Loosen up on content allowed on OneDrive -- current policy would ban most users
After hearing about users who had their entire Microsoft accounts frozen without warning and without being allowed to retrieve their data, apparently over files that they'd uploaded (privately) to their OneDrive, I looked into the Code of Conduct again and was baffled by how broad the restrictions are. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows-live/code-of-conduct
Taken broadly (which Microsoft apparently is doing, based on previous suspensions) this would prohibit storing TONS of harmless, legal, common content. Given that Office 365 users receive 1TB/unlimited OneDrive storage, presumably we're encouraged to use it as a backup service and transfer much of our hard drive there. I would very much like to do so, but as of right now, a pretty significant chunk of my data would break your rules. In fact, I'd argue a significant chunk of most people's data would do so. Examples:
"incites, advocates, or expresses pornography, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity, hatred, bigotry, racism, or gratuitous violence"
- Expressing profanity would mean I can't store/back up any personal emails where I may have used the F-word.
- Does this include fictional representations of these things? Profanity, obscenity, vulgarity, gratuitous violence, bigotry, and hatred take place in the vast, vast majority of fiction, which would prevent consumers from storing legally acquired books, films, TV, etc.
- It would also prevent people from storing, say, home videos where someone may utter a curse word in the background or express hatred toward an individual or company.
- And it would prevent working (screen)writers from storing their work (which I'm sure many would like to do, for example to take advantage of the OneDrive/Word integration).
- What about factual representations, such as for documentaries or news reports? Film makers, journalists, reporters, etc. would be excluded from using OneDrive to improve their workflow.
"depicts nudity of any sort including full or partial human nudity or nudity in non-human forms such as cartoons, fantasy art or manga." This would include:
- Innocent family photos of infants bathing
- Drawings or paintings of artistic nudes (whether a Rubens or Michelangelo or personal life drawing sketches)
- Which means you couldn't even store an art history paper with an embedded photo of that artwork
- Any medical depiction of nudity, such as for work, school, or in reference books--even encyclopedias
- Or social/academic depictions, such as diagrams or pictures used for healthy sexual education for teenagers
- Any legally acquired films, graphic novels, or magazines that may show an exposed breast or behind in a scene/advertisement
- Heck, many cartoons feature non-human nudity. Donald Duck doesn't wear pants.
"provides or creates links to external sites that violate this Code of Conduct."
- So I can't even store a link to a website that might feature partial nudity or swearing?
- Including in backed up personal emails, as reference links in OneNote, etc.? What about if someone has a link in their email signature to their personal website? I can't control that.
- Nor can I control what people show on their websites after I save the link.
- Does this include only the particular page linked to, or entire websites? That would mean linking to Tumblr, YouTube, DeviantART, Goodreads, LiveJournal, and countless other popular websites would be off-limits, because I'm pretty sure all those contain lots of user-uploaded content featuring nudity, swearing, depiction of violence, etc.
"is designed to solicit, or collect personally identifiable information of any minor (anyone under 18 years old), including, but not limited to: name, email address, home address, phone number, or the name of their school."
- Companies should be able to provide accounts for (thus ask for name/email address), communicate with (thus ask for email addresses), or send products to (and thus ask for names/home addresses) for minors to provide services, right? Teenagers are still allowed to use the Internet.
"mischaracterizes content you post or upload or contains the same or similar content to other content you have already posted."
- So one can't host duplicate files? Am I misreading this?
In short--this all sounds beyond paranoid, and I understand you're obviously not going to freeze every single account hosting this kind of content--but the fact that you've banned some, and refused to budge when those customers asked for more information or leniency, is deeply concerning. I should be able to use Microsoft services for perfectly harmless personal materials without being terrified you might freeze my account. (Which would include not only OneDrive, but also Xbox, Windows Phone, email, etc., based on other users' experiences.)
Heck, given the increased integration of OneDrive with other Windows services, many users probably use OneDrive without even realizing it. (For instance, saving Word files to OneDrive by default, or ticking a box to automatically upload photographs taken with their phone.)
Obviously, you want to prevent child pornography and other illegal activities, but this policy is way, way over the top. Can't all of that be lumped into "don't do illegal stuff," akin to the policies of Dropbox and various other cloud storage services, and allow your users to actually use your services the way they're intended to? I want to transfer much of my workflow to Microsoft/OneDrive, but you're prohibiting me from doing so, despite all of my content being perfectly normal, legal, and harmless.
I know the OneDrive team isn't in charge of the broader Windows Code of Conduct, but as this hugely impacts your service and prevents users from being able to use it, is it at least possible for us to express our concerns this way for you to pass along?
You referenced an old page. OneDrive is covered by the new Microsoft Services Agreement – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/servicesagreement
3. Code of Conduct.
a. By agreeing to these Terms, you’re agreeing that, when using the Services, you will follow these rules:
i. Don’t do anything illegal.
ii. Don’t engage in any activity that exploits, harms, or threatens to harm children.
iii. Don’t send spam. Spam is unwanted or unsolicited bulk email, postings, contact requests, SMS (text messages), or instant messages.
iv. Don’t publicly display or use the Services to share inappropriate Content or material (involving, for example, nudity, bestiality, pornography, graphic violence, or criminal activity).
v. Don’t engage in activity that is false or misleading (e.g., asking for money under false pretenses, impersonating someone else, manipulating the Services to increase play count, or affect rankings, ratings, or comments).
vi. Don’t circumvent any restrictions on access to or availability of the Services.
vii. Don’t engage in activity that is harmful to you, the Services, or others (e.g., transmitting viruses, stalking, communicating hate speech, or advocating violence against others).
viii. Don’t infringe upon the rights of others (e.g., unauthorized sharing of copyrighted music or other copyrighted material, resale or other distribution of Bing maps, or photographs).
ix. Don’t engage in activity that violates the privacy of others.
x. Don’t help others break these rules.
b. Enforcement. If you violate these Terms, we may stop providing Services to you or we may close your Microsoft account or Skype account. We may also block delivery of a communication (like email or instant message) to or from the Services in an effort to enforce these Terms or we may remove or refuse to publish Your Content for any reason. When investigating alleged violations of these Terms, Microsoft reserves the right to review Your Content in order to resolve the issue. However, we cannot monitor the entire Services and make no attempt to do so.
Moiz Rafay commented
How do you define hate speech? That is always extremely subjective and overly sensitive nowadays and basically means anything that offends the left. In fact, its often just PR-speak for licence to remove whatever the hell you want.
If microsoft engages in open censorship of reasonable content, I swear I will migrate my account to a better service faster than you can say "we reinstating it."
@lustmorde they probably scan the metadata of files. And they seem to transcode videos (because they are available in multiple resolutions on demand) so they can scan them as they transcode them. Similar idea to YouTube content filtering.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/microsoft-services-agreement This may also help as it is more up to date. Section 3 clears up some questions you have asked. Mainly section 3.6
I contacted OneDrive support about this recently, and they said it was fine to store any films, TV and music that I had legally purchased, and to be honest, a lot of it these days contains some sort of violence, or profanity.
Plus, that code of conduct page you linked was last updated 6 years ago now, before OneDrive was what it is today. Also, these may only apply when you actually share the content with others.
My question would be how they know the content of what you're putting up there to begin with? I assume it's being scanned automatically, but then when something is flagged does a human have to review it to know whether a ban should happen? Whatever is going on, they're obviously accessing our private files and who knows what information they're scraping from us and who they're giving or selling it to.