Poorly Written Terms

Orrin Hatch invited people to comment at his blog on an op-ed he wrote. I decided to go share my thoughts and saw on his comments form that I was required to accept “terms of usage” to leave a comment. That’s fine, but I’m not one to accept terms without looking at them. Here’s what I found:

terms

In case the image is not clear the terms read:

By submitting your comments we reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to change, modify, add, or delete your comments and portions of these Terms of Use at any time without further notice.

According to those terms, Hatch (or his election comittee) can put words into my mouth and there’s nothing I can do about it. I admit that I don’t think that is their real intent, but they could do a better job at drafting the terms to do what they want to do. I suspect that what they really want to do would be fully covered by terms such as the following:

By submitting your comments we reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to delete your comments and to change, modify, add, or delete portions of these Terms of Use at any time without further notice.

There should be no reason for them to ever add to my comments and there is no reason why I should be at their editing mercy of changing or modifying my comments. Though I keep a very open comment policy on my sites I allow that others may choose to delete comments at their sites. I will no longer comment at Hatch’s blog so long as those terms remain unchanged – if I have anything to say I’ll say it at my site.

Update 5/8/09 @ 10:32 AM: I just got a message from Orrin’s staff that the terms of usage had been changed. I very much like the new terms:

By submitting your comments we reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to delete your comments, and modify these Terms of Use at any time without further notice. In addition, HatchForSenate.com uses an automated process that removes words from comments that may be offensive.

About David

David is the father of 8 extremely organized children (4 girls / 4 boys) who is constantly seeking answers to tough questions related to parenting, education and politics while moonlighting for 40 hours each week as a technology professional. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and sports.
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