Delicious is dead! Long live Delicious. Like a lot of Delicious users, I recently received a mail urging me to authorise the transfer of my Delicious account and bookmarks to the new service once ownership transfers from Yahoo! to AVOS.
The reception to the news of Delicious’s new owners has been … varied. Marshall Kirkpatrick has written a post in favour of the transfer, but Violet Blue is not so sure. If you do a little bit of digging, you’ll see that the new Delicious has the potential to be far more restrictive on what you can, and what you can’t bookmark, especially where potentially offensive content is linked to. Offensive is a horribly vague and subjective term; one which means many different things to many different people.
At the heart of the issue is the difference in wording between the old Delicious terms …
The linked websites’ content, business practices and privacy policies are not under the control of Delicious, and Delicious is not responsible for the content of any linked website or any link contained in a linked website. (…) In accessing Delicious or following links to third-party websites you may be exposed to content that you consider offensive or inappropriate. You agree that your only recourse is to stop using Delicious.
… and the new ones …
You agree not to do any of the following: post, upload, publish, submit or transmit any Content that: (…) violates, or encourages any conduct that would violate, any applicable law or regulation or would give rise to civil liability; (iii) is fraudulent, false, misleading or deceptive; (iv) is defamatory, obscene, pornographic, vulgar or offensive (…)
If a complaint is made and if the new terms are upheld, you run the risk of having all your bookmarks removed, without recourse and without warning. Admittedly that’s a lot of ifs.
A cursory trawl through my Delicious bookmarks doesn’t seem to have anything obscene or pornographic, but there’s a lot of linked content which is fictitious and could possibly be deemed misleading or deceptive. As the saying goes, you can please some people, some of the time, not all people, all of the time. When you have terms of service which are vague and ambiguous, you can rest assured that someone will exercise their right to be offended. For now, I’ve authorised my old Delicious account to be transferred to the new service, but I’ve also taken a backup, just to be on the safe side.
What’s also unclear is whether the Delicious API and RSS feeds will remain; one of my web sites relies on these to dynamically update the site’s content.
While Delicious lives on, whether I’ll continue to be a user of the service or migrate to my own, self hosted solution, as I’ve already done with my URL shortener, remains to be seen.