Updated Steemit.com Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

in steemit •  last month

Hello Steemians,

In this post, we want to discuss the recent updates to our Terms of Service (ToS) and Privacy Policy as well as respond to some of the feedback we received from the community as we attempted to apply changes to the website earlier this week.

ToS and Privacy Policy Updates

We had three primary objectives with respect to the recent updates. The first was to improve the language relating to the various components of the Steem blockchain. The second was to provide better guidance for the use of our trademarks and branding (while we develop our branding guidelines) by community developers. Finally, we wanted to clarify the differences between using the Steem blockchain and the services that we provide for our users.

The privacy policy updates were made to comply with the European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements.

We also included a change to automatically prompt users to re-accept the ToS and Privacy Policy any time new versions are created. This ensures that users can always review and accept the latest terms every time there is a change.

We believe that the updates provide more clarity and that this will benefit both users and developers in the long run, but we welcome any feedback that could make them even more helpful.

Initial Rollout

Unfortunately, the initial rollout was not executed to our standards. Many users could not open the links to view the new ToS and Privacy Policy before accepting the changes. There were also some deficiencies in the text. We apologize for any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused. We have done our best to address the issues and to ensure they never happen again.

We want to thank everyone who took the time to bring these issues to our attention. We received a lot of valuable feedback from the community. A new ToS and Privacy Policy was published today, integrating much of the feedback we received. Thank you for all the helpful suggestions!

Anyone who previously accepted the ToS and Privacy Policy without being able to view them will be given a new prompt today to view and accept the latest terms.

Feedback Welcome

If you find any areas in the ToS or Privacy Policy confusing or you think any areas should be updated, please let us know. We will be happy to review them and see if we can make additional updates.

Thank you,

Team Steemit

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Is there a way to reverse the acceptance, and choose to un-accept and no longer use the site thereafter if one changes their mind? That would be a good option to have somewhere.

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Exactly, most people don't know about busy.org so they will think they have to accept this to use their account.

Once they learn busy.org is another option they may want to opt out.

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Busy.org is an alternet service/site to access steemit blockchain content and wallet?

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Steem = Blockchain

Steemit = ui
Busy.org = ui

Busy accesses the Steem blockchain.

All of your stuff is on the Steem blockchain, not the Steemit website.

I’m happy to see the Trademark section dropped mention of Steem, and only lists Steemit as a trademark. That had been my prior understanding and I was confused when it previously read otherwise. No problems accepting here!

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That was my question; so all the people who make swag with the blue Steem logo are fine, right? It's the green talk bubbles they can't use?

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Correct to my understanding. Steem & the Steem wave logo are free to use, but Steemit and it’s logo are privately owned by Steemit inc. Here’s the post when the new logo launched that detailed Steem being under Creative Commons License and Steemit being trademarked.

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Awesome, thanks!

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Green talk bubbles? More like chicken-fidget spinner hybrid or punk rock ghost :D

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Ooh punk rock ghosts are fun at a seance. 😁

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Or maybe it's a gladiator's helmet.

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Yupp, that was a valuable update! :-)

Is it possible to display a diff with the changes on a pop-up and include links to the full TOS and PP?

Nowadays it’s impossible to convince people to read policies... short diff could be some kind of solution ;-)

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This looks like the change with all the diffs:
https://github.com/steemit/condenser/pull/2876/files

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What should our concerns with the revisions be Tim?

TIA.....

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I cannot answer that.

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K...thanks, anyway.

I love the new level of communication! Keep it up.

I suspect you will get a lot of feedback, and not all of it good. :)

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I love the new level of communication! Keep it up.

Fully agreed, @whatsup! :-)

A message pops out on my screen every now and then asking me to accept the reviewed terms and conditions and even when I accept, It appears again on my next login, could you please fix this?

It is deeply flawed that one must agree to the terms before having a chance to read them.

Maybe not everywhere, but that’s what happens in an iPhone/Safari environment.

Anyone who previously accepted the ToS and Privacy Policy without being able to view them will be given a new prompt today to view and accept the latest terms.

That did not happen for me. Two places to check for agreeing and a submit button. Nothing else.

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Are you able to provide a screen shot of what you saw? I tried on my iPhone and it worked fine. Also, what version of iPhone device are you using?

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I didn’t seem to have any choice so I clicked on agree; did not screen shot it.

iPhone SE running on iOS 11.3.1

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The user experience is bit janky , you can click on the highlighted green text of TOS and it opens in new window.

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The latest changes were tested with iOS/Safari and iOS/Chrome on multiple device types. There are links for both the Terms Of Service and Privacy Policy, and they are viewable without actually accepting them first. Can you please list your device type and/or steps to reproduce?

