On those TOS…

Call me cynical, but Quora has been talking for quite a while now about how to effectively monetize the platform.

It wouldn’t surprise me to see this post “vanish” or get collapsed by downvotes/moderation/Bots, so I’m gonna copy the whole thing to fixerguy’s Blog and publish it there first.

I’d be willing to bet that the folks sending out these “news” stories and other such links are paying Quora for allowing access to us and our eyeballs… all umpy-million of us, neatly parsed and sorted into interest groups by the topics we follow and the answers we write.

They may well start doing the same in reverse with our answers fairly soon as well, by selling access to us and our answers to news outlets and other media. Doubt me? Y’all might go review that TOS you checked off as agreeing to but didn’t actually read or understand it.


What I find very interesting here is that I tried numerous ways to copy this wording so I could discuss it in-line and annotate it for that discussion. Even though I use Firefox with a “universal text copy” add in, I couldn’t even select any part of it. This is the first place I’ve run across that… the implications are a bit alarming. That said, I’m a country boy, and there are many, MANY, ways to skin any given cat…

Now I’m sure that most here are reasonably smart folks, but let’s take a closer look at that agreement y’all said oke doke to without reading it..

See that nasty little fucker in parentheses in the very first paragraph?

(with the right to sublicense)

Yes, that harmless sounding little fucker is actually a baby Black mamba … Now I know what you’re thinking here “What the ELF* is sublicense, and how in the ELF could it run up behind me and bite me in the ass?” (*EverLovinFuck)


n. A license giving rights of production or marketing of products or services to a person or company that is not the primary holder of such rights.


Well folks, the word production here isn’t really a problem as it just means they get to put anything you post out there in the world… but marketing your content” = Selling It For Their Profit… without paying you a single stinking dime.

Y’all: Oh, but Quora is one of the white hats! They wouldn’t do such Eevil nasty things like Google does, would they?!!

Me: *SNORT LAUGHING* Lay off that ‘shine and smoke son! It’s messing with your mind! Take a hard look at the last sentence in that second paragraph.

(Emphasis on the ELF is mine)

Such additional uses by Quora or others may be made with no compensation paid to you with respect to the content that you submit, post, transmit or otherwise make available through the service

Me: Yea, they absolutely would, and if you’d read the damned thing, they flat told you they would right up front in the first two paragraphs. Not only that but they told you they’ll sell it to others without paying you a single stinking dime.

And, because you checked that little old harmless looking little Black mamba box saying “I Agree” there’s not a damned thing you can do about it.

Now, on one level I can’t really fault them because, quite literally, every online service does this. Google was the first and they did it right before they removed the word “Don’t” from their Don’t Be Evil motto. On another level this is just one more bit of evidence that we live in s world completely governed by a corporate fascist owned Kleptocracy.

Even more interesting is the amendment for official government users…