Plenty of big news today, such as the Wall Street Journal launching a Wikileaks killer, called ‘Safehouse’.
The WSJ claim that all entries will be reviewed by an Editor, who will decide the correct course of action. It’s only been a matter of time until somebody tries to capitalize on the Wikileaks success, and the WSJ make sense: they have a huge journalistic reach, and the ability shed light on issues where others may not.
But, friends, let’s take the WSJ as an example of how to NOT write a terms of service. A T.O.S. should understand your users, their motivation, and ensure that you are protected without alienating users. When we read the T.O.S. for Safehouse:
“”we reserve the right to disclose any information about you to law enforcement authorities or to a requesting third party, without notice, in order to comply with any applicable laws and/or requests under legal process, to operate our systems properly, to protect the property or rights of Dow Jones or any affiliated companies, and to safeguard the interests of others”
I don’t claim to be a genius, but something tells me this is not an attractive proposition to whistleblowers. Whether you consider whistleblowing ethical or not, clearly the WSJ have stumbled. If they have not alienated their potential user base already with this move, it will only take one execution of this rule to erode any trust they build.