Corporate Responsibility

Content Policies
for Verizon Networks

Introduction/Notes to reader

The Verizon network enables consumer choice and empowers customers to access a broad range of content over a wide array of devices, platforms, and networks.

While the sources of content and ways to access it have changed over the years, Verizon’s commitment to providing you with industry-leading education and tools to help you determine and control what is appropriate for you and your family remains the same. 

The guidelines that follow are intended to let you know what you can expect from us in this rapidly changing multimedia environment in which we live, work, play and learn.  These guidelines update our previous 2008 Content Policy Guidelines.

Verizon’s Guiding Principles for Content

Verizon produces, distributes, and enables access to content in multiple different ways, and always in a manner consistent with its corporate values. These values include respect for customer choice, privacy and security, and a dedication to full compliance with the law.

Accordingly, Verizon adheres to the following Guiding Principles with respect to content:

1. Where Verizon offers its own content or other parties’ content through one of its platforms, it does so based on factors that include content ratings provided by existing rating systems and consistency with acceptable industry practices. Verizon believes in giving customers the ability to make informed choices about the content it offers by making any ratings and other information readily available to customers and by giving customers access to the tools they can use to monitor and control the content they obtain.

2. As a network provider, Verizon provides access to the Internet and through it to services and content that Verizon does not own, develop or control. Nonetheless, Verizon is committed to empowering its customers to make informed choices about the services and content they want to access over its network. Verizon is also committed to supporting its customers by providing access to personal content management tools, such as parental controls, as well as access to educational materials and other resources about content rating systems to assist parents and other users in identifying appropriate content for themselves and their children.

3. Verizon respects freedom of expression and our customers' ability to freely access and disseminate the lawful content of their choosing in a manner that respects others' use of the network and that complies with the law. Verizon supports sound industry practices for safeguarding children, the intellectual property rights of content owners, and the privacy and security of our customers.

4. Verizon exercises broad discretion over its choice of brands and companies that advertise on its platforms. Verizon’s selection of advertising partners and content takes into account our corporate values as well as those of our business partners and customers.

Content Guidelines

The following guidelines describe Verizon’s policies and practices with respect to the various types of content that we make available to our customers across all of Verizon’s wireline and wireless platforms.

I. Verizon Services

Content Generated By Or On Behalf of Verizon

This category covers content/programming that Verizon generates or produces, or to content that a third party generates or produces on Verizon’s behalf. Content in this category is closely identified with the Verizon brand. Examples include programming on FiOS TV's FiOS One Channel or original content such as FiOS One episodes displayed on Verizon Online or within Verizon’s video services.

Content standard for this category

Content and services in this area utilize industry ratings schemes, incorporate Verizon parental control tools, and must meet the Verizon Content Standards Guidelines noted below.

Verizon will only publish content in this category that is lawful and will not knowingly publish content that includes material in any of the following excluded content categories:

  • Content that contains anything that is obscene or indecent, or content with strong sexual, explicit or erotic themes or that links to such content; or
  • Content that contains hate speech; or
  • Content that contains excessive violence; or
  • Content that contains extreme profanity; or
  • Content that contains misleading or fraudulent claims; or
  • Content that promotes or glamorizes alcohol abuse, illegal drug use or use of tobacco products.

Consistent with prevailing industry standards, content that does not satisfy the above guidelines may be published if it is included in the context of artistic, educational, medical, news, scientific, or sports material.

Content in this category is subject to the Verizon Advertising Guidelines below and must also comply with applicable industry standards (e.g., CTIA's Wireless Content Guidelines, The TV Ratings and The TV Parental Guidelines, etc.)

II. Content Services Verizon Distributes

The programming Verizon distributes runs the gamut from news, weather, sports and movies on FiOS TV, FiOS Internet and FiOS Apps and FiOS Widgets on select TVs, tablets and gaming consoles, to movies, music, videos and mobile apps distributed by Verizon Wireless.  

II a. Verizon Controlled Platforms

This category covers third-party programming Verizon licenses or distributes from other entities and disseminates through Verizon-branded and controlled platforms. Examples of content in this category include the ESPN, Discovery Channel, CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC channels on FiOS TV as well as feature films.  Content in this category is created by third parties and is distributed by Verizon without editorial control.

Content and services delivered through Verizon-branded and controlled platforms utilize industry ratings schemes, incorporate parental control tools, and conform to all applicable industry and regulatory guidelines and best practices.

II b. Third Party Controlled Platforms

Verizon also distributes content via Verizon-branded applications where Verizon may have a marketing, billing, or distribution arrangement with third parties who enable these applications within their operating systems.  Verizon encourages these providers to utilize industry-standard ratings and parental controls.  Certain Third Party Controlled Platforms require Verizon-branded applications to integrate with operating system-based parental controls that apply to all applications made available by the Third Party.  In those cases where Third Party Controlled Platforms do not require integration with operating system-based parental controls, Verizon applications utilize industry ratings schemes, incorporate parental control tools, and conform to all applicable industry and regulatory guidelines and best practicesIn some cases, contractual obligations may help ensure that these providers comply with industry best-practices and do not offer illegal content or allow unrestricted access to adults-only material. However, each provider ultimately controls its own content, programming, policies and processes.

Examples of Third Party Controlled Platforms covered by this section include Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s Playstation platforms.

III. Verizon Network Access Services

The Internet is a free marketplace of ideas, with content of limitless variety for a very broad range of individual tastes.  As an Internet access provider for consumers and businesses using various network technologies, Verizon does not generate, own or control this content.

