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Comments: Terms of Service

I’ve been thinking about a blog post I ran across a while ago about laws that apply to bloggers, specifically point 7 on that list of 12 laws: Who owns user-developed content and can you delete it? This reminded me that comments people write here are their own, and that I may not have the right to delete them even if they’re threatening or offensive. According to the law, I need a “terms of service” in order to be able to delete any such content.

I have never received any such comments and I hope I never do, but just in case, here are my terms of service.

I reserve the right to delete any comment left on this blog if I think that the comment is inappropriate or harmful in any way.

I hope that I never have to exercise these rights.

4 thoughts on “Comments: Terms of Service

  1. It would be interesting to see a more detailed analysis of that legal claim. The writer certainly owns the words–but that does not give the writer the right to have those words sitting on your blog, which you own. A graffiti artist owns their creation, but I don’t believe they could sue a property owner for removing graffiti…

  2. I was pondering similar thoughts, which is why I didn’t say anything until today. Then today I thought, “Why not be safe, rather than sorry?” Tomorrow I’ll probably think, “Too much safeness usually backfires” and delete my little statement. I never claimed to be consistent. :)

  3. I too would like to see a detailed legal analysis. When I saw your post I thought of comment spam.

    I (or should I say the plugins I have on my blog) regularly delete comment spam. Could the comment spammer sue me because their comment did not remain posted? I would guess not. But then, I am not a lawyer…

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