Terms of Service, privacy and community guidelines

Terms of service

Friday 2 October 2009
thefriend.org

Terms and conditions of use

The Friend Publications Limited welcomes you to thefriend.org, our digital information network. These are our terms and conditions for use of the network, which you may access in several ways, including but not limited to the World Wide Web, digital television, PDA, mobile phone and RSS feeds. These terms and conditions apply whenever you access the network, on whatever device. In these terms and conditions, when we say thefriend.org, we mean this network, regardless of how you access it.

By using the network, you are deemed to have accepted these conditions.

Some areas of thefriend.org require registration. By completing the initial registration form and by entering your email address and password, you will be deemed to have accepted these terms and conditions. Also, by subscribing to any of our services, you are deemed to have accepted these terms and conditions.

Any changes we make to the terms and conditions will be reflected on this page.

1. Registration

When you register, you are registering as a personal user of thefriend.org. Access to registration areas is via your username and password.

We allow you access to the registration areas of the site on the basis that:

(i) your email address and password are personal to you and may not be used by anyone else to access thefriend.org

(ii) you will not do anything which would assist anyone who is not a registered user to gain access to any registration area of thefriend.org

(iii) you do not maliciously create additional registration accounts for the purpose of abusing the functionality of the site, or other users; nor do you seek to pass yourself off as another user

(iv) you comply with these terms and conditions.

If, for any reason, we believe that you have not complied with these requirements, we may, at our discretion, cancel your access to the registration areas of thefriend.org immediately and without giving you any advance notice.

2. Use of material appearing on thefriend.org

For the purposes of this agreement, “material” means material including, without limitation, text, video, graphics and sound material, published on the thefriend.org network, whether copyright of The Friend Publications Ltd or a third party.

You may download and print extracts from the material and make copies of these for your own personal and non-commercial use only. You are not allowed to download or print the material, or extracts from it, in a systematic or regular manner or otherwise so as to create a database in electronic or paper form comprising all or part of the material appearing on thefriend.org.

You must not reproduce any part of thefriend.org or the material or transmit it to or store it in any other website or disseminate any part of the material in any other form, unless we have indicated that you may do so.

We may be prepared to allow you to distribute or reproduce other parts of thefriend.org or the material in certain circumstances. Please email our production editor at jez@thefriend.org if you wish to apply for permission to do so.

3. Disclaimer of liability

To the extent permitted at law, we do not accept any responsibility for any statement in the material. You must not rely on any statement we have published on thefriend.org without first taking specialist professional advice. Nothing in the material is provided for any specific purpose or at the request of any particular person.

For the avoidance of confusion, we will not be liable for any loss caused as a result of your doing, or not doing, anything as a result of viewing, reading or listening to the material or any part of it (except for death or personal injury attributable to our negligence and to the extent permitted at law).

You can access other sites via links from thefriend.org. These sites are not under our control and we are not responsible in any way for any of their contents.

We give no warranties of any kind concerning thefriend.org or the material. In particular, we do not warrant that thefriend.org or any of its contents is virus free. You must take your own precautions in this respect as we accept no responsibility for any infection by virus or other contamination or by anything that has destructive properties.

4. Third party material on thefriend.org

You will see advertising material submitted by third parties on thefriend.org. Individual advertisers are solely responsible for the content of advertising material that they submit to us, including ensuring that it complies with relevant legislation. We accept no responsibility for the content of advertising material, including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein.

If you want to advertise on thefriend.org, please email the advertisement manager at ads@thefriend.org.

5. Data protection

Please see our privacy policy (below) for details of how personal data may be processed.

6. Variations

These terms may be varied from time to time. Please ensure that you review these terms and conditions regularly as you will be deemed to have accepted a variation if you continue to use the site after it has been posted. Details of variations will be posted in section 12 below.

7. Force majeure

Although we will do our best to provide constant, uninterrupted access to thefriend.org, we do not guarantee this. We accept no responsibility or liability for any interruption or delay.

8. Governing law & jurisdiction

This agreement is governed by English law and the parties agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

9. Details of variations

None.

Privacy policy

At thefriend.org we collect different types of information about our users for three main reasons:

1. To help us to monitor and improve the services we offer.
2. To provide personalised services unique to individual users.
3. To use anonymous details about our users to sell appropriate advertising space on the site. This might mean showing an advertiser how many users we have on the site; it does not mean sharing an individual’s details with an advertiser. Where we collect registration information from an individual, we will never share that individual’s information with a third party, including an advertiser, without that user’s explicit permission.

We are absolutely committed to protecting your privacy. Our policy can be summarised in one sentence: we will not share your information with others without your prior consent. We have established the following principles:

1. We will not pass on any individual user details (including your email address) for third party use.

2. We always ensure that contractors we use in connection with the running of the website and services (for example hosting providers) are subject to strict contractual obligations. They are only able to process data on our behalf and in accordance with our principles and instructions and not for any other independent purpose.

3. We will only share anonymous aggregate statistics about our users, sales and traffic patterns with our advertisers.

4. Our site is accessible via the internet and so may potentially be accessed by anyone around the world. Other users may access the site from outside the European Economic Area. This means that, where you choose to post your data on the site, this could be accessed from anywhere around the world and therefore a transfer of your data outside of the European Economic Area may be deemed to have occurred. You consent to such transfer of your data for and by way of this purpose.

Changes to privacy policy

Should we change our privacy policy we will post the changes here. Where the changes are significant, we may also choose to email all our registered users with the new details.

Changes to this policy

None.

Community standards

You will be deemed to consent to these guidelines if you choose to post any content or comments to the site.

Moderation aims

Thefriend.org site provides a growing number of opportunities for readers who wish to discuss content we publish, or debate issues more generally. Our aim is to ensure this platform is inclusive and safe, and that thefriend.org is the place on the net where you will always find lively, entertaining and, above all, intelligent discussions.

Community standards

There are 10 simple guidelines that we expect all participants in the community areas of thefriend.org to abide by, all of which directly inform our approach to community moderation. These apply across the site, while moderation decisions are also informed by the context in which comments are made.

1. The key to maintaining thefriend.org as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics. Personal attacks will not be tolerated.

2. We acknowledge criticism of the articles we publish, but will not allow persistent misrepresentation of The Friend and our journalists to be published on our website. For the sake of robust debate, we will distinguish between constructive, focused argument and smear tactics.

3. We understand that people often feel strongly about issues debated on the site, but we will consider removing any content that others might find extremely offensive or threatening. Please respect other people’s views and beliefs and consider your impact on others when making your contribution.

4. We reserve the right to redirect or curtail conversations that descend into arguments based on ingrained partisanship or generalisations.

5. We will not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia or other forms of hate-speech, or contributions that could be interpreted as such.

6. We will remove any content that may put us in legal jeopardy, such as potentially libellous or defamatory postings, or material posted in potential breach of copyright.

7. We will remove any posts that are obviously commercial or otherwise spam-like.

8. Keep it relevant.

9. You can help to keep thefriend.org community areas open to all viewpoints by maintaining a reasonable tone, even in unreasonable circumstances.

10. The platform is ours, but the conversation belongs to everybody. We want this to be a welcoming space for intelligent discussion, and we expect participants to help us achieve this by notifying us of potential problems and helping each other to keep conversations inviting and appropriate.