Reading The Fine Print: YKA’s Terms of Service

Youth Ki Awaaz has a growing community of more than 75000 writers, users and creators – and is read by more than 4 million people every month. But there is one thing which nobody reads, and that is their Terms of Service.

Unlike other companies, Youth Ki Awaaz’s ToS is not very long or boring, so I highly recommend you to read it for yourself, because I’m quite sure you blindly agreed to it while making your account. I did that to, I made my account without reading the terms, and now I somewhat regret it.

Before you publish any more articles on Youth Ki Awaaz, I ask you to read this and their Terms of Service.

Youth Ki Awaaz if you are reading this, I have few questions.

1.1. The Website and its content is owned and operated by YKA Media Private Limited (“Company/we/us/our”). The Company has been incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 under CIN U74900DL2014PTC263551 having its registered office at 309, MetroPlex East, District Centre, Laxmi Nagar, Delhi, 110092.

The fact that Youth Ki Awaaz is registered as a company and not as an NGO really baffles me. I’m curious to know why is that?

4.3 ,By submitting or posting User Content, you grant us an irrevocable, royalty-free, license to use, display, copy, reproduce, delete, add to, prepare derivative works of, publish and distribute any such User Generated Content and all intellectual property rights associated therewith, throughout the world in any media formats, without any obligation to make any payment to you or others or to give you credit for the same.

User generated content is the articles or videos you make and publish on Youth Ki Awaaz, like this article which is generated by Alizayd.

When I click to publish, I grant Youth Ki Awaaz an irrevocable, royalty-free, license to use, display, copy, reproduce, delete, add to, prepare derivative works of, publish and distribute my work.

Yes, you continue to be the actual author of your work, but the irrevocable nature of the agreement is something which you should question.

(Even the ToS of Instagram uses similar words, but you can always revoke your consent by deleting your photos. Also, one should not be using Instagram at the first place.)

Try deleting an article you published on Youth Ki Awaaz. Turns out you can’t do that, nor you can edit it after sometime. Don’t you think that is wrong? Not a legal wrong, but a moral wrong?

We as users or consumers of Youth Ki Awaaz must demand the Right to be deleted. Right to remove, edit or delete our accounts, it is a part of Right to Privacy. And Right to Privacy is a fundamental right.

4.3 Any User Generated Content submitted or posted by you shall undergo a screening process. This process includes review and modifications to the User Content by our in-house editorial team. We may consult and communicate with you in respect of any such modifications required in the User Content submitted or posted by you.

The Terms of Service of Youth Ki Awaaz has many issues, like there are two paragraphs numbered 4.3.

The articles you write undergo a screening process to check if they comply by the Community Guidelines or not. And they can also modify your content, which they did to my previous article on WhatsApp’s Terms of Service. They changed the title to something which I don’t like.

Even if the editorial team tried to consult me before changing, I would have not been able to answer their emails because I lost access to my old email. YKA’s website is quite glitchy, and I’m unable to change my email address.

If anyone from the Youth Ki Awaaz team is reading this, please help me change my email.

4.5 You further grant us the right to use your name under the license contained in this clause 4.1 in association with your User Content and the promotion and advertising thereof. You also waive any right to inspect or approve any final version of the User Generated Content.

Okay, Youth Ki Awaaz I get that, your company your rules, you can do that. But just be careful, not allowing me to inspect or approve any final version of my content, that can violate Section 57 of the Copyright Act. That can violate my moral rights as the actual author of the content.

10.5 We do not endorse any views expressed on the Website and are merely a platform for users to generate and display relevant Content. As such, we are not responsible for any User Content posted on the Website and do not endorse or subscribe to the views contained in any User Content.

Youth Ki Awaaz do not endorse any views expressed on the website. Then why modify our work? Why change our words? Why not let us be original on your website?

And most importantly, if an article is recommended as a “Staff Pick”, are you still not endorsing any views?

Any article you take, the first line will be “This post has been self-published by (name of the author). Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.”

So, I’m not allowed to change, edit or delete my self-published article. The in-house editorial team may remove, edit, or add any part of it. After modification by the team, is that article still self-published?

Fairness and the freedom of speech and expression are core to YKA’s existence. And we do believe that the best way to counter opposing ideas is to battle ‘em out with more ideas. Censorship is not the solution. (Community Guidelines)

I’m curious to see if this article is censored or not. Even though YKA says censorship is not a solution, they hold the right to remove anything from their website without any reason. (See 7.5)

7.5 We reserve the right to, but do not have any obligation to, (i) remove, refuse to distribute, edit, modify or otherwise manipulate any Content at our sole discretion, at any time, without notice to you or for no reason at all, and (ii) to remove or block any Content from the Website.

When I showed YKA’s Terms of Service to a friend, she said “this is clearly written by someone who hates their job”. That is a bold statement, but if you go and read the Terms for yourself, you will notice that there are some tiny mistakes.

There are two paragraphs numbered 4.3, one of them have an off placed comma, 1.1 seems to have a grammatical mistake, all the sub-clauses of paragraph 6 are not properly numbered and the community guidelines have some slangs in it. Tiny mistakes, not huge or serious mistakes.

However, apart from all this there is something which is missing, that is more freedom to the user, more freedom to the people who use Youth Ki Awaaz’s website to write articles every day.

We have to demand and claim our rights which allows us to delete and edit our content, and permanently delete our profiles.

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