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quinterooscar
Member

Violation of terms of service, what is okay to share before the contract starts?

I received a notice stating that I had violated Upwork's terms of service by sharing personal contact information before the contract had started.

My question is; is it okay to share emails, skype ids, or linkedin profiles?
Linkedin is my area of expertise in order to persuade potential clients I usually have to share my linkedin profile.

In every proposal I make, I share my calendly link is that Ok?

19 REPLIES 19

None of the above are allowed. 


Martina P wrote:

None of the above are allowed. 


Is that why we could see pretty often something like "Please share your Skype ID", "Please send us a link to your portfolio on LinkedIn profile or your proposal would not be considered"   as the additional questions in the jobs descriptions?  


Paul T wrote:

Martina P wrote:

None of the above are allowed. 


Is that why we could see pretty often something like "Please share your Skype ID", "Please send us a link to your portfolio on LinkedIn profile or your proposal would not be considered"   as the additional questions in the jobs descriptions?  


I can't answer that question. But when you see something like this, it's best to flag the job posting for asking for contact information. 


Martina P wrote:

Paul T wrote:

Martina P wrote:

None of the above are allowed. 


Is that why we could see pretty often something like "Please share your Skype ID", "Please send us a link to your portfolio on LinkedIn profile or your proposal would not be considered"   as the additional questions in the jobs descriptions?  


I can't answer that question. But when you see something like this, it's best to flag the job posting for asking for contact information. 


Why should we flag these jobs if it's allowed by UW to ask for this information right in the jobs description? 

It's not allowed to ask this information in the jobs descriptions, clients do it either because they are ignorent to the rules or don't care, and Upwork doesn't know which jobs ask for this - hence we should flag it to let it know.


Tatevik G wrote:

 ...clients  are ignorent to the rules or don't care

....Upwork doesn't know which jobs ask for this

...we should flag it to let it know.


Nice answer, looks like : 

- Is it strictly prohibited?

- Yes... but not strictly! 

 

I prefer to keep all my communications in Upwork's chat - it's the safer way for me, but some clients just prefer to use email, skype, phone calls, even for the first interview.  I always really try to explain that at least I prefer to start our communication in Upwork's chat... and sometimes they could agree with that or they could just stop reply... many of these clients have a  proven work history and great feedbacks on Upwork. 

 

So, not too many choices really - to lose a potential contract instantly, or to share the contact information, profiles' links they want.


Paul T wrote:

Tatevik G wrote:

 ...clients  are ignorent to the rules or don't care

....Upwork doesn't know which jobs ask for this

...we should flag it to let it know.


Nice answer, looks like : 

- Is it strictly prohibited?

- Yes... but not strictly! 

 

I prefer to keep all my communications in Upwork's chat - it's the safer way for me, but some clients just prefer to use email, skype, phone calls, even for the first interview.  I always really try to explain that at least I prefer to start our communication in Upwork's chat... and sometimes they could agree with that or they could just stop reply... many of these clients have a  proven work history and great feedbacks on Upwork. 

 

So, not too many choices really - to lose a potential contract instantly, or to share the contact information, profiles' links they want.


So, because people can kill and sell drugs this means they are not strictly prohibited? Thanks God not everybody uses your same logic.

It is strictly prohibited and it is a violation of the ToS, there's nothing else to it. Tell that to the client. If you loose the client because you want to respect the terms and they don't, think that just like they are not respecting the terms of Upwork they may as well not respect the terms of your contract. And you really consider the option of breaking the terms to satisfy such a client? 

The fact that you consider it, may be the biggest of your problems. The real choices you have are: a) abide to the terms or b) eventually leave Upwork (by your own decision or not). But you knew this when you signed up, that is what "Terms of Service" means, they provide you with the service as long as you follow the terms. What other choices did you expect?


Marc C wrote:


So, because people can kill and sell drugs this means they are not strictly prohibited? Thanks got not everybody uses your same logic.



I have a better comparison to you, my friend. These examples are similar in their stupidity to your example...  but without drugs and absolute evil  ๐Ÿ™‚

 

You're driving on an empty highway 100 km/h and noticed ducks family crossing. You could use the brakes which is  prohibited in this case because you potentially could make a lot of problems for others who could be around you, or you could save the ducks.

