Websites like your favorite social media channels always have you agree to their terms of service, or TOS. The terms will vary, but they all have the same purpose – they set the rules that you must agree to when using their website.
Each website makes you accept an agreement when you create a profile. The agreement states how you can use their site and what kind of content you can share. The terms of service also establishes rules and boundaries that you must adhere to at all times.
When you sign up for an account and click the AGREE button, you are accepting their terms of service.
So, did you READ the Terms of Service?
For any social media website you sign up for, read the rules in their terms of service. The legal ramifications vary on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
You really should read the terms and conditions before you proceed, especially if you are posting as a business.
One common rule is that you agree to only post images that belong to you. The rule is that you must own the copyright to the images, or you have permission or rights to post them.
This is the most violated TOS across popular social media sites.
Violating Terms and Conditions
If you break the rules, you face suspension. It’s that simple.
In some cases, you could lose your account and all of that content you’ve been adding. (Once you add content to their website, it’s no longer yours; read the TOS.)
If a website has rules against posting foul or abusive language and you violate that rule, you could be removed from the site.
Website Hosting Has Rules, Too!
If you sign up for website hosting and the hosting company clearly states what type of content is acceptable, you must abide by their rules.
If you don’t, you will lose your hosting account.
A recent example of this is Parler. The radical right social media platform would not comply with the terms of service they agreed to when hosting their site with Amazon Web Services.
Since the site was posing a real risk to public safety, Amazon Web Services chose remove Parler’s website from their hosting servers, and they had every legal right to do so.
Amazon Web Services made their decision based on website content that encouraged and incited violence. Users were making violent threats toward elected officials. Users were telling people to bring weapons to the presidential inauguration.
All of this threatening content goes against the Amazon Web Services terms of service for website hosting.
Controversial Website Content
Most website hosts do not allow controversial content like pornography to be hosted on their servers. If you were to violate their Terms and Conditions, you could lose your hosting account. Your website would no longer be available to the public.
Take a step further by posting child pornography, and the hosting company can now take action against you legally by referring the matter to law enforcement.
Follow the Rules!
Terms and conditions help protect websites, especially social sites like Facebook and Instagram. They also protect other users from harm.
Play by their rules and you won’t have to worry about losing your account.