Updated: April 15, 2021
As a company founded on the principles of community building and fostering genuine connections, we are full of hope at the prospect of being able to safely gather again in person.
Virtual events have been lifelines for communities across the world to stay connected during uncertain times; it’s clear that online events are here to stay. Yet, as regions reopen we support people getting back together in person as long as they do so safely. That’s the foundation of Meetup. As governments and local health officials update their guidance on public gatherings, we’re committed to helping organizers host safe and responsible in-person Meetup events for their members.
It is important that all organizers and members who decide to meet in person are aware of and follow local regulations. We understand that these regulations vary by state, region, and country, so it is up to each organizer and member to understand and follow the guidelines specific to where they are meeting. Meetup may close groups or cancel events if they promote activities that do not comply with requirements and guidance issued by government authorities and public health officials. In addition, using the Meetup platform to disseminate harmful misinformation—medical or otherwise—is not permitted.
If you wish to report any illegal or unsafe activities at a Meetup event, you can make a report to Meetup directly; however, you should also report that conduct to your local authorities.
Respect and safety are important aspects of community
We encourage every member of the Meetup community to continue to take precautions to limit the risk of transmitting illnesses during events. One way to do this is to monitor local, state, and national guidelines on in-person gatherings. For U.S.-based organizers, follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For organizers in other countries, please review the guidelines from the World Health Organization. These recommendations change frequently in response to transmission trends, so monitor guidelines often.
The CDC is continuing to update its guidelines for people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Some Meetup organizers are hosting in-person events with a requirement that attendees show proof of vaccination and some organizers are not—it is up to the discretion of each organizer in consultation with their local guidelines. If you choose to organize events with a vaccination requirement, Meetup recommends that you communicate this information in advance and widely by including it in your group description, event description, and in any other relevant communications about the event. In the interest of privacy, you should not have members post images of vaccination cards on the Meetup platform. If you decide to require proof of vaccination, have attendees show their vaccination cards at the event.
Meetup profiles are intended to represent real people in a local area. Meetup member profiles must be honest and authentic.
Be Honest: Intentions, Affiliations, Transparency
All members should be open about who they are, their intentions, and their affiliations. All group and event descriptions should be accurate, so members can make informed decisions about their participation.
Be Yourself: Fake Accounts & Impersonation
Creating fake accounts, malicious accounts, or accounts meant to impersonate another person, is prohibited on Meetup.
Respecting people's time, attention, personal choices, and personal boundaries is essential to creating safe and trusting communities. Be respectful in interactions with people and in content posted on the platform. Meetup monitors and restricts behaviors that are dishonest, undermine the integrity of the platform, violate personal boundaries, or serve to intentionally upset people.
Message Respectfully: Don't Spam
Content sent to a member that is irrelevant, impersonal, unsolicited, promotional, or repetitive is spam.
Set Appropriate Expectations and Honor Them: Don't Tamper with Groups or Events
Converting or changing events in a group or event, so that they no longer align with the expectations and purpose set by the organizer and leadership team, is misleading and not allowed.
The intentions of the group should remain consistent with member expectations as set in the group description.
Honor Requests for Distance: About Block and Ban Decisions
If you are blocked, you’re blocked. Members must accept and respect any organizer’s decision to ban a member from a group, or a member's decision to block a member from contacting them. Creating new accounts to circumvent block or ban decisions is prohibited.
Sexual Content and Nudity
Pornography is not allowed on Meetup. Publicly shared photos must be appropriate for general audiences. Nude or sexual photos are not allowed in public spaces.
Shocking, Disturbing, and Violent Content
Gratuitously graphic, disgusting, obscene, or violent content is prohibited. We don't allow content posted to upset, shock, or disturb a Meetup community or its members.
Ask for Permission: Consent
Meetup defines consent as welcomed communications and actions to engage with a member. Engaging with anyone in a non-consensual way is strictly prohibited. If ever in doubt, ask permission.
Respect Privacy: Don't Post Other People's Private Information
Bullying, harassment, exploitation, and acts of hate undermine community building in safe spaces where people can trust one another. Building real relationships requires us to be more compassionate and kinder towards one another. Meetup enforces against behaviors that are threatening, intentionally malicious, or personally harmful--physically, emotionally, or mentally.
Be Compassionate: Don't Harass, Bully or Shame
Harassment and bullying are not allowed on Meetup. Meetup will honor requests to remove content that publicly shames or degrades a private individual.
Act with Integrity: Do Not Manipulate or Exploit
Any attempt to use someone's insecurities or vulnerabilities for personal gain is considered manipulation or exploitation and is prohibited.
Hate and Supremacy
Hate speech, supremacy, or behavior that incites hate or violence against individuals or groups of people based on who they are or their beliefs, is prohibited.
All organizers and members should take ownership over their personal safety and should never put themselves or others in danger. We expect all organizers and members to be mindful of local laws when engaging with their groups. Where appropriate, organizers should also set guidelines for their events to ensure their members are participating safely.
No Threats, Violence, or Personal Endangerment
Using Meetup to promote, facilitate, or organize violent, criminal, or non-consensual actions that endanger anyone, physically, mentally, or emotionally, is prohibited.
