Terms of Service: Staying Away from the Dark Side

Terms of Service: Staying Away from the Dark Side

  • 20 March 2014

One of the biggest sources of frustration with some other ad networks is an ambiguous terms of service (TOS) agreement leading some publishers to be banned without so much as an explanation. This is sometimes after months or years of seemingly good standing with little to no changes to the site.

At Chitika, we have a simple to follow TOS agreement focused on two factors:

  • Keeping our advertisers associated with content that doesn't damage their brand

  • Best servicing our current ad inventory through relevant placements and valid traffic

Meeting these two goals means we can't do business with sites focusing on certain types of content, or sites employing traffic generation methods that actively try to take advantage of our revenue model (i.e. spam). While the full list of prohibited activities is outlined in Exhibit A in the full TOS agreement linked above, in general the types of content we do not allow are:

  • Adult content

    • This includes pornography, gambling, or the sale of guns, alcohol, or tobacco

  • Pervasive profanity

  • Hate speech

  • Malware

    • If a site is proliferating malware in any way, it will be banned

Also, keep in mind the types of traffic to avoid, which generally fall into the category of sources that promise X amount of visitors to your site in exchange for money.

A rule of thumb here is that if the offer seems too good to be true (e.g. $20 for 1 million page views to your site) it probably is, and could lead to account deactivation. To avoid any issues when looking to quickly boost your visitor count, stick to known, trusted sources of traffic. Permitted traffic drivers include investing in a Facebook, Google AdWords, or Bing SERP advertising campaign. And of course, never click on your own ads or use bots to generate clicks.

 

Covering the Grey Areas

Obviously, even keeping all the Chitika TOS in mind, there are bound to be grey areas for some users in terms of what may or may not be allowed.

Recently, we’ve received questions about serving our ads on sites associated with the medical and recreational marijuana industries, which have become legal in some U.S. states. Keep in mind that we can only show ads currently available to us, and presently, the marketplace hasn't presented viable ad inventory for these industries. While this could change in the coming months and years, at this time, we cannot partner with sites focusing on these areas.

Profanity is something many people may use regularly in conversation, and hence, in conversational writing. We aren’t too uptight here at Chitika (Get Sh*t Done is our unofficial slogan), and occasional use of choice four-letter words is perfectly fine in context (e.g. as part of a larger blog post expressing your views on the local sports team). But keep in mind that we will ban sites with profanity in their domain name or relative ubiquitous profanity across the site's content.

Have a question about our TOS agreement? Take a read of the full document or email us at support@chitika.com