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New Site Will Read Terms of Service So You Don’t Have To

ylegrand, flickr

A website’s Terms of Service, more commonly known as ToS, are often so lengthy and loaded with legal jargon that most of us don’t even bother reading them and just blindly click “agree,” never knowing what’s actually in them.

Now a new site will do the reading for you — and call anything questionable to your attention.

In internet-speak, the acronym “TL;DR” stands for “too long, didn’t read” and is typically used on message boards by people complaining something was too wordy to read, or as a warning by posters that what they’re about to say is exceedingly long.

As a play on that, the site dubbed ToS;DR — “Terms of Service, didn’t read” — creates summaries for various ToS agreements, rating them as either “good,” “mediocre,” “informative,” or “alert” (a nice way of saying “bad”). The plan is for each website’s ToS to eventually be assigned a “class” of between A and E depending on how consumer-friendly its policies are.

It’s a noble undertaking, and because the project is crowdsourced, open and collaborative, anyone is welcome to pitch in and lend a hand. But even if you can’t help out, just using the site could save you from unwittingly signing over your firstborn.


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