Before joining any site, or before doing anything on the site that you have joined recently, you must always read Terms of Service (TOS). If you missed important clauses on TOS, and if you break the rule you might be penalized. When the user breaks the rule, the website penalizes the users in different ways, a simple warning, forfeiting royalties earned, banning the user.
When I decide to join any site, I always read the TOS. I have experience of over a dozen writing sites, numerous social networking sites, social blogging sites, paid to post sites, traffic exchange sites, trading sites etc. however, I have never been penalized by any site.
It is necessary to read TOS even for onsite activity. During my early years of online writing, once while joining a writing site I did not read TOS carefully. Later, I found that the site did not allow us to delete our contents. Not being able to retain copyrights was a huge blow to me.
If you join a writing site, social blogging sites, or paid to post sites, there are certain things that you need to consider, for example:
Copyrights and content ownership: Who owns the content?
Content/account deletion option: Can you delete your account or contents?
Publishing rules: What kind of articles, how much long?
Income generation modalities (page views, ad clicks, ad impressions, affiliate marketing): How to make money?
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