Easy-to-implement, understand ToS, PP, and other valuable pod details

The recent hullaballoo over the “censorship” of IS accounts has made this fresh in my mind.

I think it’s time for some easy system for choosing a ToS and Privacy Policy to be put in place. Because, just as we all hate reading them, podmins probably hate editing them as well.

I’m thinking that a boiler-plate ToS and PP should be automagically generated, and a sript should ask the podmin what things are permitted, and what things aren’t. Those things, along with descriptions if necessary, will be added to the document.

In addition, I think that information about where and how the pod is hosted should be easy to find. If uploaded images are hosted at an Amazon AWS server, a user should be able to see that before they sign up. I know that services like AWS really take a load off the servers. But if we have 100 public pods, and half of them host images at the same server farm, that’s a bit of a setback in terms of the decentralization goal.

In case this is incredibly vague, you can think of a system similar to Creative Commons’ tool for choosing a license, but applied to the ToS and PP.

Both ToS and PP seem like they would be better suited to checklists, rather than the sort of flow-chart like CC has. But you get the idea.

Another option is that several common ToS and PP documents could be chosen and put into a menu, such as Mediagoblin’s or Github’s license menu.

Note: This discussion was imported from Loomio. Click here to view the original discussion.

please check out https://tosdr.org/

"We are a user rights initiative to rate and label website terms & privacy policies, from very good Class A to very bad Class E.

Terms of service are often too long to read, but it’s important to understand what’s in them. Your rights online depend on them. We hope that our ratings can help you get informed abour your rights. Do not hesitate to click on a service below, to have more details! You can also get the ratings directly in your browser by installing our web browser add-on"

I guess you haven’t been keeping track of Github: this pull request implements a template Tos/privacy policy.

And on TOS;DR, there’s this Loomio discussion.

This is something i would LOVE to see implemented! Both the idea of answering a few questions to semi customise the ToS and integrating with ToSDR.

Excellent. Yeah, I wasn’t paying attention. Woke up with this idea and wanted to get it out before I forgot what I was doing. I know that can be annoying and not very helpful.

I do use the ToSDR plugin for Firefox and it seems to work pretty well.

That pull request looks really good. There may not be a reason to further complicate that. But if someone really didn’t want to edit that, maybe they should be able to easily change the restrictiveness/permissiveness of the document. I dunno. Thoughts? Should we move this to the original discussion?

I don’t think we can merge discussions in loomio, but never mind. We can perhaps just make out comments for refinements on the existing discussion.

It’s a nice idea to have a one-click system for making all sorts of refinements to a ToS, but I suspect it would be impractical. You’d have to have so many different versions composed for all sorts of nuanced situations.

Really the template ToS is a means of saying:

  • It would be a big benefit to you as a podmin to have a published ToS and privacy policy.
  • It is entirely up to you to decide what those terms and policy are for your pod.
  • If you can’t be bothered to write your own, here are some you can publish if you want to.

Another factor is that it’s a good idea to have ToS checked by lawyers. We don’t have access to these at this stage, so having these ToS basically copied from existing ones for another service, which was released under a creative commons licence, and which were almost certainly written by lawyers. So I think sticking with such terms as a template makes sense.

Of course anyone (especially someone who knows about the legal aspects) is welcome to redraft them and submit a PR. That doesn’t really need a Loomio discussion.