Editorial Microsoft researches & bans drug talk from Skype, Outlook, Office and all other services.

By Alfa · Mar 27, 2018 · ·
  1. Alfa
    Microsoft has update its terms of use to ban illegal activity, inappropriate content, harmful activity, offensive language on its services and software. Microsoft reserves the right to review your content. This seems to effectively ban content and talk about drugs on its services. The following services certainly fall under the new policy: Skype, Outlook.com & Hotmail, Office 365, MS Office, XBox, Bing, MSN, Cortana, OneDrive.

    It is unclear if Windows 10 itself falls under this service agreement or not. Windows 10 is more a cloud service where your files can be copied to the Microsoft servers and the operation system gathers a lot of information about the content on the computer.

    This move by Microsoft is likely motivated by the US Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) and the Stop Enabling Sex-Trafficking Act (SESTA), which congress passed recently. These new laws would hold platforms responsible for users’ speech, illegally shared content, and anything that might be construed as trafficking.

    Here are the important parts of Microsoft's new service agreement:
    • i. Don’t do anything illegal.
    • ii. Don’t engage in any activity that exploits, harms, or threatens to harm children.
    • iii. Don’t send spam. Spam is unwanted or unsolicited bulk email, postings, contact requests, SMS (text messages), or instant messages.
    • iv. Don’t publicly display or use the Services to share inappropriate content or material (involving, for example, nudity, bestiality, pornography, offensive language, graphic violence, or criminal activity).
    • v. Don’t engage in activity that is fraudulent, false or misleading (e.g., asking for money under false pretenses, impersonating someone else, manipulating the Services to increase play count, or affect rankings, ratings, or comments).
    • vi. Don’t circumvent any restrictions on access to or availability of the Services.
    • vii. Don’t engage in activity that is harmful to you, the Services, or others (e.g., transmitting viruses, stalking, posting terrorist content, communicating hate speech, or advocating violence against others).
    • viii. Don’t infringe upon the rights of others (e.g., unauthorized sharing of copyrighted music or other copyrighted material, resale or other distribution of Bing maps, or photographs).
    • ix. Don’t engage in activity that violates the privacy of others.
    • x. Don’t help others break these rules.

    b. Enforcement. If you violate these Terms, we may stop providing Services to you or we may close your Microsoft account. We may also block delivery of a communication (like email, file sharing or instant message) to or from the Services in an effort to enforce these Terms or we may remove or refuse to publish Your Content for any reason. When investigating alleged violations of these Terms, Microsoft reserves the right to review Your Content in order to resolve the issue. However, we cannot monitor the entire Services and make no attempt to do so.

Recent User Reviews

  1. gonzochef
    "Necessary Knowledge"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed May 23, 2018
    While I don't care for the content of the article, I'm glad to have the heads up and know that information, and the word is spreading. In this day and age we must all be vigilant with our rights, whether given freely or still waiting to be taken by force. Question everything,. Be the change you want to see in this amazing new technological world we're soon to all be a part of. If you don't like the way things are done, change it. Try new things.
    Sorry to veer off the topic a bit, but the article stirred up some strong feelings. That, too, shows proof of the article's quality and importance. Thank you for posting this.
    Oh great, now I've got the heebie-jeebies...
    TheBigBadWolf likes this.
  2. the elusive eye
    "read the fine print"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Mar 29, 2018
    this highlights the importance of always reading the fine print and not just "blind-accepting" original or changes to Terms of Service/Terms of Use, User Agreements, and other electronically-delivered notices that are so ubiquitous these days, from Microsoft services to Facebook to even the rewards card for your favorite grocery store.

    it's so easy to just click "accept" or "agree" without even opening them, or taking one or two seconds and skimming over them at best in many cases, especially since they tend to be very similarly worded and saying the same thing as all the others, but that's how stuff like this gets overlooked, and only gets discovered by the user when it's too late and it bites them in the ass.

    while it probably won't cause much more than a minor annoyance with something like a favorite cell phone game app, something as pervasive as Microsoft or Google, with their varying platforms and the way they all interconnect to permeate a user's online experience, could potentially bring a person's professional or personal life to a virtual halt with the loss of access to/ability to use important services (MS - Windows, Office, Outlook/Hotmail, OneDrive, Skype, XBox, Windows Mobile [now obsolete], Edge, Bing, and more, and the single user ID/password for all of them...Google - Gmail, Google+, Hangouts, Chrome, YouTube, Docs, Drive, Android/Play Store, Google Play Music, Chrome OS [Chromebooks], Maps, AdSense/AdWords, Picasa, and so many more, also with one user ID/password). even Facebook, with the ability to "login with Facebook" to consolidate accounts under one umbrella login, could potentially cause a not-so-insignificant interruption to a user that loses access.
  3. Delia
    "Appalling news"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Mar 27, 2018
    5 stars because the content is impotent and I hope other members see this article.

    The programs it covers might and assumidly will affect different people and censorship isn't constructive, especially when it comes to how difficult it is to find and be able to discuss substance use without ramifications, stigma and other negative association.