 

Or, just, for example, you could share your SkypeID with your new client, earn some money, make a donation to a cancer center and help to save a life for someone.



It is strictly prohibited and it is a violation of the ToS, there's nothing else to it. Tell that to the client. If you loose the client because you want to respect the terms and they don't, think that just like they are not respecting the terms of Upwork they may as well not respect the terms of your contract. And you really consider the option of breaking the terms to satisfy such a client? 



It looks like a routine for them. Looks like some of them used these types of communications 100 contracts and $100,000 USD dollars ago. Seem like everyone is happy to work with such clients. Including UW. Are you really considering to report such a client just because the client very pleasley asked you for your SkypeID or email? 

 


Marc C wrote:

The fact that you consider it, may be the biggest of your problems. The real choices you have are: a) abide to the terms or b) eventually leave Upwork (by your own decision or not). But you knew this when you signed up, that is what "Terms of Service" means, they provide you with the service as long as you follow the terms. What other choices did you expect?

I don't have any problem. Just having some chat here while not too busy ๐Ÿ™‚

 

So, I do follow the TOS. Always, as you can see. And I never suggested something different or act against the TOS.

 

But I asked why if it's prohibited in the TOS then why clients are allowed to ask this type of information even in job descriptions and additional qualifying questions.  Technically, it's a very simple task to deny these questions, just by keywords for example, but in fact, there are no restrictions. 

They aren't "allowed" to ask for that information, but Upwork isn't able to physically control what people type in a job post. When those jobs or messages get reported, the job post is taken down or the client gets warned. 

They are able to do so. They can parse the messages and catch suspicious words (such as skype, linkedin,...) that could raise flags. This is nothing new.

 

They don't do it because they decided it is not worth it or because they want to avoid other inconvenients that such a feature may expose. In any case, just because one can do something does not mean that one may do something.

If the ToS says this is not allowed, the fact that one can technically do it is not relevant.


Marc C wrote:

They are able to do so.


No, they are not able to do so in all instances. Scammers and even just clients who want to get around the rule think up new ways of asking for Skype ID and other contact info all the time. Upwork can play catch up as much as they can to stop these TOS violations, but as I said Upwork cannot physically control what others do and they cannot physically control what people type. Please read what I wrote again instead of refuting something entirely different. 

Yes, they are. It is easy to remove any link in a text as well as removing any email address, even with spaces or other characters in between. Of course, people will try to find ways to circumvent it and will do so successfully in many cases. But this is what "security" means, to make things harder for the intrusions to happen. You can never have anything that is 100% save and free of emails or links, but you can prevent a big part of them. It is false to say that just because you cannot detect 100% of the cases, this can not be done. It most certainly can.



This is really funny. Whether you plan on giving part of your earnings to a good cause has nothing to do with breaking the terms, or you were really expecting the clause to read "it is a violation of the ToS, except if you donate an X% to charity, in which case there is not problem in giving contact details". Really funny.

There are 2 things here: 1) whether breaking the terms is good or not and 2) whether this clause in the ToS is abusive or not.

And I think you over-complicate it. 1) breaking the ToS is neither good or evil, but it can get you banned whether you give to charity or not, so it is your choice and it was clear when you signed up. And 2) Upwork provides a service and I think it is fair that they get some benefit. There are so many ways in which people can use Upwork and then remove them from the monetary flow, I don't think it is strange that they try to find ways to prevent it.

 

There is nothing more to it. If the client has used Skype successfully before or not, is not a variable in the equation. Who cares? Upwork wants to make sure you don't use the service and leave without paying, like they do in restaurants, hotels, ... and myself. Now, you may say the client simply wants to use Skype but is willing to pay inside Upwork. That may be the case, but you are asking Upwork to take a leap of faith and trust that both you and the client will do good. Again, very funny.

Instead, you could be asking the client to use the Zoom feature just this once. If they finally hire you, then you will use anything they like. What kind of client, knowing that they are asking you to risk a ban, when there is an alternative that does not put any of you at risk, is not willing to jump on a call in the same app they are using to first message you? They don't even have to create a new account anywhere, simply click the green button instead of the blue one. Seriously, the whole discussion is becoming a running joke already.


