As discussed in the Yahoo Community Guidelines, Yahoo Chat includes a diverse base of users with different backgrounds, beliefs and mindsets. These core principles, as championed by Yahoo, are meant to keep the Yahoo Chat community a great place to communicate, interact and explore.
Here is a closer look at the rules which make up the Yahoo Chat community guidelines:
The 5 Yahoo Chat Rules
No. 1: Heed Federal, State Laws
Simply put, Yahoo Chat users agree to abide by all local, state and federal laws and regulations while using these free chat rooms.
A few examples of crimes committed on Yahoo Chat include:
- cybercrimes, including phishing schemes, hacking, etc.
- soliciting minors for sex via the Internet
- harassment or cyberbullying
By no means are these examples exhaustive. As the rule mentions, abide ALL these laws.
No. 2: Don't Own It? Don't Post.
Yahoo prohibits the posting of intellectual property in Yahoo Chat and across their network. Intellectual property, in this instance, includes, but is not limited to, anything with a "copyright, trademark, or other proprietary rights," posted without permission from the owner.
While some may argue fair use, that would include lyrics to music, movie quotes, company slogans and taglines, and the like.
No. 3: Adult Content is Permitted, But...
Want to use adult language or share adult content? Yahoo Chat users are not prohibited from doing so, as long as you are in an area marked as "Adult." For example, in the "Romance" category on Yahoo Chat, an "Adult" section is clearly defined.
Also, note there is no moderation or censorship in Yahoo Chat room, so, it is possible to see and send adult language into a chat room; if you are sensitive to adult language, you can always block a Yahoo Chat user to prevent from viewing their messages.
No. 4: You Are Still Subject to Yahoo TOS
In addition to all those laws and regulations mentioned in Yahoo Chat Rule No. 1, you also are under the jurisdiction of Yahoo Terms of Service, too. I always recommend users of any software, including their favorite IM clients, learn what the terms of service say. You might be surprised what liberties you actually have, and what may happen to your personal data.
No. 5: Heed the Community Rules, Too
As an extension to Yahoo Chat Rule No. 4, you are also bound to any additional community rules set for Yahoo Chat. As of now, I know of no other published rules, except for maybe entering Captcha text in order to actually get in to these chat rooms.
Beyond this, if Yahoo ever does create additional rules, you must abide by them, too. Yahoo Chat users will be notified promptly on these changes via the IM blog and my free IM newsletter as they occur.
What If I Break These Rules?
If a user violates any of these rules in Yahoo Chat, Yahoo may choose to take action against a user. Violations may result in termination of your Yahoo ID, including but not limited to your email account, membership in Yahoo groups, profiles, etc.
So, before you post, ask yourself if it is worth breaking the rules. Your actions may cost you much more than chat room access.