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Frequently Asked Questions on TOS changes regarding information sharing and interviews

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
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re: "I'm not educated in the law. I don't know how valid or legally binding any of this is."

 

This has nothing to do with "the law." This is about Upwork TOS. (But not ONLY Upwork TOS.)

 

Everything on Upwork is governed by a combination of Upwork TOS, Upwork system source code, and how Upwork employees and users actually use the system.

 

The new policy about keeping communications on Upwork is something we intend to follow because we want to follow Upwork's rules... whether we do that to be collegial or polite or responsible, or out of fear of being sanctioned, or for other reasons. But like many Upwork rules, this is primarily on the honor system.

 

There is certainly no law outside of Upwork, such as within the federal penal code, that suggests that people can't communicate via Zoom during a freelance job interview period.

 

When in Rome, we follow the laws of Rome. When on Upwork, we follow Upwork's rules.

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Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
542 of 931

I think what makes some people uncomfortable is the fact that how things work on Upwork is not ENTIRELY spelled out in the posted TOS.


There are other sources of rules, including policy guidelines followed by Upwork employees, rules enforced by source code, and unwritten rules. There are things that are in TOS which are there for a reason, but which are not necessarily enforced with the same consistency or level of exactitude as other things.

 

This is true everywhere.

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Ace Contributor
Sean S Member Since: Mar 2, 2020
543 of 931

Preston H wrote:

re: "I'm not educated in the law. I don't know how valid or legally binding any of this is."

 

This has nothing to do with "the law." This is about Upwork TOS. (But not ONLY Upwork TOS.)

 

Everything on Upwork is governed by a combination of Upwork TOS, Upwork system source code, and how Upwork employees and users actually use the system.

 

The new policy about keeping communications on Upwork is something we intend to follow because we want to follow Upwork's rules... whether we do that to be collegial or polite or responsible, or out of fear of being sanctioned, or for other reasons. But like many Upwork rules, this is primarily on the honor system.

 

There is certainly no law outside of Upwork, such as within the federal penal code, that suggests that people can't communicate via Zoom during a freelance job interview period.

 

When in Rome, we follow the laws of Rome. When on Upwork, we follow Upwork's rules.


I agree with all of that. I personally view Upwork as Upwork, whether it is official replies or written TOS. It's all, at the end of the day, Upwork saying it. So within that realm, I would just reference whatever Upwork-specific verbiage was in place. It seems that this line of reasoning was also confirmed by Valeria and Vladimir.

This is where my statement of ignorance comes in about law. Wasn't sure if the other post above me spoke about something being 'binding' in a legal sense, maybe they had some other insight outside of Upwork that I was unaware of. Thus my wholehearted claim of ignorance for any outside intervention with the legal system.

 

Thanks for further clarity, Preston.

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Ace Contributor
Valerie S Member Since: Jun 22, 2015
544 of 931

Sean S wrote:


This (screenshot below) was the offical reply given earlier today regarding similar questions. I'm not educated in the law. I don't know how valid or legally binding any of this is. Just passing along the official response that was given regarding the subject from various people asking.

 

ToS-updates-Valeria.JPG


Keyword here is...WAS...where did this go, I can't find it????? (Not to mention this official response sounds very much fitting of your earlier mentioned Shrek/Pinnochio comparison)...

 

NEVERMIND!  Sorry, I found it.  However, it still sounds like Shrek/Pinnochio.  

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Ace Contributor
George S Member Since: Jun 2, 2011
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Sean S wrote:

George S wrote:

Where are the exceptions mentioned in the new TOS ?

 

The agreement between Upwork and myself is on the bases of the TOS document not a forum post! If the exceptions listed here are not specifically included in the TOS, then they are non-binding and pretty much meaningless.


This (screenshot below) was the offical reply given earlier today regarding similar questions. I'm not educated in the law. I don't know how valid or legally binding any of this is. Just passing along the official response that was given regarding the subject from various people asking.

 

ToS-updates-Valeria.JPG


Have you ever signed a contract specifically saying that you cannot do something and then after signing it the guy tells you ..."oh, don't worry too much, you can still do it under this and that condition" ?

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Community Guru
Maria T Member Since: Nov 12, 2015
546 of 931

George S wrote:

Sean S wrote:

George S wrote:

Where are the exceptions mentioned in the new TOS ?

 

The agreement between Upwork and myself is on the bases of the TOS document not a forum post! If the exceptions listed here are not specifically included in the TOS, then they are non-binding and pretty much meaningless.


This (screenshot below) was the offical reply given earlier today regarding similar questions. I'm not educated in the law. I don't know how valid or legally binding any of this is. Just passing along the official response that was given regarding the subject from various people asking.

 

ToS-updates-Valeria.JPG


Have you ever signed a contract specifically saying that you cannot do something and then after signing it the guy tells you ..."oh, don't worry too much, you can still do it under this and that condition" ?


Really, I think that since when a decision is made against a freelancer, we are told that what he/she did goes against TOS (sadly not specified), I hope that the exceptions are reflected in the TOS.
What will they tell us now?
"Broke the TOS and the exception reflected in the thread on the topic found on page 600"

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Ace Contributor
Sean S Member Since: Mar 2, 2020
547 of 931

George,

I agree that it's definitely NOT the best way to handle something like TOS. Especially when violations against these TOS can result in site ban/loss of income. So the TOS should be in full detail in one specific location, for quick reference, and not spread out all over a community thread.

 

That said, I was just passing what Valeria and Vladimir stated as their official answers on the subject. Also, it does seem to be their normal way of operating: "Hi freelancer, please see this Help Article/Community Post regarding this matter." So I'm sure with it all being Upwork, the changes would hold up if found and referenced. But again, this should NOT be the case with TOS.

 

How can a new user agree to the TOS if they were unaware that they needed to join and peruse the community threads for any changes? Then one day they get a slap on the wrist educational message from the Upwork team that they violated TOS per a related community post...absurd. 

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Active Member
Aileen T Member Since: Feb 2, 2020
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Hi!

My client sent me a zoom link account for a pre-contract interview. Is it okay to accept it given the updated terms of service? I can't see if he has an enterprise badge.
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Community Guru
Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
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If he does not have an Enterprise account then no. 

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Active Member
Sami A Member Since: Jun 27, 2020
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I am bidding on a project where the client asked to show a website that I created. Can I share website links to show him my portfolio/work?

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