Community Guidelines for the use of LOVOO

Introduction

Last updated on Feb 15, 2024

The purpose of these Community Guidelines (“Community Guidelines”) is to make the use of our LOVOO platform (“Platform” or “we”) as pleasant and safe as possible for all users. These Community Guidelines provide all users with a guide on appropriate conduct on our Platform. They apply to all features and to all areas of our Platform, i.e. the profile, the chat and the live stream. They are also a part of our Terms of Use (T&C and T&C – Live).

Users should experience our Platform as a place of safe and trustworthy interaction. Our Platform should always allow users the opportunity to present themselves to other users as they see fit in line with their own personality, in order to have the most authentic interaction or dating experience possible. This includes the ability to communicate openly and express one’s own opinions. The free and unfettered communication of our users is a core component of our Platform and a top priority for us. This applies to both the social dating aspect and the live stream. Users may communicate information or content (“content”) to other users and publish it on our Platform through photos, text, chat messages and the live stream.

All users are expected to behave and communicate with each other on our Platform in a manner that is fair. A user’s right to express themself and their personality ends when it interferes with the rights of other users or when it is unlawful. In addition, there are general rules of conduct that we, as the Platform provider, require for a fair dating and live streaming experience. The following therefore applies: We shall not tolerate any illegal or inappropriate content. Therefore, we shall moderate such illegal and inappropriate content in accordance with applicable laws, the Terms of Use, and these Community Guidelines. We shall exercise our right to delete any content, including but not limited to photos or text, and to block or exclude any user in whole or in part. This may take place on the basis of a report that is submitted by users via the system. This shall also apply in the event that we, as the operator of the Platform, become aware of illegal or inappropriate content through our own measures.

We are aware of our responsibilities as the operator of the Platform and shall make decisions carefully, without arbitrariness, objectively, always in accordance with the principle of proportionality, and taking into account all individual circumstances. In our decisions, we shall take into account the conflicting interests and fundamental rights of our users. We shall justify all decisions we make, and all affected users are also entitled to lodge a complaint to appeal the decision, among other rights.

The following provides our users with an overview of what content and conduct is unlawful and inappropriate. It also describes the possible sanctions that we may impose in the event of illegal and inappropriate content. We then explain how users can report illegal or inappropriate content. Finally, we provide information about how to lodge a complaint and appeal our decisions.

Contents

1. Minors and images of minors

2. Appropriate profile, gallery and verification photos

3. Identity fraud, fraudulent behavior (including scams) and improper use

4. Advertising and spam

5. IT and data security

6. Hate speech, racist and terrorist content

7. Insults and defamation

8. Child pornography/child abuse

9. Child endangerment and sexual exploitation

10. Pornographic and sexualized content

11. Inappropriate, offensive and vulgar content

12. Dangerous activities or products

13. Illegal or inappropriate goods and services; prostitution and gambling

14. Content that infringes upon copyright and other industrial property rights

15. Violations of the privacy of other users

16. Depiction of violence

17. Bullying and stalking

18. Coercion and blackmail

19. Misuse of the reporting feature

Consequences of violating our Community Guidelines

1. Ways to submit a report

2. Our decision-making process

3. Guidelines, procedures, measures and tools we use

4. Options for taking action against a decision

Illegal and inappropriate content

We as operators of the Platform shall not tolerate any illegal or inappropriate content on our Platform. In the following, we outline rules of conduct and provide users with an overview of the content and conduct that we do not tolerate:

1. Minors and images of minors

Users must be at least 18 years of age to use our Platform. Any use of our Platform by minors is prohibited.

Content (in particular images) that shows minors (under 18) in a profile picture is prohibited on our Platform. In all images other than the profile picture, minors must be made unrecognizable. Furthermore, minors must always be fully clothed.

2. Appropriate profile, gallery and verification photos

General – Applies to all images:

Images must be appropriate. They must meet the requirements set out in these Community Guidelines. A profile picture must convey an authentic image of the user to others in order to enable a satisfactory dating experience. In general, users should pay attention to good technical quality with sufficient image resolution. All images must be genuine and taken under adequate lighting conditions.