At Verizon, we believe you can best choose what content is appropriate for you and your family, so each Verizon network provides access to content management tools such as parental controls – to help you control what is accessible to Internet users in your home or on a connected device.

IV. Billing Guidelines for Third Party Services

The following guidelines apply to third party services that appear on a Verizon bill.

Goods and Services

Verizon will not knowingly bill for goods, items, or services, that:

  • Are unlawful
  • Are considered obscene
  • Promote, facilitate, or instruct others to engage in illegal activity
  • Promote hate, violence, racial intolerance, or financial exploitation
  • Provide file sharing services that promote illegal sharing of copyrighted material

V.  Advertising Content Guidelines

These advertising guidelines apply to third party advertisements, which appear on Verizon-branded websites or platforms and are part of a Verizon-controlled advertising inventory ("Advertisements" or "Advertising"). These guidelines also apply to short-code based messaging campaigns that advertise or promote companies, goods or services (e.g., coupons, offers, brand awareness, marketing-oriented sweepstakes or contests, etc.). These guidelines do not apply to advertising that may appear on a non-Verizon or Verizon-branded website or platform where Verizon does not control the advertising inventory.

Verizon maintains an advertising review group that examines Advertising for compliance with these guidelines. Whenever practicable, Verizon’s advertising review group will review advertising prior to publication.

Verizon may reject Advertisements which it believes are misleading, inaccurate, or which make fraudulent or unfair competitive claims. Verizon may also reject Advertisements which, in our judgment, make insufficiently supported claims or claims that distort the true meaning or practical application of statements made by the advertiser. Advertisements may not contain material that is patently offensive or which violates the law (e.g., libel, copyright, trademark, right of privacy, etc.). Additionally, Verizon may reject Advertisements which fail to comply with Verizon’s standards of decency and good taste.

All Advertisements must comply with applicable industry standards (e.g., Mobile Marketing Association’s Best Practices, CTIA’s Wireless Content Standards, FTC Guidelines, etc.). All Advertising should also comply with applicable advertising standards adopted by various associations for specific products and services such as the advertising guidelines adopted by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States and the Children's Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Verizon’s Advertising Content Guidelines are based on industry practices and do not purport to include an exhaustive list of all types of Advertising Verizon would find objectionable. As part of Verizon’s commitment to provide the highest quality services and experience to its customers, Verizon will not accept certain types of Advertising. For example, in addition to the foregoing, Advertisements may not contain any material that Verizon, in its discretion, deems to fall into the following categories or that links to such material:

  • Anything that is obscene or indecent or that contains strong sexual, explicit or erotic themes; or
  • Products or sites that suggest, depict or display the availability of prostitution services; escort services or “strip” clubs; or
  • Products or sites that advocate, glorify or promote rape, torture, cannibalism, suffering or death; or
  • Hate speech; or
  • Excessive violence; or
  • Defamatory, libelous or threatening sites; or
  • Extreme profanity; or
  • Depicts, promotes or is designed to facilitate alcohol abuse, illegal drug use or use of tobacco products; or
  • Advertising which misrepresents, ridicules, or attacks an individual or group on the basis of age, national origin, race, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or disability.

The foregoing list is for illustrative purposes only, and does not represent an exhaustive list of the material that Verizon may, in its discretion, deem inappropriate for Advertisements. Verizon reserves the right to reject Advertisements that promote competitors of Verizon and Advertisements that harm Verizon’s brand or public image.

If Advertisements contain statements or illustrations that are not deemed acceptable and that Verizon thinks should be changed or eliminated, Verizon may, at its election, notify the advertiser. Verizon may attempt to negotiate changes to the Advertisements with the advertiser, but is not obligated to do so.

VI. Verizon Wireless’ Short Code Messaging Content Guidelines

Short code-based messaging campaigns vary widely. The following standards apply to the various categories of short code messaging.

  1. Campaigns used to distribute content (e.g., wallpapers, ringtones, games, videos, jokes, horoscopes, alerts, etc.) to customers of Verizon Wireless must comply with the guidelines in Section I above for content generated by or on behalf of Verizon. Additional guidance for messaging aggregators on the application of these guidelines, including a description of Verizon’s content rating system for short code messaging campaigns, is provided in Verizon’s online Campaign Administration tool.

    Campaigns used to advertise, promote or market companies, goods or services (e.g., coupons, offers, brand awareness, marketing-oriented sweepstakes and contests, etc.) to customers of Verizon Wireless must comply with Verizon’s Advertising Content Guidelines.
  1. Campaigns that enable the posting or transmission of content that users generate (e.g., chat or flirt programs, communities, bulletin boards, blogs, photo or video portals, social networks, etc.), in other words "User Generated Content Services" or "UGC Services", must comply with the law and have in place a set of sound practices that incorporate safeguards aimed at protecting users of the services from abuse, fraud and other inappropriate conduct or activities. These safeguards should, in particular, protect children and adolescents from predators and inappropriate content.  Additionally, third party hosted UGC Services should adopt policies and practices to ensure compliance with the law, including appropriate notice and take-down procedures for unlawful content.

In addition to the specific short code based messaging campaigns noted above, Verizon Wireless will provide short code-based messaging services to any group including political and advocacy groups, that is delivering legal content to customers who affirmatively indicate that they desire to receive such content.

All short code-based messaging campaigns provided to customers of Verizon Wireless must comply with applicable industry standards (e.g., Mobile Marketing Association's Best Practices, CTIA's Wireless Content Guidelines, etc.).

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