Crazy Penguin

April 12, 2008

Bluehost TOS

Filed under: Bluehost — Tags: , , , , , , , , — CrazyPenguin @ 7:23 am

Bluehost has one of the most straight forward TOS (terms of service) to understand in the web hosting industry. It is a simple one page of dos and don’ts. It contains all typical verbiage you would expect from a web hosting TOS agreement with the exception of two areas.

  • All activities may be monitored, recorded, and examined by any authorized person, including law enforcement.

So you have zero rights to privacy concerning the content within your Bluehost account whether it is visible to the general public or not. In fact it has been reported Bluehost regularly scans accounts for acceptable content.

  • Foul language and profanity in the site content, and in the domain name are prohibited.

So if Bluehost finds a word that starts with “F” and ends with “K”, and I don’t mean firetruck, but the four letter word, Bluehost has the right to terminate your account without warning. Even if someone posts a profane word in forum on a Bluehost account you are still responsible, and your account can be terminated at any time. The good news, about Bluehost, is they are wishy washy on how they enforce their TOS concerning the profanity policy. So it is kind of a crap shoot whether your account will be terminated or not. Just do a Google search with the terms “Bluehost” and a “profane word”, and see how many results you get. And then check the domain name against a whois lookup or a netcraft lookup to find out who hosts the domain. It is not hard to find dozens of examples of people who are violating Bluehost’s TOS concerning profanity.

So is Matt Heaton (CEO of Bluehost) violating Bluehost’s TOS by referring to Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer as a Jackass in his blog? If Jackass is considered “foul language or profanity” then he is violating the TOS of Bluehost.

Bluehost has a tendency to make up the rules as they go concerning their TOS. No where in Bluehost’s TOS is there a mention of anything about gambling. But this individual ended up having his account suspended for merely discussing the topic of poker on his web site. Bluehost claimed he violated the TOS by having poker content on his web site. Freedom of speech is lacking at Bluehost.

Bluehost encourages anyone that happens to notice a TOS violation to report them to abuse@bluehost.com.

  • If you discover anyone on our system violating any of these terms or notice anything suspicious from our network, report it at abuse@bluehost.com for investigation. We will immediately terminate any account we feel has been in violation of any of these terms.

Bluehost has one of the strictest and most confining TOS in respect to personal freedom out all the hosting companies I have used. In closing Bluehost seems to be rather hypocritical in enforcing and interpreting their TOS. Why even have a TOS if Bluehost can not consistently adhere to it? Bluehost lacks in dealing with their TOS equitably across the board for all clients on a even level.

Please feel free to leave a comment concerning any experiences you have had with Bluehost and their TOS.

If you found this article of interest please feel free to read my other articles Bluehost Blues and Bluehost Exposed.

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