The following are prohibited in addition to the requirements set forth in these Community Guidelines:

  • Screenshots, images of photos and/or screens.
  • Images created or altered by AI or similar technical means (face morphing, filters, etc.).
  • Images depicting the consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, hookahs, etc.
  • Multiple use of images on different profiles.

Furthermore, the following requirements apply to profile pictures and gallery images:

Profile picture:

  • Only the person who created the profile is to be visible in the picture.
  • Group pictures are not permitted as profile pictures.
  • The entire face must be visible without distortion, filters, or image manipulation.
  • Obscuring the face with hair, hats/caps, cell phones, sunglasses, collages, etc. is not allowed.
  • No text may be visible in the profile picture.

Gallery images:

Group pictures are allowed, provided that:

  • The people pictured with the person who created the profile have consented to the publication of the photo.
  • Any minors depicted are fully clothed and their faces have been made unrecognizable.

Verification photo:

As the operator of the Platform, we perform a verification check to ensure a legitimate dating experience. For this purpose, we perform an internal review of what we call the “verification photo”. LOVOO will not publish the verification photo on its Platform.

The verification photo must be taken by the person who created the profile and must be genuine. The person in the verification photo must match the person visible in the profile picture. Any manipulation of the verification photo by AI, filters, technical programs or other means is prohibited and will result in the profile being blocked. Care must be taken to ensure adequate quality and full and unambiguous recognizability of the person in the image (the face must be fully visible, the resolution must be adequate, and the lighting conditions must be good). The required information must be legible and handwritten on paper. Furthermore, verification photos are also subject to all of the rules in these Community Guidelines. If these requirements are not met, the verification photo will be rejected. In this regard, we would like to remind you that only one profile per person is allowed pursuant to our Terms of Use. Attempting to use a verification photo more than once for different profiles constitutes a violation of our Terms of Use.

3. Identity fraud, fraudulent behavior (including scams) and improper use

Fraudulent behavior and fraudulent content are prohibited on our Platform. This includes, in particular, the dissemination of content that is intended to mislead other users with untrue facts in order to gain an advantage for oneself, which does not necessarily have to be of a monetary nature. For example, we consider it inappropriate to deceive other users with the intention of misleading them via a falsehood in order to gain an advantage in the search for a partner or for any other reason. This prohibition applies to both bots, which are prohibited on our Platform, as well as individuals or users.

This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, the impersonation of a false identity, false information (e.g., by creating multiple profiles or a single “fake profile” or fake information about a user), or the faking of financial hardship in order to obtain monetary payments or other benefits (“scams”, “romance scams”, “marriage scam”).

Furthermore, we do not tolerate the fraudulent acquisition of free memberships through the systematic creation of new profiles.

Offensive searches for sexual adventures, affairs, a surrogate mother, or a sperm donor also constitute a violation of these Community Guidelines.

Finally, we also assume that if multiple contracts are concluded, used, and then subsequently revoked (“multiple revocations”), that this constitutes unreasonable behavior. We consider it unreasonable if the contract is revoked more than twice within three months after the corresponding use of what are in fact paid services.

4. Advertising and spam

Our Platform is designed to facilitate communication for the purpose of dating. The use of our Platform for other purposes is prohibited. Any advertising or spam for products, services or other platforms or companies is therefore prohibited. In particular, the following are not permitted:

  • Posting messages, images, profile entries or streams that are intended to advertise goods or services to other users, including the distribution of spam.
  • Posting entries, text, images, chat messages or contact requests that include contact information such as one’s full name, address, phone number or social media information, email address, membership or profile status, etc. in one’s profile. As an exception, the sharing of social media information is allowed exclusively in LOVOO Live via the Social Connect feature.
  • Requests asking for contact information.
  • Job offers and other opportunities to earn money.
  • Advertising and offers for the sale of goods and services.
  • Attempting to solicit or entice users to other platforms and social networks.
  • Advertising for contests, gift promotions, or lotteries/gambling.
  • Sending (initial) messages or messages via video chat at an inappropriately high frequency, via copy-and-paste, or chain letters.

