community Guidelines.
- Use imaginative subjects to produce satire, comedy and entertainment content.
- State or talk about your opinion as just that, opinion.
Don't do this:
- Use of clickbait titles, profile names and description.
- Fabricate content that deliberately presents false or misleading claims as news.
- Refer to violent events as “false flags”.
- Post or share conspiracy theories like denying the Holocaust.
SoundCloud aims to help creators to connect directly with their fans and build their audience. We understand that promoting your work is important, and we encourage you to seek out fans and other like-minded individuals. In our experience, the most successful forms of promotion are built upon meaningful interactions between creators and their audience.
Specifically, it is not possible to:
- Post identical or almost identical comments or messages in large volumes
- Repeatedly follow large volumes of accounts in a short period of time
- Repeatedly unfollow and refollow the same accounts, in order to draw attention to your own profile
- Repeatedly repost or like tracks that you have reposted or liked in the past
- Reach out to fans with tailored messages for each one of them.
- Find users related to your content and interact with them.
- Repost tracks similar to your own to attract traffic.
Don't do this:
- Copy and paste the same links and words in comments and/or private chat.
- Randomly bulk follow a large amount of users.
- Pay for external promotion services not affiliated with SoundCloud.
- Creation, use or promotion of services that claim to boost a profile’s popularity such as followers, plays, likes, or reposts.
- Creation, use or promotion of services that sell social interactions or other forms of promotion on SoundCloud.
- Create multiple accounts with the intention of inflating the popularity of other profiles.
As a general rule we’re unable to prescreen or proactively search for many kinds of content. As such, it’s possible you might come across content that you don’t wish to see. In these cases, please ignore such content and block those who share it to avoid it in the future.
Termination of accounts
In certain cases, such as when we deem your account to be dedicated to the violating activity, we reserve the right to terminate your account immediately, without prior warning, in our discretion.
Last Amended: April 27, 2021
Link to prior versions