April 20, 2018

Don’t Ignore Terms of Service

So recently I wanted to post a comment on a web site and as many web sites are doing these days, I was presented with all kinds of options for logging in via a different service that I might already be logged in to. For example:


 So let’s break this down. Here are the various things that happened when I clicked on these options:

      • AOL: It appeared to be (at least at the login prompt) simply logging into AOL.
      • Google: After clicking on it, a window appeared to pop up and immediately disappear. Was this because I was already logged into Google? But if so, it didn’t help me with my current situation, as the dialog box remained.
      • Twitter: The terms of service were:

“Update your profile”? “Post Tweets for you”? I so don’t think so. Not going there.

    • Facebook:

Should I give up my friends? Would you want me to give up you? I thought not.

  • Yahoo! It appeared to be (at least initially) simply a login to the service.
  • LinkedIn:



So…do I “trust this application”? Trust it with what, specifically?

These appear to be my choices: there may be a 2-3 services that simply provide a login service. But perhaps not, I didn’t go that far. Others are fairly clear up front that you will be selling out your friends, or giving over posting ability to an application that you have no control over. No thanks.

Meanwhile, this was all to simply post a stupid comment? Somehow I think the world can get by without my pearls of wisdom just to leave my friends in peace. If I can’t do that for them, then I have no business being their friend to begin with.

Roy Tennant About Roy Tennant

Roy Tennant is a Senior Program Officer for OCLC Research. He is the owner of the Web4Lib and XML4Lib electronic discussions, and the creator and editor of Current Cites, a current awareness newsletter published every month since 1990. His books include "Technology in Libraries: Essays in Honor of Anne Grodzins Lipow" (2008), "Managing the Digital Library" (2004), "XML in Libraries" (2002), "Practical HTML: A Self-Paced Tutorial" (1996), and "Crossing the Internet Threshold: An Instructional Handbook" (1993). Roy wrote a monthly column on digital libraries for Library Journal for a decade and has written numerous articles in other professional journals. In 2003, he received the American Library Association's LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Excellence in Communication for Continuing Education. Follow him on Twitter @rtennant.


  1. Yes, these multiple gateways to suck down more of my data have also turned me off. Just forget it then is my attitude. It seems like they are letting the cat out of the bag that they really don’t care about ideas and the exchange of views and all that feel-good-early-days-of-the-internet silliness, they are a business and the product is us.