By Kiril Kalev

Thoroughly reading through terms of service, privacy policies, cookie policies and a number of other related documents might not sound like an exciting task. Honestly, have you ever taken your time to carefully review all of them instead of simply clicking the “accept” button? Even people with legal background who are well aware of the potential legal significance of these documents are usually reluctant to spend their time on going through the lengthy provisions. Nevertheless, along the way of reading through hundreds of these documents, I have encountered some hidden gems that have made the effort well worth it.

I am not including any comments of mine, as I believe the excerpts I have decided to list in this article are amusing the way they are. Except for snippets having been highlighted in bold on a few occasions, all quotations below are unedited and as seen in each respective document, including the hyperlinks to external websites (make sure to check these!). Please note that some of the excerpts are taken from earlier versions of documents, which have been updated since.
And some of this is just stating the obvious (for example, we will disclose information when the law requires it), but our lawyers make us say it anyway.

– Microsoft Online Advertising Privacy Statement

 

You have to be at least 13 years old to use Tumblr. We’re serious: it’s a hard rule, based on U.S. federal and state legislation. “But I’m, like, 12.9 years old!” you plead. Nope, sorry. If you’re younger than 13, don’t use Tumblr. Ask your parents for a Playstation 4, or try books.

– Tumblr Terms of Service

 

Don’t impersonate anyone. While you’re free to ridicule, parody, or marvel at the alien beauty of Benedict Cumberbatch, you can’t pretend to actually be Benedict Cumberbatch.

– Tumblr Community Guidelines

 

Reblogs, Likes, and Replies are a matter of public record, so if you’re truly ashamed of your desires it’s best to keep them to yourself. But why? Be proud of who you are. You’re beautiful. We’re looking you in the eyes and telling you how beautiful you are.

– Tumblr Privacy Policy

 

Tumblr may determine your location by using drone technology and live video feeds. Ha ha, no, we just check out your IP address or any location data you attach to a post. Normal stuff.

– Tumblr Privacy Policy

 

Because this kind of information can be seen by anyone and may be indexed by search engines (like Google Search, or the far superior Yahoo Search*), you should be careful about what you choose to disclose publicly and make sure it’s information you want to share with everyone.

* Yahoo acquired Tumblr in 2013.

– Tumblr Privacy Policy

 

We are not Big Brother.

Delicious Science has no obligation to monitor your access to or use of the Service or to review or edit any User Content you choose to add and we do not do so as part of our normal operations; (…)

We are also not your Mother, but we do want you to be careful when crossing the Internet.

– Delicious Terms of Service

 

We also may use cookies embedded in emails to help figure out whether anyone is actually reading the drivel that we write.

– Ello Privacy Policy

 

Every line of code we store is saved on a minimum of three different servers, including an off-site backup just in case a meteor ever hits our data centers (we’ll keep our fingers crossed that doesn’t happen).

– GitHub Security

 

– Reddit Content Policy

 

Dress…appropriately Nerds are sexy, and you’re all magnificent, beautiful creatures, but let’s try and keep this about the games, shall we?

Wearing no clothing or sexually suggestive clothing – including lingerie, swimsuits, pasties, and undergarments – is prohibited, as well as any full nude torsos*, which applies to both male and female broadcasters. You may have a great six-pack, but that’s better shared on the beach during a 2-on-2 volleyball game blasting “Playing with the Boys.”

* If it’s unbearably hot where you are, and you happen to have your shirt off (guys) or a bikini top (girls), then just crop the webcam to your face. Problem solved. We sell t-shirts, and those are always acceptable. #Kappa

– Twitch Rules of Conduct

 

Racism, sexism, homophobia, or other hate speech: We’re not going to tell you to watch the potty mouth, that’s between you and your mother who doesn’t approve anyway.

– Twitch Rules of Conduct

 

Attempts to evade suspension: When you’re suspended from Twitch, you are cast out with the other Morlocks. Any attempts to create a new account, identity or broadcast your personality to a Twitch channel (for example, appearing in a video chat, Skype call or being rebroadcast from a different site) will only prolong your suspension.

Twitch staff or volunteer impersonation: You’re good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like you. Why would you want to impersonate anyone else? Besides, if you do, those people who like you will be the aforementioned Morlocks.

– Twitch Rules of Conduct

 

Skype shall exclusively own all now known or hereafter existing rights to the Reports throughout the universe in perpetuity and shall be entitled to use the Reports for any purpose whatsoever, commercial or otherwise, without compensation to the provider of the Reports.

– Skype Terms of Use

 

Further, you agree to:

(…)

  • hold patience in your heart for the hard work we do.

– Riseup Terms of Service

 

We have fought and won every time anyone has tried to get us to give up information. We have never turned over any user data to any third party, fourth party, fifth party or any party.

– Riseup and Government FAQ

 

We are generally a healthy bunch, but some Fitbit employees like to eat cookies. In addition, we use cookies and other technologies like pixel tags and web beacons, to make our site better.

– Fitbit Cookie Policy

 

Are you still reading? Awesome! Please bear with us a little longer as what follows might look as legal boilerplate but it’s actually important. A treat is waiting for you at the end of the page.

(…)

Did you really make it to the end, without missing a word? Well, you deserve a treat: http://bit.ly/XY12HX

– Docracy Terms of Service

 

If you don’t want others to see your name in a project’s Backers tab, choose an account name that is not identifiable (e.g., CatLuvr02).

– Kickstarter Privacy Policy

 

Please avoid sending flames and abusive messages to staff, particularly while we’re trying to solve a problem. It may be good for your ego, but it doesn’t help the network.

– freenode FAQ

 

Do you get a lot of complaints?

Not so many, but the ones we get can be, uh, very memorable. When things are running well, people tend to forget how much work it takes to keep freenode running. If you like the service, tell a staffer. It’ll make our day. 🙂

– freenode FAQ

 

We’re not asking for the kind of respect reserved for nuns, the elderly, and brain surgeons. We mean don’t abuse the site.

– YouTube Community Guidelines

 

Because Medium is shared space, and we want many different ideas to thrive, we need to have a few ground rules. There aren’t many. In fact, they can pretty much all be summed up thusly: Don’t pee in the pool (metaphorically speaking).

– Medium Terms of Service

 

You’re doing great, Dear Reader of these Terms. Let’s rest a moment, shall we? You’ve earned it. So far, so good, right? Everything pretty clear? Well, don’t get too comfortable. Now’s the time to activate the full Galactic Armada of your legal vocabulary comprehension and ALL CAPS READING SKILLS. What follows are several sections of heavily lawyered-up provisions that we would love to express in a more human-readable, less legal manner. But their form and substance has evolved over time, often via brutal, hand-to-hand litigation or not-to-be-ignored authoritative rulings from courts and interpretations by agencies. This gives us little flexibility in the wording, at least if we want to avoid being laughed out of court in some Doomsday scenario that neither of us even wants to think about. So these following provisions are important, you should read them carefully, and we apologize for the excruciating lawyerly patois.

– Medium Terms of Service

 

We may occasionally need to email you some administrative info, tell you something important about your account or changes to our services, or update you on new policies. In really tough situations, like when we got dumped that one time, we might just need to vent about how unfair life is.

– Medium Privacy Policy

 

Neither Automattic nor its suppliers and licensors, makes any warranty that our Services will be error free or that access thereto will be continuous or uninterrupted. If you’re actually reading this, here’s a treat. You understand that you download from, or otherwise obtain content or services through, our Services at your own discretion and risk.

– WordPress Terms of Service