5. IT and data security

Any actions or attempts by users or bots that could compromise the IT security of our Platform or the privacy of our users are strictly prohibited. The security of our users’ information is of the highest priority. In particular, the following is not permitted:

  • The automatic registration of accounts or the automatic, systematic or programmatic posting of content.
  • Uploading or transmitting malicious code, software viruses, malware or other harmful computer code, files or programs, harvesting data or using similar data collection or extraction techniques.
  • Sending phishing messages to other users.
  • Otherwise influencing the availability of the offerings on our Platform to the detriment of other users (e.g. by placing a disproportionately high load on the servers through non-conventional data transfers).
  • The registration of bots and other automated mechanisms, including their activities.
  • The interception of emails/messages.

6. Hate speech, racist and terrorist content

Hate has no place on our dating platform. For this reason, we do not tolerate any content that incites or displays violence or hatred against individuals or definable or specific groups based on their ethnic origin, religion, disability and health status, age, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, caste, immigration status, or similar characteristics or attributes associated with systematic discrimination or exclusion. For example, the following shall not be tolerated:

  • Content with which a user suggests that a particular group (e.g., people belonging to a particular religious community) is inhuman, inferior, or deserving of contempt or hatred.
  • Content with which a user suggests that a particular group (e.g., people belonging to a particular religious community) is inhuman, inferior, or deserving of contempt or hatred.
  • Content that is intended to convince others that individuals should be hated or discriminated against because they belong to a particular group.
  • Content that promotes materials, behavior, or symbols, such as flags and insignia which are associated with groups that are irreconcilable with our constitutional values and free democratic basic order (e.g., the swastika).
  • Right-wing or left-wing extremist content.
  • Politically extreme statements or content.
  • Politically extreme statements or content. This includes content that incites acts of terrorism or violence or glorifies terrorist acts.
  • Content related to terrorist regimes/terrorism.
  • Party political content.
  • Content that incites violence or the killing of other people, or threatens to do so to other people or users.
  • Content that publicly incites people to commit crimes.

7. Insults and defamation

Freedom of expression and tolerance are among the most important fundamental rights and freedoms – on our Platform as well However, there are limits to freedom of expression and tolerance when content is offensive, humiliating, defamatory, threatening, denigrating to a religious denomination, or libelous. For example, the following shall not be tolerated:

  • Insults, i.e. defamatory content towards another user.
  • Insults or untrue and defamatory statements made by a user to another person about a third party.
  • Threatening to commit a crime or violence against another user or one of their close relatives.
  • Insulting denominations, religious communities or ideological associations.
  • Insulting denominations, religious communities or ideological associations.

8. Child pornography/child abuse

Any child pornography or content that incites, depicts, or mentions the abuse of children is also strictly prohibited on our Platform. If we become aware of such content, we will also immediately notify the appropriate governmental authorities, particularly law enforcement and public safety agencies, of such content and conduct.

9. Child endangerment and sexual exploitation

Any content that sexualizes minors (persons under the age of 18) or promotes or glorifies the sexual exploitation of minors or children is strictly prohibited. If we become aware of such content, we will also immediately notify the appropriate governmental authorities, particularly law enforcement and public safety agencies, of such content and conduct. For example, the following are prohibited:

  • Visual depictions of a minor involved in sexually explicit or sexually suggestive acts.
  • Pictorial, computer-generated, or other depictions of minors in a sexually explicit context or during a sexually explicit act.
  • Links to third-party providers that present material depicting the sexual exploitation of minors or children.
  • Fantasies about the sexual exploitation of minors or children, or encouragement to sexually exploit minors or children.
  • Expressing a desire to receive material that involves the sexual exploitation of minors or children.
  • Recruiting, soliciting, or expressing interest in: (i.) A commercial sexual act with a minor or child; or (ii.) Harboring or transporting a minor or child for sexual purposes.
  • Identifying suspected child victims of sexual exploitation by name or photograph.

