what do we want? terms of service! when do we want it? last week would have been good

I’m still not a lawyer, but the continuing absence of any kind of contract with users is getting silly:

WP.com lacks a solid set of rules. Period. Therefore everything is arguable. That also means coercion is left to the admins’ free will.

See, if this goes on any longer I’m afraid I’m going to get conspiracy theorist on you and end up suggesting that the reason we don’t have a ToS is so the admins can delete your account without it having to meet a pre-existing list of criteria; though it seems to me that this could easily be got round by having a clause stating that the admins can delete your blog anytime they like, depending on their mood.

Hell, it’s not like anyone reads the thing when they’re signing up and would be put off by that statement. It’s actually for the benefit of the people running the site, because when Splogger or Pornographer sends you a nasty email asking where their blog’s gone (there appears to be no user notification when a site is removed, maybe because the admins feel their keyboards would be soiled by having to communicate with such people) you tell them ‘look, you signed up to these terms agreeing not to do X Y and Z, you broke your contract with us by doing them, now shut up and go away’.

Whereas, at the moment, Splogger or Pornographer has nowhere been told that spam and pornography are unacceptable content (maybe they’re not, and the reason we don’t have ToS is because Matt wants wordpress.com to be a bastion of anarchist hacker freedom; don’t laugh! I will have you know #bantown have at least one blog on here), let alone had to agree not to post any. And yeah, I know ‘spam is bad’ is common sense, but since when has common sense ruled the internet? If the founder of wordpress thought it was ok to put hidden spam on wordpress.org, it is not inconceivable that a random user on wordpress.com may also see spam as a legitimate fundraising enterprise. If you don’t want people to do stuff, you should probably tell them not to do it rather than rely on their mindreading powers or sense of honour.

Also, if they are planning to introduce paid services without any kind of ToS… [shudders] OK, you don’t tell people to give you money without setting out your mutual rights and obligations in some form. Well, ok, you can, but if they are sane they will refuse, and taking money from the mentally incompetent is, like, really wrong.

2 Comments »

  1. antisec said

    Please excuse me, but I am not affiliated with Bantown. I just archive their more inspired posts.

  2. drmike said

    Been pointed out many times to staff with no response.

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