Meetup does not allow any content that encourages or glorifies self-injury or encourages others to harm themselves.
Copyright and IP
We respect the intellectual property rights of others. Posting content that violates another party's intellectual property rights is prohibited.
Guidelines to help members and organizers succeed on Meetup
At Meetup, we believe that real-life community is really, really important. When people come together, they create new possibilities for each other. Ideas spread, networks form, movements start. At its simplest, life is just better when you have people to enjoy it with.
Meetup exists to help people grow into the people they want to be and live happy and fulfilling lives by finding the communities that will help them thrive.
To make this possible, Meetup requires groups to meet some basic requirements.
✔ Offer a growth opportunity
Meetup events should offer opportunities for members to better themselves in some way. This could mean:
- Teaching or learning something new
- Developing a skill
- Meeting new people
- Building community
- Volunteering for a cause
- Supporting each other
- Increasing awareness about a specific topic
- Encouraging a passion
- Pursuing a goal or a hobby
- Getting fit and active
- Exploring new places
- Furthering one’s career
✔ Host events that create real human connections
Meetup is a platform that helps people make real-life connections—it is not a platform for only advertising sales or special promotions. Events must focus on creating an experience that adds value for attendees. This can mean learning something, playing a game together, making new friends, or enjoying each other’s company. People should leave Meetup events feeling inspired or more connected to their community in some way.
Here are a few examples of what’s acceptable to post as a Meetup event:
- Discussions that offer new perspectives
- Adventures that get people out of their comfort zones
- Hangouts that allow people to get to know each other
- Tours that help people discover new places and ideas
- Workshops that help people sharpen their skills
- Group speakers that spread new ideas
- Games that connect people through fun, shared experiences
Here are some examples of how businesses should and should not use Meetup:
✔ A local bar that hosts weekly get-togethers like trivia nights or darts tournaments
✘ A local bar that hosts events that solely advertise daily happy hour times and prices
✔ A yoga studio that hosts daily group classes
✘ A yoga studio that hosts events that solely advertise limited-time offers
✔ A wine shop that hosts tasting events and sommelier courses
✘ A wine shop that hosts events that solely advertise new inventory or sales
✔ Meet in real life
Connecting online is just not the same as connecting in real life. Meetup groups need to meet locally and in-person so that real-life communities can grow. Meetup should not be used only for hosting online meetings, conference calls, or webinars.
For changes to this policy in light of the coronavirus, please see Meetup event policies and the coronavirus (COVID-19).
✔ Have a host present at events
It can be a little intimidating to show up to an event where you don’t know anyone, so having a host at every event is important for making members feel comfortable and welcome. All Meetup events must have an in-person host present to help connect attendees, manage relationships with venues, and bring structure to the events. The host must, at a minimum, make members aware of the event location, and act as a point of contact during the event. If a business or an organization is sponsoring an event, the event description must identify a contact person who will be present at the event.
If Meetup receives reports that there is no one present in-person hosting a Meetup group’s events, we may remove the group at our sole discretion.
✔ Be honest and transparent about your group’s intentions
Meetup organizers must always be honest and transparent with their members so that everyone knows what to expect at the group’s events. Group and event names and descriptions must accurately convey sufficient information that allows members to make informed decisions about their participation. This includes, at a minimum, being clear about:
- The nature of the group's activities, interests, and intentions
- The group’s membership requirements
- Fees or dues
- The group’s affiliation, if the group is associated with a business, organization, or any other third party
If Meetup receives reports that a group is not accurately disclosing any of this information, we may remove the group at our sole discretion.
Prohibited group and event practices on Meetup
Helping people find their crew is what Meetup is all about—however, there are a few types of communities that we cannot support on our platform due to safety, legal, or ethical reasons. If Meetup determines that your group or its events fall into any of the following categories, we may remove the group at our sole discretion.
Meetup does not support groups and events related to any of the following themes.
✘ Violent, dangerous, or criminal behavior
Groups must not contain content or promote events that could promote or facilitate illegal or violent activity, such as:
- Buying, selling, or trading firearms, ammunition, or drugs
- Pyramid schemes
- Acts of physical harm against other people
- Animal abuse
- Acts of vandalism
Groups must not contain content or promote events that could threaten public or personal safety, including:
- Advocating for, inciting, or making aspirational statements or threats to commit violence against any group of people, individual person, or specific location
- Weapons and explosive-making
- Militia gatherings or any calls for violence in response to private or public events
- Exposure of an individual’s personal information
- Promotion or glorification of self-harm (for example, suicide, eating disorders or substance abuse)
Groups must not contain content or promote events that incite hate, violence, or harassment against individuals or groups of people based on personal attributes such as race, color, religion, descent, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, disability, or a medical or genetic condition.
Groups must not advance conspiracy theories that promote hatred or violence against individuals or groups based on any of the above personal attributes. Conspiracy theories that diminish or deny the documented suffering of a group of people are not permitted.
Groups must not contain content or promote events that organize, promote, provide for, distribute services for, or recruit for terrorist organizations.
✘ Targeted to individuals under 18
Meetup members and organizers must be at least 18 years old. Meetup groups and events must be only targeted to people over the age of 18.
