Five tips for customizing your TOS

Five tips for customizing your TOS

credit: Wikimedia Commons

Every company that allows users to post content on its website should have User Guidelines or a Terms of Service (TOS) agreement in place.  These guidelines outline what your tolerance is in terms of what can and can’t be posted. Don’t want cyber bullies? All you need to do is customize your TOS agreement, which usually users are prompted to read and agree to when they create an account on your website.  Spell out that you are a bully-free zone and that your moderators will remove content.

Your TOS gives you control, provides a structure and offers your users fair warning of what will be disallowed or removed from your site.

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1984 vs Now

1984 vs Now

Image credit:  Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, book cover

Online moderators often get a bad rap.

The “censor” label is often applied to us – sometimes in jest, and sometimes in all sincerity – but the fact remains that moderators protect the public from hateful speech and violence that can extend to sexual violence.

So, why not, then, see us as agents of protection for our clients?  That’s what we are.

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International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

credit:  Image © Glamour Magazine 

This year International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8.  As a woman-owned business, we at Scout Moderation feel very inspired by IWD’s initiatives to promote women’s equality and advancement.

Almost everyone knows a red rose symbolizes love, but not many know there is a whole language around flowers, and Vanessa Diffenbaugh is using it to change lives.  A bestselling author, Vanessa is using the release of her new novel, The Language of Flowers, to bring light to the plight of older youths in foster care and to ignite a national discussion. The book tells the story of a girl who grew up in the foster care system and can’t trust or communicate with people, so she uses the Victorian language of flowers to express herself.

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What would Emily say about cyber bullying?

What would Emily say about cyber bullying?

image credit:  Emily Dickinson Library

Scout Moderation is based near Amherst, Massachusetts, birthplace of poet, Emily Dickinson.  At Scout, we are committed to keeping the online conversation civil.  We wonder, what would Emily Dickinson say about using the social network to hurt and bully?  Knowing the power of words to hurt, she once wrote, “We bruise each other less in talking than in writing”.

Emily lived as a recluse for most of her adult life because of a mysterious disorder.  It is speculated that she may have locked herself away from life because she suffered from PTSD or some kind of social anxiety.  From her home in Amherst, Emily carried out her epistolary relationships and sent her poems as holiday notes or birthday cards.  If she were alive today, she would most likely love the positive aspects of social networking; the ability to tweet a poem or post status updates on her Facebook page.

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Facebook users exposed to toxic images

Facebook users exposed to toxic images

image credit:  © Facebook 

Does the recent Facebook hack have you nervous that it could happen to you?  The idea of porn or violent images next to a Pampers ad – on your site – keeps a lot of social media producers up at night.  If your news or Facebook site gets spammed with porn when you’re not looking, you risk exposing your users to toxic images or spam links that can steal personal information.  If you don’t protect your users, you’ll lose them.

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