By Using This, You Agree

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I’m sure the “if you use this, you agree to x” has been thoroughly tested and verified through different legal systems. It’s proliferated through many a site. Sure, it might work legally, but is it fair?

It seems like we still don’t treat people like people on the Internet. We’re not all trolls.

What if there was escalating rules based on behaviour rather than just a blanket statement?

And with these elevations, you need to present transparently why you’re providing this message… like a human.

“Hey, this is kind of awkward but we couldn’t help but notice that you’re posting like 20 times an hour. We think that the site works best when people focus on a few really thoughtful posts a day.”

“How do we put this? Um, it seems like what you put on our group links to someone selling something. It probably wasn’t your intent, but linking to something for sale in this group sometimes makes people feel uncomfortable.”

…and then escalation…

“We don’t mean to be harsh, but I think we need to part ways. We mentioned a few times what we’re looking to do here and it seems we’re not in agreement with each other (you posted again about x). Life’s like that sometimes. You can still come here and view your content in draft mode and see what others are posting, but you won’t be able to contribute. If someone this was a big miscommunication, please email us.”

I’m no big deal and I’ve had my posts flagged by Facebook. It can be infuriating. Managing communities is important but people being treated respectfully always wins over time.

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