"The Website is not intended for users under the age of 13"“Such users are expressly prohibited from submitting their personallyidentifiable information to us, and from using portions of the Websitefor which registration is required, such as our forums and chat areas”Essentially users under the age of thirteen are allowed to view thewebsite, however they are not allowed to register accounts enablingthem to post in the forums, even with parental consent, as Redditdoes not wish to collect any personal data of those under thirteen.It is a very sensible rule for a website to have, especially in an agewhere games, books, the internet, music and everything else underthe sun is being blamed for a childs behaviour.This rule means that if a child reads or views anything on Reddit thatharms them in any way Reddit are not liable. (Reddit, 2012)
“You may not provide to or post on or through the Website any graphics, text,photographs, images, video, audio or other material that constitutes junk mail,spam, advertising, and/or commercial offers.”Reddit is not ad supported, like many websites are. As they dont want to exploittheir service to make a profit from ads, they ask that nobody else will. Theproblem with this rule, however, is it can be completely subjective.On Reddit users post text, links and images. If a link of image comes across asadvertising a service when it may not be, the user can still have their accountsuspended. (Reddit, 2012)
“You agree not to use any obscene, indecent, or offensive language”“You agree to refrain from ethnic slurs, religious intolerance, homophobia, andpersonal attacks when using the Website.”Once again, the Reddit staff want to keep their hands clean and avoid offendingpeople. If users are bullied or homophobia and racism is spread through thewebsite, the staff are not liable.The first line, however, can be very ambiguous. Just what is considered indecent? Itis once again, completely subjective based on a specific moderators opinion. (Reddit, 2012)
“You further agree not to use any sexually suggestive language or toprovide to or post on or through the Website any graphics, text,photographs, images, video, audio or other material that is sexuallysuggestive or appeals to a prurient interest.”This rule is interesting, although Reddit staff do not wish for users to postanything sexually suggestive they do allow for one of the most popularsections of Reddit, called NSFW to continue operation.NSFW is basically an explicit pornography section of Reddit, they evenincluded a system to make sure users are over eighteen before entering. (Reddit, 2012)
“You are responsible for ensuring that any graphics, text, [et al.] youprovide to or post on the Website ... does not violate the copyright,trademark, trade secret or any other personal or proprietary rights ofany third party.”Reddit has a very comprehensive system to deal with copyright. Whileothers may just delete content at the first electronic complaint, Reddithas employed a copyright agent to be contacted by post thatinvestigates the complaint and acts accordingly.The website is based on the idea of sharing content, in employs asystem to spread links to other websites and images, so it is verysensible to have a strong system in place to deal with copyright. (Reddit, 2012)
“The Assets are protected by ... copyright, trademark and otherintellectual property laws. Nevertheless, we (and our licensors) grant toyou the limited, non-exclusive, right and license to use the Assets solelyas described on the Website ... provided further that you keep intact anyand all copyright and other proprietary notices.”Reddit allows the limited use of any of the content posted by users toother users. They then go on to explain that any content owned explicitlyby Reddit, the website system, logos, look and feel of the website, is notto be used or reproduced be anyone else under any circumstances. (Reddit, 2012)
“you grant us a royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive, unrestricted,worldwide license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, enhance,transmit, distribute, publicly perform, display, or sublicense any suchcommunication in any medium”Well, thats about as blunt as you can get. Reddit owns everything, inevery way possible, completely unrestricted. Everything posted to Redditbecomes absolute property of Reddit to use however they wish, and thatincludes commercial purposes.This could have harsh consequences, for example if a user posts a sectionof website code to one of the programming subreddits, this allows theReddit staff to use that in their own websites without seeking permission orpaying any royalties. The same goes for photography, art, graphic designetc. (Reddit, 2012)
However...“You may not in any way make commercial or other unauthorized use... of material obtained through the Website”Although they grant limited reproduction rights of the content postedto the website, it cannot be used for commercial or the ambiguousand unexplained other unauthorized use. (Reddit, 2012)
“You agree not to disrupt, overwhelm, attack, modify, reverseengineer or interfere with the Website”“you may not attempt to gain access to Service Providers servers byany means - including, without limitation, by using administratorpasswords”Simply put, users are not allowed to hack the website, masqueradeas an administrator or attack the website in other ways (such asDenial of Service) (Reddit, 2012)
And finally:“You acknowledge that Service Provider has not reviewed and does notendorse the content of all sites linked to from this Website and is notresponsible for the content or actions of any other sites linked to fromthis Website. Your linking to any service or site is at your sole risk.”Another hands clean rule. Reddit is not liable for anything posted to thewebsite, or the content produced on any of the links posted to thewebsite. (Reddit, 2012)
So essentially;●You must be over 13 to register●You must not use Reddit to advertise●You must not post anything indecent or abusive●You must not post anything sexually suggestive●You must not post anything illegal●You must not infringe on copyright●All content posted is owned by Reddit●You must not attack the website●Reddit is not liable for anything you post or viewA fairly straight forward set of rules when taken on face value. Rules thatmany people would agree to without question.
The rules arent that simple though;You must be over 13 to register●But you can still view the content posted under thirteen, Reddit isnt heldaccountable for anything you see.You must not use Reddit to advertise●If a moderator thinks you are advertising, your account can be suspended.You must not post anything indecent or abusive●Indecent and abusive were neglected to be defined.You must not post anything sexually suggestive●Unless in the explicit pornography sections of Reddit, I assume.
You must not post anything illegal●Unless on the boards that cater to illegal actions, such as the Drugssubreddit that frequently contains highly illegal discussion and images, Iassume.All content posted is owned by Reddit●You need to be really careful with this, if you post a photo of your face Redditcan then use that as their logo, for eternity, and you cant do anything to stopthem.Reddit is not liable for anything you post or view●The User agreement is very firm on this, it is mentioned many times. Redditstaff have completely covered every base, they cannot be held accountablefor anything the users do.
Its so much easier to register to a website without reading theuser agreement. But would you get a loan without reading theforms you are signing? Would you buy a house before reading thelegal information?Terms of service and user agreements are legal documents. Inthe long run, its a lot less hassle just to spend five minutes goingthrough the details first. Reddit User Agreement. (2012). Retrieved October, 2012, from http://www.reddit.com/help/useragreement