As part of our ongoing efforts to review and update policies, we’ve updated our Acceptable Use Policy. These changes come after a review period in which we made adjustments as a result of moderator feedback - we've also made adjustments as a result of feedback in the previous update post.
For the opening three paragraphs, we’ve reworded them all but particularly the second one for clarity and to be more in line with actual practice.
|Used to Read
|The intent of this document is to clarify what we consider to be acceptable use of any website or service provided on the Stack Exchange Network (collectively "Stack Exchange", "Network").
|The intent of this Acceptable Use Policy (“AUP”) is to clarify what we at Stack Exchange, Inc. (“Stack Exchange”, “we” or “us”) consider to be acceptable use of any website or service provided on Stack Exchange’s set of related Internet sites and other applications for contributed and curated content (the “Network”).
|If you are found to be in violation of any of the below policies, you will receive a notice via email. Unless you explain or correct your behavior within 72 hours, your account will be suspended. We will do our best to work with you and ensure a fair outcome in all cases. We reserve the right to immediately suspend, without notice, any content, account, or IP address which we determine to be submitting spam or other potentially damaging or disruptive content to the Network.
|If you are found to be in violation of any of the below sections, your access to the Network may be restricted or terminated without notice, and your content may be removed at our discretion. When it is possible to do so, Stack Exchange will make a good-faith effort to provide you with advance notice of actions we take under this AUP, and we will do our best to work with you and ensure a fair outcome in all cases. You may appeal any action we take under this AUP via our contact form.
|When your account is suspended, public access to content contributed under that account may be blocked or removed, and your account may be suspended or deleted at our discretion. Access to other functionality or information within the Network may also be blocked or disabled.
|This paragraph has been removed as suspensions are discussed in the CoC, and actions under the AUP are covered above.
We've also reworded illegal use and spam to reflect what we mean by these more accurately.
|Used to Read
|Illegal Use. Stack Exchange may not be used for illegal purposes. Examples of this include using Stack Exchange for fraudulent purposes or operating a phishing site (used to obtain account and password information).
|Illegal Use. The Network may not be used for illegal purposes. You are responsible for complying with all laws and regulations that are applicable to you, whether or not such illegal purposes are explicitly raised in this AUP or our Code of Conduct. This restriction encompasses any defamation and libel laws that apply to you.
|Spam. Users that do not publish meaningful content, use deceptive means to generate revenue or traffic, or whose primary purpose is affiliate marketing, will be suspended.
|Spam. You may not post content for the purpose of affiliated marketing (e.g., to promote a product, service, or similar in a way that is unsolicited or lacks disclosure of affiliation), or use deceptive means to generate revenue or traffic. Posting irrelevant content, non-meaningful content, or other types of content that may reasonably be interpreted as spam per individual site policies, is also prohibited.
We've added sections detailing Phishing, Doxing, and Malicious URLs as prohibited behavior.
Phishing. You may not use the service in any way that deceives users into disclosing sensitive information they would otherwise not disclose, such as passwords, API keys, or personally identifiable information.
Doxing. Disclosing personally identifiable information of a person or group of people, that hasn’t been manifestly made public, without their explicit consent is not allowed, whether or not that information is accurate. This includes such information as financial information, government-issued identification, passwords, phone numbers, physical addresses, and other personal information that may pose a safety or security risk, including usernames and e-mail addresses.
Malicious URLs. You may not post URLs that were created for the purpose of promoting a scam, attack, or fraud.
Further changes were made to Identity Theft, Disruptions and Exploits, and Unauthorized Use of Intellectual Property. We've removed Hate Content, Defamation, and Libel because these are already prohibited by the CoC and Libel is prohibited by Illegal Use above. Changes were also made to Mass Registration and Automation and Sexually Explicit Material.
|Used to Read
|Identity Theft. Users that misleadingly appropriate the identity of another person are not permitted. Users may not post other people's personally identifying or confidential information, including but not limited to credit card numbers, Social Security Numbers, and driver's and other license numbers. You may not post information such as other people's passwords, usernames, phone numbers, addresses and e-mail addresses unless already publicly accessible on the Web.
|Identity Theft. You may not falsely represent yourself as a real person or entity you are not.
|Disruptions and Exploits. We will terminate accounts and block addresses of those who attempt unauthorized use of the Stack Exchange Network.
|Disruptions and Exploits. You may not attempt to exploit, overload, or otherwise disrupt the operations of the Network.
|Copyright. Using copyrighted material does not constitute infringement in all cases. In general, however, users should be careful when using copyrighted content without the permission of those who created it. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement sent to [email protected] that comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA").
|Unauthorized Use of Intellectual Property. You may not post content that infringes on another’s intellectual property right, including trademark, copyright, patent, trade secret, or other intellectual property right. While the use of copyrighted material does not constitute copyright infringement in all cases, users should be careful when using copyrighted content without the permission of those who created it and adhere to any license requirements (e.g., attribution, notice, etc.). Stack Exchange complies with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), and you may view our process for reporting DMCA complaints.
|Mass Registration and Automation. Accounts that are registered automatically or systematically will be removed and access will be permanently suspended.
|Mass Registration and Automation. You may not register accounts en masse, either by hand or through the use of automated tools, without prior written approval of Stack Exchange, Inc. Please contact [email protected] to request approval.
|Sexually Explicit Material. Accounts that use Stack Exchange to post sexually explicit or pornographic material, or links to it, will be suspended.
|Sexually Explicit Material. You may not post content, or links to content, that is sexually explicit in nature, unless it falls within a reasonable interpretation of a Network site’s scope and purpose. However, you may never post content portraying the sexual exploitation or abuse of minors. For the sake of clarity, sexually explicit content is “material that is explicitly sexual, pornographic, prurient, or lascivious in nature,” as defined in our Code of Conduct.
We've also added two sections (which were one in the last iteration) to cover Framing and Mirroring and Content Scraping.
Framing and Mirroring. You may not manipulate or otherwise simulate the appearance or function of the Network by using framing, mirroring, or similar other methods, such as by creating deep links to the Network or directly framing our site on another domain. This restriction does not apply for accessibility-related usages such as screen readers. Please contact [email protected] with any inquiries.
Content Scraping. You may not use any automated data-gathering means (including robots, spiders, scrapers, crawlers, and the like) to gather any text, files, audio or visual media, profile information, or any other content from any Network website for any use that violates the Public Network Terms of Service, including the content license, or this Acceptable Use Policy.
Your usage of automated data-gathering means is exempt from this policy if either:
- Such automated data-gathering is necessary for accessibility-related reasons.
- You have obtained our express written prior consent. (You may contact [email protected] with any inquiries.)