Let’s start with a question. Did you actually read the mile long terms of service page when you signed up for Facebook? How about for your other social media accounts? Yeah me neither, and I’d be willing to bet that most people never do.
There’s a reason you’re supposed to read it. Here are 10 things you unknowingly agreed to when you just checked that terms of service box without reading it.
1.) Your photos and videos are fair game for Facebook
When you sign up for Facebook, you agree to give the company an essentially royalty free license to use your pictures and videos. It’s a little complex in that you still own your content, but Facebook can give other people and companies the right to use it for whatever they want.
Facebook is not alone in this practice. Google, Twitter, and Instagram all have similar policies.
2.) No sex offenders.
If you’re a convicted sex offender, then you’re not allowed to be using Facebook.
3.) All of your contact information needs to be current.
It’s required that all Facebook users keep their contact info up to date. The reason they give for this is so that the company can keep your account secure. There is no specified timeframe for email addresses, but the terms of service say that you need to inform them of a cellphone number change within 48 hours.
4.) Twitter knows how you got there.
The same goes for Google.
5.) You can’t keep an account that’s not in use.
According to the Twitter terms of service you can’t sign up for, and then keep an account if it’s inactive. The company’s systems automatically delete inactive accounts after six to nine months.
6.) No sexually suggestive content.
Of course Instagram does not allow nudity, but the site’s no sexually suggestive content rule is a bit vague around the edges. That makes it potentially more all encompassing, and threatens other content that may not be overtly sexual in nature.
7.) Don’t send suggestions.
You’re not allowed to send suggestions to Instagram, as per their terms of service. However if you do make a suggestion and they like it, then you’re not entitled to any money from its use.
8.) Don’t “link” with people you don’t actually know.
If you’ve used LinkedIn at all you know that this is the main way they stop spam. It certainly does make for a saner user experience, but this policy of not contacting strangers is actually written into their terms of service.
9.) No escorts or prostitutes.
Your LinkedIn profile cannot promote escort or prostitution services even if they are legal in the place where you live. Sorry Nevada.
10.) No lying. Or else.
Honesty is not only the best policy for LinkedIn, it’s a mandatory policy. You’re not allowed to add inaccurate information to your profile.
Hmm…the more you know, right? You should always read a contract before you sign your life away. That applies to online situations, too.
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