Upwork is a marketplace built for professional jobs that can typically be done remotely on a computer, rather than, say, physical labor. We want to be sure freelancers aren’t offered work that might pose safety, regulatory, or ethical risks. So it's “yes” to building an app, and “no” to building a fence; “yes” to writing a biography and “no” to writing a fake product review.

Here's a list of the approved categories on Upwork.

Jobs that aren't permitted on Upwork

Here are some examples:

  • Academic cheating. Providing work for a student to submit under their own name for credit or taking a test on behalf of a student. Proofreading, conducting research, and tutoring are not considered academic cheating and are permitted on Upwork
  • Adult content. Creating or supporting sexually explicit/pornographic or sexually mature imagery
  • Child exploitation. Customers cannot use Upwork services to offer, request, engage in, or in any way support activities that exploit children
  • Data mining or scraping of information you don’t have the right to collect, including from the Upwork site
  • Deceptive marketing. Creating fake content or identities to boost a product, individual, company, etc. (like creating fake social media followers or writing fake product reviews)
  • Disinformation. Creating any sort of false news reports or fake content intended to mislead, such as false medical or political content
  • Free work. Asking freelancers to work for free, i.e. submit work as part of a contest or competition to “win” work without the expectation that the freelancer will be paid for work, or complete work for a fee that's below Upwork's required minimum rate
  • Hacking a website, person, company, or anything else
  • Harmful or dangerous jobs. Offering or requesting work that could be harmful to another person or entity or that could pose a danger to the person performing the task
  • Illegal or fraudulent jobs. Offering or requesting work that violates a law or is intended to defraud a person or entity. This includes jobs that have a high risk of fraud or violating a law or regulation as determined by Upwork
  • Investigating an individual in order to collect their personal data (like private investigations). This doesn’t include gathering names, emails, and phone numbers for lead generation or marketing purposes –– that’s allowed
  • Jobs without legitimate work deliverables or that don’t require experience or expertise. Offering or requesting tasks like signing up for a referral program or subscribing to a social media page
  • Phishing/security hazards. Creating phishing tools or anything else that would create an information security hazard for another website, person, company, or something else
  • Jobs requesting any form of plagiarism. Plagiarism, according to Merriam-Webster, is "to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own, or use (another's production) without crediting the source."
  • Professional cheating. Doing a professional task on behalf of someone else (like taking their test or completing a professional certification for them)
  • Self-harm content. Any content that encourages or promotes self-harm
  • Spam jobs. Don’t post the same job more than once at any given time, or multiple versions of the same job. You can always hire multiple people from one job post, if you need to. Don't post jobs that are irrelevant to Upwork’s services.
  • Terms of Service (TOS) violations. Doing anything that breaks Upwork's or another company's or website's Terms of Service
  • Violent Content. Creating or supporting any content that glorifies or incites violence

Here are a few other things that aren't allowed, per our TOS:

  • Creating a job post for the purpose of advertising another website
  • Posting multiple versions of the same job
  • Using Upwork to run ads encouraging people to give you work 
  • Jobs to create or share deepfakes or other kinds of manipulated media
  • Posting a job that requires a person under 18 to complete it (for example, child voiceover or acting work)
  • Money transfer jobs and currency exchange jobs
  • Jobs that mainly consist of making purchases on behalf of a client or that request the freelancer to make a cash deposit of any kind
  • Multi-level, direct, or network marketing jobs
  • Jobs where the primary work product or deliverable is a physical object or an off-the-shelf product. Contract deliverables must be primarily digital and customized for the client
  • Jobs requiring freelancers to gamble or place bets
  • Jobs for medical treatment or diagnosis
  • Jobs requesting or offering metaphysical services, such as witchcraft, creating spells, clairvoyance, etc. 
  • Onsite services that require that the client and the freelancer be present in the same physical space, with the exception of event photography. Note: Some Enterprise clients can request onsite work as part of their agreement with Upwork

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