The Problem With Yahoo’s New “Yahoo Contributor Network” is Yahoo
Yahoo is out today promoting their latest social media offering. They picked a fancy new name for it. “Yahoo Contributor Network.” Apparently you can write articles, take photos, do all sorts of work and publish it to the new network.
From the Yahoo Anectdotal Blog:
Have you ever wanted to have your voice heard by an audience of millions? How about hundreds of millions? Whether you think your tips for dissolving credit card debt would be at home on Yahoo! Finance, or you want to share the secrets to being a happy and successful stay-at-work mom on Yahoo! Shine, the launch of the Yahoo! Contributor Network is your chance.
We designed the Yahoo! Contributor Network especially for you, our users, and we’re inviting you to share your perspective and creativity on some of our most popular content sites – including Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo! Finance, omg!, Shine, and even the Yahoo! homepage. The Yahoo! Contributor Network gives you an unprecedented opportunity to reach the largest audiences on the Internet on the topics that matter to you most.
This all sounds sort of interesting, especially to me as a photographer — until I remember that it’s *Yahoo.*
My problem with this offering is that best that I can tell, Yahoo can destroy all of your content on their system that you create at any time for any reason. From the TOS:
“YCN may, without prior notice and at its sole discretion, immediately terminate, limit your access to or suspend your YCN Contributor account and access to the YCN Services, for no reason or for cause which may include your breach of the TOS. YCN shall not be liable to you or any third party for any termination of your account, any associated email address, or access to the YCN Services.
Termination of your YCN Contributor account includes any or all of the following: (a) removal of access to all or part of the offerings within the YCN Services, (b) deletion of your password and all related information, files and content associated with or inside your account (or any part thereof), and (c) barring of further use of all or part of the YCN Services. “
That’s right. Your account can be destroyed immediately and without warning for “NO REASON.” It says so right there in their TOS. Why does this bother me? Because like Flickr, Yahoo here is relying on hours and hours and hours of generous contributions by contributors like you and I. And like Flickr, the rug may be pulled out from under you at any time for any reason.
Since I’ve been involved with Flickr, I’ve watched account after account after account be destroyed without warning. When Flickr destroys your data there is no getting it back. It’s irrevocable. It’s nuked. Gone. Last year I watched as Flickr completely destroyed a pro free speech group on Flickr with over 3,000 members permanently destroying thousands of pages of user contributed content with the flickr of a switch.
So now you’re trying to get me to try out this new service where I submit even more content to Yahoo while at the same time telling me that you can destroy the content I submit at any time for any reason? No Thanks Yahoo. I might buy the argument that this is just lawyerly doublespeak in your TOS except for the fact that I’ve watched so many of my friends have their own data destroyed without warning on Flickr.
How about you show some respect for user data first — and then maybe we can talk about other ways that I might be willing to share my content with you.