See the screenshot below of how it looks on iOS/Safari. There are links to both documents available. To be clear, are you saying this is not the case for you?

Image uploaded from iOS (1).png

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I saw it as text rather than as hyperlinks. I suppose it’s possible I’m mistaken if others have not had that experience.

I cannot entirely rule out pilot error.

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I honestly didn’t notice the links myself... but I knew I was accepting regardless! After I clicked thru I found the terms in the side menu and gave them a scan. I’m pretty sure I just overlooked the link, but adding one of those functionalities where it won’t let you accept unless you’ve clicked both links would probably be more thorough.

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I was able to read them before agreeing, but not on Apple, and maybe there was an issue with the system yesterday.

You guys have a grammar mistake in "... you will be may not be able to ..." It should be "you may not be able to." I think Steemit copied this from other services. See my related post here: https://steemit.com/steemit/@blockchainstudio/a-grammar-mistake-in-the-steemit-tos

sitos.png

In the future it would be nice to roll out a post like this a day to a few weeks before the policy actually changes so there are times to ask questions voice our concerns.

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I could not agree more. I am currently unable to accept the ToS I was availed, and have been awaiting response from [email protected] to resolve concerns. Since I cannot use Steemit without accepting the ToS (as it blocks every page I open on Steemit), and I cannot accept the ToS prior to my concerns being addressed, I am presently only able to post and read posts via other UX.

This isn't optimal for Steemit, nor I. I have been a fanboy of Steemit since I found it, and had no desire to migrate. The failure to allow me to resolve my concerns prior to accepting the ToS has forced me off the platform.

12.2. If you do not maintain a backup of your Account data outside of the Services, you will be may not be able to access STEEM, Steem Dollars and Steem Power associated with any Account maintained in your Account if we discontinue or deprecate the Services.

I'm quite confused about what they're trying to say here. Is there any account data stored on Steemit and only there that we need to back up (how?) in order to keep our blockchain account functioning in the eventuality of Steemit site being discontinued? I was under the impression our Private keys is all we needed. Is that false?

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I whould like clarity on this one aswell.

Should you not want to login via steemit.com consider BUSY.ORG

I saw it and i was actually trying to ignore it as i have made it a policy to never click on anything that i know nothing about on steemit. Well the page followed me each time i opened a post from discord. i was forced to read and click on the relevant sections. good work @steemitblog

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You can simply replace 'steemit.com' with 'staging.busy.org' in the URL of any link and view posts on Busy. Sadly, this information is too late for you to be able to avoid accepting these agreements prior to doing due diligence, but you may be better able to do that diligence in the future should this situation arise again.

I don't like the way the details are hidden, I had to do a search to even find them, what's up with you guys,,,, just be clear about everything in plan site
Even this notice doesn't tell all
I did not accept... I'm on busy now, until you all can make alllll you do in plan site

I have not accepted yet, and have some questions and or issues with it.

It says in the Privacy Policy that:

  • Phone numbers are collected (why? How?)
  • The Privacy statement can be altered at any time in the future
  • Privacy information can be shared when Steemit inc does a business deal (does this not go against the idea of not selling the information?)

I must admit I am not a fan and it feels counter-intuitive to the whole decentralization effort in blockchain.

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Phone numbers are collected during the registration process to help verify that you are a human. The privacy policy can be updated at any time, but you will have the chance to agree to it again when it is updated. This is pretty standard for website privacy policies in general. The privacy policy and terms of service are specific to using steemit.com ('The Service') and not the blockchain itself, or other interfaces that use the Steem blockchain. If you want to create a Steem blockchain account on your own please see the notice and instructions for paid signup at https://signup.steemit.com/

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I never gave my phone number.

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Phone number verification may not have been part of the signup process on steemit.com when your account was created if it was a long time ago. If you use another service to pay the account creation fee yourself for a steem blockchain account, you can still create an account without a phone number (or even an email). See https://signup.steemit.com for more information on that.

I didn't see any place to read them.. just 2 boxes to check..

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click on the green text (TOS) next to the check box , it opens in new tab.

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You can find them in the pop-up menu, from a 3 line button in the top right corner of the browser window, they are at the bottom of the menu. :)

also the agree pop up message appeared to me,
somewhat worried about what's going on
but steemit progress i feel relief

Thanks for the communication! Keep the great updates and info coming :D

Good work steemit. I was actually embarassed to see the pop-up showing this. I thought someone intruded into my account. Thanks for clarifying this.

Thanks so much. I have found the answer from your message. Such communication is an important part of making a change. 3 goals are very clear purpose. once again thanks you.