In addition, any actions by users that are intended to recruit vulnerable persons or persons under the age of 21 to engage in, among other things, prostitution, other sexual acts, or slavery are prohibited.

10. Pornographic and sexualized content

Pornographic and sexualized content are not permitted on our Platform. We want to provide our users with an enjoyable dating experience. We understand prohibited pornographic and sexualized content to include, among other things:

  • Any content with sexual acts as well as pornography in any form or appearance.
  • The depiction of nudity, insofar as it is objectively for the purpose of sexually arousing other users. This is the case, for example, when the genitals, buttocks, or breasts are fully or partially exposed or shown in close-up.
  • The depiction or dissemination of suggestive poses or inappropriate or excessively skimpy clothing.
  • The depiction of sex toys or offensive fetishes, including any form of infantilism.
  • Content that describes or encourages, for example, necrophilia or bestiality. This also applies to depictions of sexual or sexualized acts in connection with human- or animal-like beings or avatars (e.g., in hentai, comics, anime, or other digital forms of depiction and animation).
  • Content in which sexual acts (including sexualized communication, such as through “sexting”), escort services, or similar services are offered or solicited in exchange for payment or remuneration in the form of cash, gifts, financial support, or other monetary benefits.
  • Content that simulates sexual acts or offers them in return for payment.

11. Inappropriate, offensive and vulgar content

Offensive or vulgar content, even if it is not pornographic or sexualized in nature, is prohibited on our Platform. This applies in particular to:

  • Profanity and insults. This applies regardless of the form of expression (e.g. text, emojis, images, graphics, collages, speech or gestures).
  • Bloodthirsty or violence-glorifying content. For example, any content that graphically or textually depicts death, violence, torture, surgical procedures or open wounds, serious injury or the mutilation of humans or animals is prohibited. The same applies to content and the depiction of blood, other bodily fluids or feces. This applies even if the depiction takes place on human- or animal-like creatures or avatars.
  • Content with accident scenes, exposed internal organs or bones, and severe physical injury, including visible wounds, broken bones, etc.
  • Content that is directed at users to incite fear or fear-inducing prejudice against a group of people, including allegations that members of a group are engaged in dangerous or illegal activities (e.g., “all are terrorists”).
  • Content that contains racist terms, slurs, racist and sexist (graphic) expressions, or other derogatory material.
  • Content that contains humiliation and negative prejudice directed at users, people, and identifiable groups of people.
  • Denial of a significant tragic event (e.g., the Holocaust or the events surrounding the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001).
  • Insensitivity to the death by suicide, overdose, natural causes, etc., of a real person or identifiable group of people.
  • Anti-gender or homophobic behavior.
  • Begging for money and other benefits.

12. Dangerous activities or products

Any content that contains dangerous activities or products is prohibited on our Platform. This generally has nothing to do with a dating experience. In particular, such prohibited content includes:

  • Activities and products that can objectively be classified as dangerous. Conducting live streams (streaming) while driving a vehicle (e.g., a motor vehicle or bicycle) is also dangerous behavior and is not permitted on our Platform.
  • Content containing explosives, firearms, other weapons or other dangerous tools (e.g., paintball guns, bows, knives, bombs, etc.), military equipment, or weapons accessories (e.g., ammunition).
  • Any content involving illegal intoxicants or narcotics (e.g., depictions of alcohol abuse, drugs, medication abuse, or other mind-altering substances or drug paraphernalia).
  • Content with behavior that is objectively suitable for promoting self-harm, eating disorders, or other acts of self-harm or suicide.

13. Illegal or inappropriate goods and services; prostitution and gambling

We do not tolerate any content with illegal or inappropriate goods and services; prostitution and gambling on our dating platform. This applies in particular to:

  • Human trafficking.
  • Prostitution or other sexual services, including offers made for this purpose.
  • Illegal gambling.
  • The sale of illegal goods and drugs.

Which goods and services are considered illegal depends on the applicable law between the user and us.

14. Content that infringes upon copyright and other industrial property rights

Every user must be authorized to use the content that they use. In particular, the content must not infringe upon copyright and other industrial property rights of third parties. These include copyrights, the protection of trade secrets, patent rights and trademark rights. Use of this content may be lawful if, among other things, the rightsholder consents and the user can prove this in cases of doubt.

