Preventing Inappropriate Content
Copyrights and the DMCA
We strongly believe in the value of intellectual property and importance of protecting it. One of the ways that we help intellectual property owners is to comply in all respects with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), including the notice and takedown procedure. As stated in our Terms of Service we enforce our policy barring the upload of infringing content onto the Ning Platform. We respect the rights of copyright owners and you must do the same, which includes only uploading content that you have permission to and removing any possibly infringing content uploaded by your members. Please see our FAQs about copyrights for some basics about copyrights.
As a Network Creator, you may be interested in learning more about the DMCA as well. If so, you may consider the following:
- Host a page containing your copyright policy.
- Include a prominent link to your copyright policy on each page of your social network on which users can access content uploaded by other users, with the link being entitled “Copyright Policy” or words to the same effect.
- Register an agent to receive notices of claimed infringement with the U.S. Copyright Office. To register a Designated Agent, you must fill out the form located here completely and accurately.
- Conscientiously follow your copyright policy.
- Include the following statement reasonably prominently where appropriate: “By making any content available on this social network, you represent and warrant that you own or have licensed all rights necessary to properly do so.”
For informational purposes only, please see our Sample Copyright Policy.
THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. YOU ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE AND LIABLE FOR COMPLYING WITH ALL APPLICABLE LAWS, INCLUDING COPYRIGHT AND PRIVACY LAWS, IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR APPLICATION, AND WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO OBTAIN INDEPENDENT LEGAL COUNSEL.
For your benefit and in the interest of protecting the intellectual property rights of others, we strongly encourage Network Creators to familiarize themselves with trademark law before creating a social network and uploading content. Please see the following trademark law resources for informational purposes:
No one likes spam, and there are many features you can take advantage of to prevent spam from appearing on your social network:
- Sign-up quiz and CAPTCHA: Adding a quiz to the sign-up process for your social network makes it difficult for spammers to join since they will need to take the time to research the answer. Your quiz could be related to the topic of your social network, or could be something as simple as: “What colors are @pp1es?” with possible answers being “red” and “green.” CAPTCHA requires anyone joining to successfully type in the words of a random computer-generated string.
- Email verification: As a Network Creator, you can enable email verification on your social network for all new members, requiring them to verify that the email address used is valid.
Email verification and the sign-up quiz are off by default, but we encourage you to take advantage of them as they’re effective and once set up, don’t require any time from you or your Admins.
- Member moderation: With member moderation turned on, new members must be approved by you or one of your Admins before they can sign in or do any sort of activity, such as posting blog posts or photos. You and your Admins can choose to receive email notifications when new members try to join your social network. If there is anyone pending that you’re not comfortable with joining your social network or if you think they may post spam, you can decline their membership.
- Content moderation: If you notice that members are posting spam with particular features, such as photos, videos, blog posts or events, you can turn on moderation for the feature before content is approved. When turned on, a notification box will appear in the right-hand column indicating that there is new content awaiting approval.
- Suspending members: If a member posts spam to your social network, you can Suspend for Spam. Doing so will remove any content they’ve posted, remove their membership and prevent them from joining again with the same email address.
Inappropriate Content, Generally
Our Terms of Service specifically prohibit certain types of content, such as nudity, spam and anything that infringes on someone else’s rights, and you may have your own guidelines beyond that. There are many tools available in your social network and many things you can do that allow you to ensure that all of the content your members upload fit within our terms, your social network’s topic and your safety goals.
- Clearly posted terms & guidelines: Make sure your members know what your rules are. You can post them using the Notes or Pages features, and take advantage of the featuring option to ensure your guidelines are always front and center. For good measure, you can create a profile question requiring members to acknowledge upon joining that they’ve agreed to your terms and guidelines and remind them of this by customizing your social network’s welcome message.
- Network Administrators: Admins can help you keep an eye on troublesome members. If necessary, you could even coordinate a schedule so that an Admin is available around the clock to address your members’ reports and any inappropriate behavior. Admins can serve different purposes depending on where you anticipate trouble from members; you can appoint a member to moderate an entire feature or multiple features. Alternatively, if you have specific content that you need help moderating – such as a very active forum thread – you can choose an individual content item by URL for the role to moderate. An Administrator of a content item can delete comments, remove the item from your Ning Network and perform other administrative duties.
- Member support: Make sure your members know that you’re dedicated to keeping your social network within your terms. Encourage them to report anything that’s inappropriate to you ASAP. After all, this is their community too, and they can be your best advocates.
- Content moderation: You can choose to require your and your Admins’ approval for all photos, videos, blog posts, events and groups before they appear on your social network.
- Limiting who can create events and groups: You can limit the ability to create groups and events so only you and your Admins can do this.
- Control members’ ability to edit profile pages: Inappropriate content on member profile pages may be a bit more difficult for you to discover, so if you’d rather members not change their profile page theme and layout, you can disable this option.
- Content featuring: You can use the feature option to showcase interesting content and members on your main page. When you feature content, it’ll also appear at the top of the home page for that section. A featured photo, for example, will appear above all the other photos at the top of the Photos page.
- Deletion: You have ultimate control over what appears on your social network. You can delete any piece of content at any time. Just look for the “Delete” links or “X” that denotes the option to delete content across your social network.