Very nice post @steemitblog! My friend have created awesome Steemit t-shirt and I want to share it with our amazing community! More detailed pictures here:
https://teespring.com/steem-to-the-moon
front (7).jpg

It is a good discussion. I also hope that spam posts and phishing links are somehow automatically deleted and am sure the technical teams will be able to include such a software

This is the way to communicate. I did not read and just accepted as I believe in you guys. Keep up the good work.

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not sure if this is sarcasm , if it is sarcasm , it is perfectly done.

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Same here

I don't think I'm gonna buy any more STEEM with my own money after reading this. I thought Steemit is decentralized and this is not possible.

PSX_20180615_182750.jpg

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Steem (the blockchain) is decentralized. Steemit (the website that runs on top of the blockchain) is maintained and run by Steemit, Inc. - a privately held company.

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So what happens if Ned decides to delete the site or starts banning users? Is there a back up plan? Can and will another domain be used?

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Then users can use any of the other interfaces to the Steem blockchain: Busy.org, SteemConnect, Vessel, (and many more).

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The beauty of Steemit . . . users ultimately decide whether material is appropriate or not (by up/down-voting.)

We essentially police ourselves.

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Yeah, but the new TOS says users can be suspended and banned and the whole site can be deleted and Steemit is not liable for any losses.

Ah, I just had that pop up. I had a quick look through them to be sure what I was agreeing to and it looks okay. I know you have to cover yourselves

"feedbakc welcome"
Will all be read I wonder, time will tell, but here is some from me:

qute: "When we refer to “Steemit”, we mean the Steemit entity that acts as the controller of your information." /quote

This should be edited to be in the lines of "your information related to the use of this service"
Otherwie the whole privacy policy is inherently not agreeable and cannot be upheld. (yes this is cemantics) As "your information" in itself is ALL of your information, in and out of internet itself whats in your brain and so on. Something "this service" cannot know nor control.

quote: "Why do we use Cookies?
To track site usage so we can improve our site & better understand how people are using it
To better understand the interests of our customers and our website visitors." /quote

To what extent is this even needed or in any degree neccesry? And to an extent is braking the statement of that "we do not sell your information" when taken into account that:

quote: "We also use functional Cookies and Cookies from third parties for analysis and marketing purposes.
Advertising Cookies assist in delivering ads to relevant audiences and having our ads appear at the top of search results. " /quote

So analyzing site usage and using that to advertice is indirectly braking your own terms of service. As you are indirectly selling "your information"(user information) to advertices.


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I just needed it to be readable not actually read it though !!

The new ToS and privacy Guidelines are a good addition for steemit. Hope these changes will help the steemit community to improve....

Something new and updated is always welcomes from the team steemit.
We appreciate your efforts to making this platform more reliable, more sustainable, and more rewarding for wvry8who believe you.

Congrats, you made the #steemitminute for today!

Click the Image Below to see the Video!

@truthforce raises some valuable questions I think. Steemit is supposed to be decentralise so in my opinion what is the necessity to conform to these Acts. This being the point it is an ACT! Therefore in the eyes of their law unless it is conformed to i.e. signed then it has no legal standing as an Act is essentially a contract between two parties is the two parties don't agree there is no ACT. 💯🐒

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You are incorrect when you say Steemit is supposed to be decentralized. Steem IS decentralized, but Steem is not Steemit.

The ToS is not binding to Steem. In order to understand the ToS you will have to learn more about the difference between Steemit and Steem, which you should do. I am not defining the difference because IANAL, and you should not depend on me.

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Well it should be I appreciate the difference. But the point still stands it is an act and not a law! 💯🐒

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvoting this reply.

I very much appreciate the recent improvements to Steemit's communication with the community. I have addressed some concerns with the ToS and Privacy Policy in emails, and await response from [email protected]

I am dismayed by the manner in which the ToS and Privacy Policy are presented. I am unable to accept the agreements (for reasons specified in email) and am prevented from continuing to use Steemit while those concerns are addressed, if they will be. I believe that providing a window of opportunity greater than instant would have been preferable, for all parties.

Please do consider enabling consideration and discussion of such things prior to forcing acceptance in the future. I am confident that manner of presentation is actually grounds for invalidating such agreements, and more confident yet that such consequences are far from desirable.

Please also expedite some response to my email. It's been most of a week now, and I just have no idea if any response at all is even contemplated. I have now been prevented from using Steemit by this situation longer than than at any time since I opened my account over a year ago. Eventually, I will have to reach my own conclusions absent some response.

I prefer more information rather than less when making decisions, and hope that is soon availed.