Tech Against Terrorism

Knowledge sharing platform

What is a Terms of Service?

Terms of Service (ToS) are rules with which one must observe and abide if they wish to use the service. It is a legally binding agreement, required by all platforms that store personal data for a user.

Rules that one must agree with in order to use a particular service.

Ensuring the contractual relationship between the provider of the service and its user is upheld.

The provision of information on user’s rights and restrictions.

Why is it important to have Terms of Service outlining usage of platforms?

  • To act as a form of self-regulation, to protect users, and to retain users.
  • To limit the liability of the company, without impairing the user from using the technology in the manner in which it was intended.
  • To maintain the company’s reputation as a legitimate player within its sector.

What do we mean by Terms of Service

The relevant documentation varies in response to the service that a platform offers. Social media platforms will pair their Terms of Service with Community Guidelines. Financial Technology (‘Fintech’) will contain a Privacy Policy. Storage platforms, such as iCloud, might have an Acceptable Use Policy.

Key definitions

Terms of Service
A legally binding agreement, required by all platforms that store personal data for a user, and containingrules that must be observed in order to use a service.

Community Guidelines
A set of foundational principles aiming to balance self-expression with safety, to protect both users and platform (usually found on social media platforms).

Privacy Policy
A formal legal document that outlines all the data that an organisation may/will collect, and why they use it (usually found on fin-tech platforms).

Acceptable Use Policy
A set of rules applied by a platform that restrict the ways in which its service may be used, with guidelines provided to dictate recommended usage (usually found on content storage platforms).

AP Prohibition listed in Acceptable Use Policy / Abuse Policy
CG Prohibition listed in Community Guidelines
TS Prohibition listed in Terms of Service

Banned categories of content / conduct — communications platforms

Hate speech Violent / graphic content Illegal activity Threatening material Terrorism
WhatsApp TS TS TS TS
Snapchat CG CG CG TS CG CG
Voxer TS TS
Wickr TS TS

Banned categories of content / conduct — social media platforms

Hate speech Violent / graphic content Illegal activity Threatening material Terrorism
Twitter CG CG CG CG CG
Reddit CG CG TS CG
WordPress CG CG
Vimeo TS TS TS

Banned categories of content / conduct — content storage platforms

Hate speech Violent / graphic content Illegal activity Threatening material Terrorism
Dropbox AP AP AP TS
Google Drive AP AP AP TS AP
One Drive TS TS TS TS
iCloud TS TS TS TS
Next Cloud AP AP AP TS AP
Spider Oak AP TS AP
iDrive AP TS AP

Our Values: A Tech Against Terrorism Template

At [insert platform name] our aim is to [insert use of platform i.e. allow individuals to connect with one another, or share videos]. We are strongly committed to protecting [freedom of expression/speech] on our platform. We’ve developed the below Community Guidelines to allow us to protect our wonderful community of users and to make sure everyone feels safe. The policies illustrate the types of conduct and content that is allowed on [insert name of platform]. Breaking these rules may result in the [insert penalty i.e. deletion of your content, warning given, or suspension of your account] or other restrictions.

Note: The below list of prohibited conduct is not exhaustive and companies can add as many sections as they like. Further sections might include ‘copyright infringement’ or a further link to an organisation’s privacy policy (particular relevant for financial technology).

  1. Illegal and Dangerous Activity

In using this platform, you agree not to post any content that is illegal or engage in any illegal activity. This includes posting about/engaging in the purchase or sale of firearms, bomb-making, the promotion of organised crime, the use of illegal drugs, the offer of sexual services, or any other illegal activity.

  1. Violent or graphic content/conduct

You will not post gratuitously violent or graphic content on this platform. This includes content that is primarily intended to be distressing, sensational, gory, or disrespectful. You will also not encourage any violent conduct in any way. This includes promoting acts that can cause serious harm (with or without a risk of death) against another individual or group of individuals.

We know that violent images are sometimes posted to raise awareness about a particular issue and this is in some cases may then be appropriate. If sufficient context was provided to a particular image, then the content may be allowed to stay.

  1. Terrorism

You will not post content [text, image, video, audio, or financial transfer] that implicitly or explicitly associates the user with or represents promotion of celebration with violent extremist ideologies, groups, and tactics. We acknowledge that there is no universal definition of terrorism. For the purposes of our service, we will consider terrorist content to be material posted by or in support of organisations included on the Consolidated United Nations Security Council Sanctions List, in addition to country/region specific sanctions list.

One of the eight requirements in becoming a member of Tech Against Terrorism (and one of the six requirements in qualifying for the use of the trustmark) is in committing to add an explicit prohibition of terrorism to your Terms of Service. To read more about our requirements and how to qualify for our trustmark, please read more here.

  1. Hateful conduct

You will not post images or send messages that promote violence or incite hatred against groups or individuals on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender/gender identity, nationality, sexuality, age, veteran status or disability.  

  1. Threatening material and harassment

In using [insert name of platform], you agree to not engage in any threatening behaviour against any other user of this platform, to ensure that our users feel safe at all times This includes any form of predatory behaviour, stalking, threats, harassment, abuse and intimidation, invasion of privacy, bullying, cyberbullying, posting content to humiliate another person, revealing of someone’s personal information and inciting others to commit violent acts.

  1. Promotion and glorification of self-harm

You will not promote suicide, self-harm, self-mutilation or eating disorders on this platform. It can be acceptable to share information about self-harm without promoting it if it can be shown that the purpose of the share is to provide support to other users.

  1. Nudity and sexually explicit content

You will not post sexually explicit or inappropriate content on this platform. This includes pornography, content that includes sexual acts, sexual stimulation, the advertisement of goods/services of a sexual nature or graphic fetish content.

  1. Sexual violence and harassment

You will not use this platform to threaten or promote sexual violence or exploitation. This includes sexual harassment, the sexual exploitation of minors, threats to share intimate images of another individual, prostitution, sexual services of any kind, and any recorded sexual activity.

  1. Harm to minors

We take special care to prevent any harmful or dangerous conduct that involves minors. In using this platform, you will not promote or incite harm against minors in any way.

  1. Fraud, scams and spam

We support genuine interactions on [insert name of platform]. You will not engage in fraud, scams or spam on this platform. This includes impersonating another individual, creating an inauthentic identity, sending unsolicited messages, posting unwanted/repetitive comments, advertising to another individual without their permission, deliberately tricking other individuals for your personal financial gain and blackmailing.

If you think that your content has been wrongfully removed, you can appeal your decision here.

Tech Against Terrorism logo