Disclaimer: We are not running a lawyers office, so this is also no legal advise in any shape or form. We just want you to know what other communities are using for their own terms & conditions page. You should always consult your legal department to make sure that you are on the safe side!
While building a new community, you will also have to create a terms & conditions page. This might be a new challenge for you, as you never had to deal with these things before...
In this topic we have collected some tips which hopefully will help you to define and optimize your terms & conditions page, so that you're not just waterproof for the future, but also that users can easily understand what they are allowed to do and what not.
How to change the Terms & Conditions
- Go to Control → customization → phrases.
- Look up the phrase 'terms' (Module: Forum, key: Terms)
- Make your changes to the T&C (HTML & CSS styling is allowed)
- Press save changes
- View your Terms & Conditions by adding /site/terms to the end of your homepage url
General things things to include
Here you can find a list of items which we usually see included in the terms & conditions page of an inSided community:
1. General Guidelines / Code of conduct
You want your users to understand clearly which behaviour is allowed on the community, and which not. Things that surely need to be included are:
- No abusive behaviour against other users (e.g. insults / threats / racism / harrasment)
- No off-topic discussion / intentional derailing of discussions
- No multiple registrations
- No commercial advertisement
- No sharing of illegal content
- No Spam / solliciting
- No public discussion of community staff action / communication
You will find these points written out in many of the examples shown in the list at the end of this topic.
2. Liability for shared information
Make sure that users understand that information taken from your community does not necessarily have to be correct, and that they have to use this information carefully. No damages resulting from information taken from your community can be held against your company.
3. Removing content / banning users
The community team has the right to remove content from the community, should it feel that this is necessary. Same goes for restricting access to the community (banning users). Include the email address of your community team here, so that users can email you if they are disagreeing with an action of the community team.
Tip: You can mention here that you usually will only do these things to protect the positive experience of other users on the community.
4. Links to third party websites:
This item has developed into a standard thing you have to do nowadays, to make clear that you are not responsible for any material on other websites to which you or other users on your community are linking to.
If you are using the default setup for cookies used by inSided, then you can use the default text which we place on your terms & conditions page. You can find a copy of this in the spoiler below:
What are cookies
Information we obtain from cookies are used to analyze our community. We use this data to adjust the community to your personal preferences. Finally, when sending information about our products and services, we can take your previous interest for certain pages into account.
You choose which cookies you want to allow. If you have an account you can adjust your choice in your profile settings. If you do not have an account, you can change your cookie settings by deleting them via the internet options of your browser and visiting the community again. You will then be asked to choose your settings again. There are 3 settings: Basic, Normal and Complete.
- Basic: Functional
- Normal: Functional + analytics
- Complete: Functional + analytics + social media + embedded videos
6. Availability of the community
A smaller number of communities decide to include this item to explain that they cannot guarantee availability, but it can also be used to forbid people attempts to break the community and it's functionality, or simply to inform that they cannot be held responsible for costs using the platform (e.g. from your internet provider).
Tone of voice
Of course you should be as clear as possible in your choice of words, but also try to speak the language of your users. A long, confusing terms & conditions page will not just confuse your users (causing them to break the rules unintentionally), it will also make it harder for you in explaining users which rule they have broken. Check some of the examples to see how to structure your terms & conditions more clearly.
Below you can find a number of good examples for a terms & conditions page, hopefully you will find them inspiring!
Sonos Terms & Conditions
iD Mobile Terms & Conditions
OVO energy Terms & Conditions
Deezer Terms & Conditions
Do you have some questions, or are you missing something? Share it with us in the comments!