Terms of use

Welcome! These terms of use are deliberately written in non-legalistic human-friendly language. Please take a spin through them! They're made to make your experience better, and to help you understand our philosophy and values. If you think they can be improved, don't hesitate to submit a pull request (you can do that without special software), preferably to the English version.


We store visitor logs for up to 90 days. These logs typically contain one line for each request (to a page, image, API, etc.). Each line contains info such as IP address, URL, user-agent data (your browser and version number), referer info, and other standard data your browser sends when you visit any website.

We may collect additional anonymized logs of user actions (e.g., how many people clicked on a certain button), to make the site better. If we do, we'll strive to make that data public, so we're not the only ones who can learn from it.

We use standard methods (cookies, web storage) to store information in your browser, such as your user session key, your preferred user interface language, or drafts of information you've not published yet.

We may be required to respond to legal requests for user information (e.g., due to a subpoena). In those cases, we will notify you wherever reasonable, and will resist requests we consider to be invalid.

We do not monetize our users. We don't show you advertising or sell or share your private data with anyone (with the exception of when legally required to do so, as noted above), nor do we use any tracking or analytics services operated by third parties.

Conduct and content policy

We believe that in order to be welcoming and open, and to get good work done, our community needs to be healthy and committed to a set of shared, basic principles, some of which are articulated in this document as policies.

Other sites sometimes enforce policies only when users complain loudly enough, and they leave it to users to create their own "filter bubbles", interacting only with other users they can get along with. We don’t think this leads to healthy communities, and we will strive to be consistent in our application of these policies.

Our core behavioral policies are as follows:

Harassment: We take harassment seriously. That means no personal attacks on others, no bullying or threatening, no unwanted sexual advances, and no outing or doxxing.

Hatred: If you hate black people, white people, Asian people, fat people, skinny people, women, men, gays, heteros, people who are or aren't transgender, Jews, Muslims, Christians, atheists, or any group of sentient beings, you'll either have to leave that at the door or we can't have you here. It's fine to criticize ideas, and indeed we support forming groups around topics like "anti-nuclear power" or "pro-nuclear power". But we will never tolerate the use of this platform to spread hatred.

Libel: Since we allow reviews of absolutely anything, there will be situations where individuals may be motivated to post false information in order to discredit someone or something. Conversely, there will be situations where people will be motivated to claim that accurate information is libelous. This is difficult terrain, and we will generally try to resolve these things by supporting dialogue and building various trust/reputation features into the site. However, upon reviewing a specific case, moderators may take down a review if it is deemed likely to be false and defamatory.

Self-promotion and spamming: This isn't a place to promote something you've made yourself or are intimately involved with. We do encourage you to add metadata about your product/business/website/etc., as we add support for it to the site. It's also fine to review competitors' products and services, as long as you disclose any conflict of interest clearly in your review. And we ask you to respond to reviews which you think are inaccurate. Spamming constitutes abuse (see below) and will be dealt with accordingly.

Abuse: lib.reviews has a pretty clear and obvious site purpose, and if users systematically use it for another purpose or deliberately tamper with it, this is grounds for a ban and potentially escalation to legal authorities in severe cases.

Illegal content and behavior: You can't post any content that would be illegal to distribute under United States law, and we may be legally and morally obligated to report such uses to the authorities in certain cases. In the case of sexually explicit content, we will draw the line more strictly than the law does: any sexually explicit content involving minors is off-limits. Similarly, you're not permitted to perform actions on the site that are illegal under United States law.

Reviews of illegal content, products or services: Reviewing products or services that clearly target a specific jurisdiction where they're legal (e.g., a marijuana dispensary in a location that permits such sales) is completely fine. For online content that's illegal in the US (e.g., a warez site), or services that are illegal where they're advertised (e.g., "escort" services in most US states), you're not allowed to post reviews since they could be seen as wayfinders for breaking the law. At the same time, in legally ambiguous cases (e.g., a controversial website like Wikileaks), we will aim to err on the side of free speech.

Sexually explicit content, shocking content: We strive to serve people of all ages, which means that we want to identify content targeting adults clearly as such. So, if you feel sexually explicit content not otherwise forbidden in this document is appropriate in a given context, we'll ask you to flag it as such (or moderators may do it for you). We may also flag content that is graphic/shocking in other ways.

Humans are not products: We don't permit reviews of individual human beings (reviewing business entities operated by only one person is fine). So you can't write a review of your neighbor, or your teacher, or your boss. This is because we believe it's very difficult to protect people's dignity and reputation once you cross that line.

Trolling: We don't tolerate users who get joy out of making others miserable, wasting other people's time, or causing disruption for its own sake. Such users may attempt to follow the letter of the above policies, while violating their spirit. This paragraph is here to say clearly that in such cases, the moderators have discretion to ban users.

If you violate our rules, the site moderators (most likely volunteers like yourself) may temporarily or permanently ban you, or may temporarily suspend specific privileges. We will try to be consistent and fair, but we also give moderators a degree of discretion in enforcing these rules. Over time we may reference some precedent decisions as appropriate (you may consider this a common law approach to policy).

Many sites include terms about data download and data mining as well, limiting download, scraping, and other data re-use. In contrast, the information published on lib.reviews is inteded to be re-used! As long as you follow the license (see below), don't use data for purposes otherwise forbidden in this document, and don't make excessive use of our system resources, you're okay. :-)


The name "lib.reviews" references the gratis versus libre distinction. The work we do here is intended to be shared and built upon, and to be made available to the world indefinitely. As a consequence, whether explicitly stated in every context or not, by publishing information through this site you agree to do it under appropriate free licenses. We've settled on the following licenses: Users may include images and other media in their reviews and posts, and those images may not always be their own work. Given the noncommercial nature of this site, we consider many typical uses of such external web content fair use, but we will generally take down content if a copyright owner makes a plausible claim. If you intend to make commercial use of content on this site, you may need to apply additional scrutiny to ensure that fair use still applies.

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