    While I don't agree with the plans and l could go on a rampage of my disgust it sadly is what it is, another step towards closure of online privacy.

    Thank you for posting, possibly would be of benefit to make it a feature article.


  1. aemetha
    Well, that will make it difficult to write assignments on illegal drug use. Hard to write a case study on illegal drug use without sharing material involving criminal activity :confused:.
  2. ladywolf2012
    Oh, this is appalling. Another example of Big Brother stepping in to censor us, except that in this case, it is big brother's private brother, not government. However, they are bedfellows.

    So what do I do about transferring my memoirs around using Microsoft office? My memoirs certainly talk about illegal drug use. Many books written using Office do. The ramifications of this new rule could be very far-reaching--I don't think anyone has even thought about some of the areas this rule could touch. Good grief.
      Dave Brooks likes this.
    1. Alfa
      Its possible to use a version of MS office that is not a cloud service. i.e. No office 365 nor Office 2016/2018, but office 2013 or earlier or open office.
      Reasonable and the elusive eye like this.
    2. TheBigBadWolf
      I'm using Office 95 for some years now. my letters and what I have to write are only on my computer and thats where they belong.
      don't use cloud services for important stuff.
      thats's my way of seeing it.
  3. ladywolf2012
    I'm horrified.
  4. ladywolf2012
    Hmmm, that means having to buy an older version of office to use just because a line in my book says, "He passed the joint to me and we got stoned together?"

    This is insane.
      perro-salchicha614 likes this.
  5. skinhead76
    I totally understand the stopping of child porn and all other things related to it but fuck off if you think you can stop people from talking about drugs on their personal emails . It's censorship and it's wrong. I'm so glad i'm old and won't be around to see what kind of shit the world turns into. Sorry state of affairs.
  6. hookedonhelping
    • iii. Don’t send spam. Spam is unwanted or unsolicited bulk email, postings, contact requests, SMS (text messages), or instant messages.
    I'd like to see that enforced on Xbox live. The amount of instant messages from butt hurt players can be annoying.

    M$ sucks on so many levels which is why I switched to apples 15 years ago. They wouldn't even unlock the iPhone of a suspected terrorist a few years back. They take security and privacy seriously and that's worth paying a bit more for their products.

    Gotta wonder how many users they are going to lose with this ridiculousness. It's 2018, you should be communicating with apps like Signal or Threema if you have anything to say aside from, "Hi".
  7. gonzochef
    So does that mean that any communication DF users may make to each ther offsite, say, if they use hotmail, their content could be monitored and removed? Fuck all that noise. I really do hate technology sometimes.
  8. fotia
    Microsoft must be on its way out anyway. Has been for a while. I mean, i use all Microsoft stuff, I'm not a known apple guy/fan (no specific reason), but this is just my sense of things.
  9. Reasonable
    There appears to be good with the intent of some of the initiatives, but the privacy violations, if in the fine print, are certainly not permissible.

    This clause here should be amended:

    "iii. Don’t send spam. Spam is unwanted or unsolicited bulk email, postings, contact requests, SMS (text messages), or instant messages."

    That's not the correct definition of Spam because, although terms can evolve over time, it doesn't mention the traditionally accepted "commercial" intent of Spam. Besides that, postings? The only way to know if a posting is "unwanted" is if someone opts out of receiving posts at all. If they do opt out, then the settings shouldn't allow them. Quite Easily Done.
  10. blizz66
    So they are using keyword list to go through peoples email and flag them to be reviewed. This day and age it best to go back to the old world and have face to face conversations or just use the phone. Anything that's typed/text is being viewed by big brother. Your better off just talking on the phone. Pretty hard to get a warrant to tap a phone and usually not worth the time
  11. PastorFuzz
    Nuthn new. Your fon, your laptop, your credit cards all leave a footprint. It seems as if the erosion of our rights increases hand-in-hand with our rising standard of living. We can have everything we want with the swipe of a finger. We're being lulled into complacency. We're so damn comfortable we don't feel the noose gettin tighter....or care.
  12. gonzochef
    I think the most relevant portion of this conversation is the part about reading the fine print, and the encouragement to review all settings and thoroughly read the terms and conditions. For reasons unknown to me, the most random apps that I would prefer to use (because they actually make life easier or more manageable for me) seem to be the ones that wanna access your texts, location, emails, contacts, and even have the ability to use the CAMERA without your knowledge or permission! I mean, in all seriousness, what the fuck?! The extreme lack of reasoning behind these ridiculous breech of freedom of speech and personal liberty.
    The whole tech industry is out to gather ALL the information and use it to the detriment of our free society. Profit, power, and complete track-ability of ...well, pretty much everyone; that seems to be the logical end game. I'm absolutely terrified of what the future will see. Thank goodness I don't plan on being around for all that much longer anyway. 15-20 more years is about all I can really hope for at this point, and I'm ok with that.
      PastorFuzz likes this.
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!