Millions of developers host millions of projects on GitHub — both open and closed source — and we're honored to play a part in enabling collaboration across the community every day. Together, we all have an exciting opportunity and responsibility to make this a community we can be proud of.
GitHub users worldwide bring wildly different perspectives, ideas, and experiences, and range from people who created their first "Hello World" project last week to the most well-known software developers in the world. We are committed to making GitHub a welcoming environment for all the different voices and perspectives in our community, while maintaining a space where people are free to express themselves.
We rely on our community members to communicate expectations, moderate their projects, and report abusive behavior or content. We do not actively seek out content to moderate. By outlining what we expect to see within our community, we hope to help you understand how best to collaborate on GitHub, and what type of actions or content may violate our Terms of Service. We will investigate any abuse reports and may moderate public content on our site that we determine to be in violation of our Terms of Service.
Building a strong community
The primary purpose of the GitHub community is to collaborate on software projects. We want people to work better together. Although we maintain the site, this is a community we build together, and we need your help to make it the best it can be.
Be welcoming and open-minded - Other collaborators may not have the same experience level or background as you, but that doesn't mean they don't have good ideas to contribute. We encourage you to be welcoming to new collaborators on your projects and discussions.
Assume no malice - Humans make mistakes, and disagreements or differences of opinion are a fact of life. Try to approach conflict from the perspective that people generally mean well. This will promote a respectful and friendly atmosphere where people feel comfortable asking questions, participating in discussions, and making contributions.
Stay on topic - People use GitHub to get work done and to be more productive. Off topic comments are a distraction (sometimes welcome, but usually not) from getting work done and being productive. Staying on topic helps produce positive and productive discussions.
Be clear - Communicating with strangers on the Internet can be awkward. It's hard to convey or read tone, and sarcasm is frequently misunderstood. Try to use clear language, and think about how it will be received by the other person.
What if something or someone offends you?
We rely on the community to let us know when an issue needs to be addressed. We do not actively monitor the site for offensive content. If you run into something or someone on the site that you find objectionable, here are some tools GitHub provides to help you take action immediately:
Communicate expectations - If you participate in a community that has not set their own, community-specific guidelines, encourage them to do so either in the README or CONTRIBUTING file, or in a dedicated code of conduct, by submitting a pull request.
Lock Conversations - If a discussion in an issue or pull request gets out of control, you can lock the conversation.
Of course, you can always contact us to Report Abuse if you need more help dealing with a situation.
What is not allowed?
We are committed to maintaining a community where users are free to express themselves and challenge one another's ideas, both technical and otherwise. Such discussions, however, are unlikely to foster fruitful dialog when ideas are silenced because community members are being shouted down or are afraid to speak up. That means you should be respectful and civil at all times, and refrain from attacking others on the basis of who they are. We do not tolerate behavior that crosses the line into the following:
Threats of violence - You may not threaten violence towards others or use the site to organize, promote, or incite acts of real-world violence or terrorism. Think carefully about the words you use, the images you post, and even the software you write, and how they may be interpreted by others. Even if you mean something as a joke, it might not be received that way. If you think that someone else might interpret the content you post as a threat, or as promoting violence or terrorism, stop. Don't post it on GitHub. In extraordinary cases, we may report threats of violence to law enforcement if we think there may be a genuine risk of physical harm or a threat to public safety.
Hate speech and discrimination - While it is not forbidden to broach topics such as age, body size, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, level of experience, nationality, personal appearance, race, religion, or sexual identity and orientation, we do not tolerate speech that attacks a person or group of people on the basis of who they are. Just realize that when approached in an aggressive or insulting manner, these (and other) sensitive topics can make others feel unwelcome, or perhaps even unsafe. While there's always the potential for misunderstandings, we expect our community members to remain respectful and civil when discussing sensitive topics.
Bullying and harassment - We do not tolerate bullying or harassment. This means any habitual badgering or intimidation targeted at a specific person or group of people. In general, if your actions are unwanted and you continue to engage in them, there's a good chance you are headed into bullying or harassment territory.
Impersonation - You may not seek to mislead others as to your identity by copying another person's avatar, posting content under their email address, using a similar username or otherwise posing as someone else. Impersonation is a form of harassment.
Doxxing and invasion of privacy - Don't post other people's personal information, such as phone numbers, private email addresses, physical addresses, credit card numbers, Social Security/National Identity numbers, or passwords. Depending on the context, such as in the case of intimidation or harassment, we may consider other information, such as photos or videos that were taken or distributed without the subject's consent, to be an invasion of privacy, especially when such material presents a safety risk to the subject.
Sexually obscene content - Basically, don't post pornography. This does not mean that all nudity or sexual content is prohibited. We recognize that sexuality is a part of life and non-pornographic sexual content may be a part of your project, or may be presented for educational or artistic purposes. If you have any questions or concerns about something you want to post, feel free to reach out and ask beforehand.
Active malware or exploits - Being part of a community includes not taking advantage of other members of the community. We do not allow anyone to use our platform for exploit delivery, such as using GitHub as a means to deliver malicious executables, or as attack infrastructure, for example by organizing denial of service attacks or managing command and control servers. Note, however, that we do not prohibit the posting of source code which could be used to develop malware or exploits, as the publication and distribution of such source code has educational value and provides a net benefit to the security community.
What happens if someone breaks the rules?
There are a variety of actions that we may take when a user reports inappropriate behavior or content. It usually depends on the exact circumstances of a particular case. We recognize that sometimes people may say or do inappropriate things for any number of reasons. Perhaps they did not realize how their words would be perceived. Or maybe they just let their emotions get the best of them. Of course, sometimes, there are folks who just want to spam or cause trouble.
Each case requires a different approach, and we try to tailor our response to meet the needs of the situation that has been reported. We'll review each abuse report on a case-by-case basis. In each case, we will have a diverse team investigate the content and surrounding facts and respond as appropriate, using these guidelines to guide our decision.
Actions we may take in response to an abuse report include but are not limited to:
- Content Removal
- Content Blocking
- Account Suspension
- Account Termination
We dedicate these Community Guidelines to the public domain for anyone to use, reuse, adapt, or whatever, under the terms of CC0-1.0.
These are only guidelines; they do not modify our Terms of Service and are not intended to be a complete list. GitHub retains full discretion under the Terms of Service to remove any content or terminate any accounts for activity that is "unlawful, offensive, threatening, libelous, defamatory, pornographic, obscene or otherwise objectionable or violates any party's intellectual property or these Terms of Service." These guidelines describe when we will exercise that discretion.