Family groups are more than welcome on Meetup, but all children present at the event must be supervised and accompanied by an adult guardian.
✘ Harmful misinformation
Groups must not contain content or promote events that contain misinformation. This includes medical misinformation such as:
- Assurances of health cures or mental cures
- Unrealistic health, diet, and weight loss claims
- Claims that have been scientifically disproven and that may pose a public or personal health risk
Groups must not contain content or promote events that contain financial guarantees, including:
- Assurances of financial gains
- Promises of specific returns on investment
✘ Misrepresentation or concealed intentions
Groups must not contain content or promote events that conceal or misrepresent the primary purpose of the group or its events, including:
- A group created with the purpose of deliberately spreading false or deceptive information
- A group created with the sole purpose of making a statement or sparking controversy
✘ Pick-up artists or seduction techniques
Groups must not contain content or promote events that involve pick-up or seduction techniques, or wingman tactics.
✘ Sexual exploitation
Groups must not contain content or promote events that promote or facilitate sex trafficking, prostitution, or any other type of sexual exploitation.
✘ Pornography, nudity, or sexual content
Groups and events must not contain pornography or publicly shared nude or sexual photos.
If nudity or sexuality is part of a group’s identity or lifestyle, organizers must keep the group private in order to limit access to this content to members of that group. Meetup expects organizers to monitor this content.
✘ Mature interests that are not honest and transparent
Mature interest groups must follow additional requirements. In the group description, organizers must clearly describe rules of participation and informed consent, be clear and explicit about activities that will occur, and outline safety considerations. Mature interest groups must always have their group visibility settings set to private.
✘ Legal or medical services
Groups must not contain content or promote events that involve regulated services provided by licensed medical or legal professionals. Meetup does not validate professional credentials or licenses.
✘ A doctor or nurse that offers a healthcare procedure
✘ A lawyer that offers assistance filing for divorce
However, groups and events focused on group activities promoted by these professionals are allowed.
✔ A therapist who organizes a mutual support group for people with anxiety
✔ A health professional who organizes a weight loss support group
Meetup communities thrive when you show up IRL to do what you love — together.
We believe the global Meetup community deserves to feel welcomed, respected, and excited to connect with each other, whether we do that in person or on social media.
Here are the five key tenets of our community on social media:
- Be welcoming. Cultivate a space where everyone feels safe to be themselves: a community driven by kindness — not bullying, trolling, or bigotry.
- Be real. Act as you would act in real life: with integrity and authenticity.
- Be impactful. Contribute to the discussion, and respect everyone’s time. What would you say if you were talking in person at an event?
- Be spirited. Show up with an openness to diverse perspectives and lively debate.
- Be thoughtful. Challenge ideas, not people.
If your posts on social media conflict with any of these tenets:
- Your post may be removed. You will be privately notified, warned, and encouraged to adjust your actions going forward in order to stay a member of the community.
- If you violate any of these tenets again, we have the right to ban you from our community on all social media channels.
Meetup Social Media Channels
If you’re not yet a member of our online community, join the conversation:
Respect the Original Intent: Don't Tamper with Groups or Events
Converting a group or changing or adding events, so they no longer align with the expectations and purpose set by the organizer and leadership team, is prohibited on the grounds that it is misleading.
Message Respectfully: Don't Spam Members
Content sent to a member that is irrelevant, impersonal, unsolicited, promotional, or repetitive is spam, and organizers may be blocked for spamming members.
Use Respectful Language
Using profanity in an attacking, sexual way, or in a way intended to offend people, is prohibited in group and event titles, descriptions, or any other area that is publicly promoted or viewable on the platform.
Be Clear & Professional: Editorial Requirements
In order to provide a quality experience to our members, titles of groups and events are to be relevant, useful, and easy to understand. Excessive or improper use of punctuation, symbols, capitalization, spacing, URLs, or repetition, intended to grab attention for a group or event, will need to be edited.
We respect the intellectual property rights of others. Posting content that violates another party's intellectual property rights is prohibited.
Organizer Access to a Meetup Group
It is the responsibility of an organizer to pay for a group to operate and continue to be hosted on Meetup. Failure to pay or update payment information to renew an organizer subscription can result in allowing another member to step up and assume the role of main organizer of the group.
Meetup takes member account privacy very seriously and has strict rules regarding who can access or create a Meetup account. Please know we reserve the right to suspend or remove any account, or limit access to certain features of the platform, for any reason, at our sole discretion.
Deceased Member Policy
If a member or organizer passes away, Meetup cannot provide access to their account, even to family members or people acting on the behalf of the estate. Meetup will work with families and honor their wishes if they choose to close accounts or groups, or transfer them to another member.
Under 18 Participation
Meetup members and organizers must be at least 18 years of age. Therefore, groups must be targeted at, and only offer opportunities for those who are over 18.
Meetup may remove certain members when we become aware that the member is a convicted sex offender or has been convicted of a violent, fraudulent, or dangerous crime. Meetup may also remove a member based on their criminal record, for safety, or for other concerns. Members with concerns about criminal or illegal activity should always report it to local authorities.
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