Marc C wrote:


2) Upwork provides a service and I think it is fair that they get some benefit.


There are no benefits at all for all 3 parties involved (Upwork, freelancer, client), if freelancers are not getting contracts. Including the case when a freelancer doesn't follow a client's instructions and requests on the proposal stage. It is not equal to " let's start the project outside" even if a client asked you for your email or etc.

 

3 simple examples are below: 

 

1.  A client could need your email to share some files. He doesn't want, or it's denied by corporate protocols, etc,   to create unsecure/not-personalized links to the files for safety reasons. A freelancer  can't start or accept the contract before he checks  for the materials and project details (it just would be not professional I guess);

 

2. A freelancer could be requested to provide some additional credentials and details for NDA. You can't get work offer, access to any project's details etc.  before you sign it. 

 

3. In every proposal, we're sending the links to our projects, portfolios, profiles, GitHub links, Youtube videos, etc and these links include some contact info.  

 

 

 

 

 


Paul T wrote:

Marc C wrote:


2) Upwork provides a service and I think it is fair that they get some benefit.


There are no benefits at all for all 3 parties involved (Upwork, freelancer, client), if freelancers are not getting contracts. Including the case when a freelancer doesn't follow a client's instructions and requests on the proposal stage. It is not equal to " let's start the project outside" even if a client asked you for your email or etc.

 

3 simple examples are below: 

 

1.  A client could need your email to share some files. He doesn't want, or it's denied by corporate protocols, etc,   to create unsecure/not-personalized links to the files for safety reasons. A freelancer  can't start or accept the contract before he checks  for the materials and project details (it just would be not professional I guess);

 

2. A freelancer could be requested to provide some additional credentials and details for NDA. You can't get work offer, access to any project's details etc.  before you sign it. 

 

3. In every proposal, we're sending the links to our projects, portfolios, profiles, GitHub links, Youtube videos, etc and these links include some contact info.  

 

 

 

 

 


The only reason why this may happen is because the client does not want to use Upwork and neither is he willing to pay $5 to interview someone who might be a perfect fit for the project. If they hire you, even if only for a small amount and only for the interview, they can use any means they want and ask any contact details they want. If they absolutely can't use Upwork at all, it should not be too difficult to understand that you may have to invest a little (very very little) more.

 

A client who breaks the terms and asks you to do the same, just to save 5 miserable dollars, is not a client I can trust. This client is not a serious professional. Eventually they may do the same to you (break any terms they feel like breaking, just to save some ridiculous money).


No matter how complicated you want to make it, it is not. You (freelancer and client) signed a contract and agreed with some terms. Then you try to find excuses to justify breaking those terms and still make it look like the honorable thing to do, but these excuses are ridiculous. And all of it, to save the client some peanuts.


Paul T wrote:

Martina P wrote:

Paul T wrote:

Martina P wrote:

None of the above are allowed. 


Is that why we could see pretty often something like "Please share your Skype ID", "Please send us a link to your portfolio on LinkedIn profile or your proposal would not be considered"   as the additional questions in the jobs descriptions?  


I can't answer that question. But when you see something like this, it's best to flag the job posting for asking for contact information. 


Why should we flag these jobs if it's allowed by UW to ask for this information right in the jobs description? 


Because it's not allowed by upwork and it needs to be flagged for review by upwork. 


Paul T wrote:

Martina wrote: I can't answer that question. But when you see something like this, it's best to flag the job posting for asking for contact information. 

Why should we flag these jobs if it's allowed by UW to ask for this information right in the jobs description? 


It isn't allowed. That is why you should flag them (obviously!)

data_divas
Member

Can you upload a screenshot to your Upwork portfolio of your LinkedIn page for prospective clients to view? 

tagrendy
Member

The only thing that's allowed is sending a link to your online portfolio which may have link to your linkedin. However, you are supposed to also tell the client to only contact you via Upwork until contract is in place. Direct links to linkedin, emails etc is not allowed before contract is in place.

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