15. Violations of the privacy of other users

Fair communication on our Platform can only take place if the privacy and personal information of other users or individuals is respected. If the content contains data (such as photos) pertaining to other users or persons, each user should check whether this is permitted (e.g. by obtaining the express and verifiable consent of the user concerned). In particular, violations of the privacy of other users or individuals include:

  • Posting images that show people other than the profile user without their consent. The same applies to the publishing of voice recordings.
  • Publishing chats or texts that contain information about people other than the profile user.
  • Content containing nude images of other people.
  • Content that contains the contact information of other users or individuals, such as an email address or phone number.

16. Depiction of violence

Our Platform serves to enable a dating experience. As such, all forms of violence or the depiction of violence are prohibited. Content that depicts violence against humans, human-like creatures (e.g., computer-generated characters), or animals is not permitted. This applies in particular to:

  • Content containing violent or gory material, such as death, violence, surgical procedures, or injury to humans or animals, including eating disorders or choking games.
  • Content with violent confrontations.
  • Content that contains the torture, killing, or injury of animals.

Wishing physical harm, death or illness upon a user, other people or an identifiable group is also prohibited. Promoting, inciting or encouraging suicide or self-harm is also prohibited.

17. Bullying and stalking

Every user must respect the wishes of other users. The sustained harassment of other users or inciting others to do so is prohibited. Alone the attempt to bully, persistently harass, stalk or intimidate is prohibited on our Platform. This applies in particular to:

  • Content sent to a user that contains unwanted sexual content, objectifies someone in a sexually explicit manner, or otherwise involves sexual misconduct.
  • Sending intrusive chat messages multiple times even though the other user does not respond.
  • Repeated profile visits despite being blocked.
  • Creating new profiles after being banned by us for the purpose of contacting another user again.

18. Coercion and blackmail

Coercive and extortionate content is prohibited. This applies in particular to:

  • Announcements by a user to another user that if the victim does not meet the user for a date, their revealing pictures will be posted publicly.
  • Threatening to publish private images unless the victim pays a specified sum of money.

19. Misuse of the reporting feature

All users have the ability to contact us for the purpose of reporting illegal and inappropriate content on our Platform. However, misuse of the reporting feature is prohibited. Frequently submitting reports or complaints which are obviously unfounded may therefore result in sanctions on our Platform. We will point this out to you or warn you before making a decision.

Whether the reporting feature has been misused is determined in particular based on the number of obviously unfounded reports or complaints within a given period. However, abuse, such as multiple unfounded reports via the Report button, is only considered to have occurred when the reports or complaints are obviously unfounded, i.e., it is immediately clear and evident to our moderation team that there is no inappropriate or illegal content. If this is not the case, we investigate each report in detail. If these obviously unfounded reports or complaints are made multiple times within a particular period, this constitutes abuse. Abuse will result in temporary or – depending on the severity – permanent exclusion from our service.

Consequences of violating our Community Guidelines

These Community Guidelines are enforced both through self-moderation by our qualified and experienced team of moderators and based on reports from users. We typically rely on a combination of manual review and IT-based support to implement self-moderation policies.

1. Ways to submit a report

We have implemented a digital reporting procedure. Any user can use it at any time to report content that is illegal or violates these Community Guidelines. Registered users can do this using the corresponding Report buttons on our Platform. This allows any registered user to submit reports in a user-friendly and secure manner. Alternatively – exclusively for non-registered persons, institutions, and government agencies – reports may also be submitted by sending us an email, via our contact form, or by contacting us in some other fashion. We will always acknowledge receipt of a report.

2. Our decision-making process

Our moderation team reviews the report or the content in question. Our moderation team may ask the reporting user if they have any questions regarding a report or if the facts of the case are still unclear. Our moderation team reviews and makes a decision regarding the (reported) information promptly, carefully, without arbitrariness and objectively, i.e. impartially. The mutual interests of the users are taken into account. This applies in particular to freedom of expression and the right to the free development of one’s personality, as guaranteed by the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. These interests are weighed against the protection interests of third parties. Naturally, applicable law and the provisions of these Community Guidelines will be observed.

If we become aware of illegal content or content that violates these Community Guidelines, we will delete such content and, depending on the severity of the violation, issue the user a warning, either temporary or permanent, block the user partially or completely, or block the user permanently and/or terminate the user relationship with or without notice, and prohibit re-registration for a reasonable period of time or permanently. In the case of Live, a violation by a user may – depending on the severity of the infringement – lead to them being excluded from revenue sharing. Particularly in the case of illegal content, i.e. violations of laws such as child pornography, we shall permanently block users and/or terminate the contractual relationship. In all other cases, the sanctions shall be determined based on the following criteria: (i.) Severity and nature of the violation, (ii.) the fundamental rights of the affected user, (iii.) the protection interests of third parties, (iv.) the law and also (v.) the frequency, the past conduct of the user and whether they show remorse. We will preserve reported incidents and/or content that is unlawful or in violation of our Community Guidelines for purposes of evidence in accordance with data protection laws. When we receive reports about chat messages, the chat messages are made available for our moderation team to review.

We will notify the affected user of our decision by email at the same time we take the action, provided that content is involved. We will state the reasons for our decision and inform the affected user of the legal remedies against this decision available to him or her. Due to the purpose of the Digital Services Act, namely to combat the distribution of illegal content, we will not send content that is illegal or violates our Community Guidelines in the explanatory message. Instead, we provide a description of this content so that the affected user can identify the content in question.

If we become aware of information that gives rise to the suspicion that a criminal offense that threatens the life or safety of any person or persons has been committed, is being committed or may be committed, we will promptly notify law enforcement, public safety or judicial authorities of this, and provide them with all relevant information available to us.

We will also notify the reporting user of our decision, even if we have taken no action with respect to the content reported, because the reporting user also has a right to pursue legal remedies.

3. Guidelines, procedures, measures and tools we use

In particular, our decision-making process is governed by the Terms of Use and these Community Guidelines. As a rule, our moderation team checks whether content is illegal or violates our Community Guidelines.

We use digital moderation tools to facilitate and speed up our decision-making process. Private text messages and texts posted by users, such as usernames, texts contained in images, “About Me” texts, and profile questions/prompts will be automatically classified by pattern recognition or analyzed for metadata to detect violations of these Community Guidelines. Depending on the violation, the user may be subject to an immediate automatic suspension (including deletion of the content), a request for image verification, or an individual review and decision by our moderation team.

Images uploaded by users are run through image recognition software designed to automatically detect violations of these Community Guidelines. Serious violations of our Community Guidelines will result in the automatic deletion of content and the banning of the offending user. Other violations will be reviewed and decided on a case-by-case and manual basis by our moderation team.

Any decisions made because uploaded content has allegedly violated these guidelines will be communicated to the user, along with the reasons for the decision and information regarding legal remedies.

4. Options for taking action against a decision

Every affected user has various legal remedies available to appeal our decision. We will notify each affected user of this along with our decision via email. The affected user, including reporting persons or institutions, as well as non-registered persons, may file a complaint against any decision with our internal complaint management system within 6 months of our decision. Users, including reporting persons or institutions, as well as non-registered persons, may do so by using the input form accessible via a link in the information on remedies in the e-mail containing the reasons for the decision. Our “Internal Complaint Team” will process the complaint individually, promptly, without discrimination, carefully and free of arbitrariness. Our “Internal Complaint Team” is made up of different people than our moderation team. If the complaint is admissible and well-founded, we will reverse the decision.

If a user, including a reporting person or institution, whose place of residence/domicile or habitual abode is in a Member State of the European Union is aggrieved by a decision of the Internal Complaint Team, as well as in the case of complaints that could not be resolved through the internal complaint management system, the user may choose a certified out-of-court dispute resolution body.

Irrespective of the internal complaint management system and the certified out-of-court dispute resolution body, each user is free to pursue legal remedies.