Terms of Service



Welcome to TheMash.com!  The Mash’s site is designed and operated so you can decide the news you want to share and read and participate in the process.  That means not only will our staff writers contribute to TheMash.com, but also, we want to hear from you!  TheMash.com is a place for you to share your thoughts, opinions, and stories – to share what is important to you. So, before we describe our Terms of Service in more detail, we want to briefly lay out some ground rules in simple terms.

On this Web site the golden rule applies: Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Racial slurs, foul language and derogatory comments will not be tolerated.

This is a self-policing Web site. People can and often do disagree about what is appropriate; so, we have created a process for you if you feel something appearing on the Web site is inappropriate. If you object to something placed on TheMash.com, tell us. While we cannot guarantee that we will agree with every complaint we receive, we want you to let us know. We will review your complaint, potentially contact the person who posted the material and make a decision on whether the post will remain. You can e-mail us at any time at themash@tribune.com, and be sure to include your name and school. We may also want to contact you if our own editors want to create a larger story from your contribution.

We also plan on sharing the best stories and photographs posted in a print version of The Mash. For that reason, we need to retain the rights to the materials you send us. If you post something on the Web site, make sure you have the right to do so. Do not post others’ work.

Terms of Service

We have developed these Terms of Service to govern your use of TheMash.com. Your use of this Web site tells us you have read and agreed to these Terms of Service and to our Privacy Policy. Please read both these documents carefully. If you do not agree with any of these terms, please exit TheMash.com. TheMash.com reserves the right to terminate any registered user account and/or deny access to the Web site to any person who violates these Terms of Service.

Registration. If you register for TheMash.com through your Facebook or Twitter account, you accept responsibility for all activities that occur under your account or password. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your password and for restricting access to your computer so others outside your household may not access TheMash.com using your name in whole or in part without our permission. If you believe someone has accessed TheMash.com using your user name and password without your authorization, e-mail us immediately at the address listed in the Contact Us section at the end of these Terms of Service.

You are responsible for all fees and charges incurred to access TheMash.com through an Internet access provider or other third-party service.

User Content Representations and Warranties. By (a) placing material on TheMash.com, including without limitation any communications during registration, any Content (defined below) on or any communications to any TheMash.com bulletin board, forum, comments page, blog space, message or chat area; or (b) posting text, images, audio files, audio-visual content, or any other content, or any classified advertisement (collectively “User Content”), you represent and warrant that: (1) you own or otherwise have all necessary rights to the User Content you provide and the rights to use it as provided in this Terms of Service; (2) the User Content does not violate these Terms of Service; and (3) the User Content will not cause injury to any person or entity. Using a name other than your own legal name is prohibited (except in those specific areas of TheMash.com that specifically ask for unique, fictitious names, e.g., certain message boards and chat rooms).

User Content License. For all User Content provided to or placed on TheMash.com, you grant Chicago Tribune Company, Inc. (“CTC”), its parent, affiliates and related entities, including without limitation TheMash.com and its affiliated newspaper, a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license to use, copy, modify, alter, display, archive, store, distribute, reproduce and create derivative works from the User Content, in any form, media, software or technology of any kind now existing or developed in the future. Without limiting the generality of the previous sentence, you authorize CTC to share the User Content across all Tribune Company affiliated Web sites, newspapers, broadcasts, and other media platforms; to include the User Content in a searchable format accessible by users of TheMash.com and other Tribune Company Web sites; to place advertisements in close proximity to such User Content; to use your name and any other information in connection with its use of the material you provide; and to use the User Content in advertisements and promotions for Tribune Company�s Web sites, products or services or the Web sites, products or services of third parties with which Tribune Company, its subsidiaries, affiliates or related entities have a relationship. You waive all moral rights with respect to any User Content you post or otherwise make available on TheMash.com. You also grant CTC parent, affiliates and related entities the right to use any material, information, ideas, concepts, know-how or techniques contained in any communication you send to us for any purpose whatsoever, including but not limited to developing, manufacturing and marketing products using such information and/or User Content. All rights in this paragraph are granted without the need for compensation of any sort to you.

By posting content or otherwise providing information on TheMash.com, you do so with the understanding no additional consideration or monetary payment of any sort will be provided to you, and you are waiving any claim against TheMash.com and its parent, affiliates and related entities regarding the use of User Content, materials and/or ideas.

User Content Removal. You acknowledge that TheMash.com and/or its designees shall have the right (but not the obligation), in their sole discretion, to move, remove, or block any User Content for any reason, including without limitation that such User Content violates the Terms of Service or is otherwise objectionable.

User Content Assumption of Risk. TheMash.com bulletin boards, forums, comments pages, blogspaces, chat rooms and other such interactive areas are provided to give users an interesting and stimulating forum to express their opinions and share ideas and information. Given the nature of TheMash.com and the volume of messages and postings, TheMash.com cannot and does not monitor all of the material posted, uploaded, or transmitted by users and third-party information providers, and TheMash.com does not guarantee the accuracy, integrity, or quality of any User Content. ALL USER CONTENT POSTED OR UPLOADED TO THEMASH.COM IS THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PERSON WHO POSTED OR UPLOADED IT. THIS MEANS YOU ARE ENTIRELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL USER CONTENT THAT YOU POST OR UPLOAD TO THEMASH.COM. To protect your safety, please use your best judgment when using these interactive areas of this Web site. We discourage divulging personal phone numbers and addresses or other information that can be used to identify or locate you. If you make such disclosures either through postings on the bulletin boards, chat rooms, in classified advertising you place or in other interactive areas, or to third parties in any communication, you do so fully understanding that such information could be used to identify you. TheMash.com reserves the right to delete, move or edit any communications at any time, for any reason or in its discretion, but has no obligation to review or remove any such content.

User Content Posting Rules. Interactive areas, discussion boards, comments pages, blogspaces, forums, chat rooms, etc., are intended to encourage public debate. We expect people to differ — judgment and opinion are subjective things — and we encourage freedom of speech and a marketplace of ideas. But by using these areas of TheMash.com, you are participating in a community that is intended for all our users. Therefore, we reserve the right to remove any User Content posted on our Web site at any time for any reason. Any decisions as to whether User Content violates any Posting Rule will be made by TheMash.com in its sole discretion and after we have actual notice of such posting. When you post or upload User Content, you agree to the following Posting Rules:

Do not post or upload User Content that:

  • contains vulgar, profane, abusive, racist or hateful language or expressions, epithets or slurs, text, photographs or illustrations in poor taste, inflammatory attacks of a personal, racial or religious nature.
  • is defamatory, threatening, disparaging, grossly inflammatory, false, misleading, fraudulent, inaccurate, unfair, contains gross exaggeration or unsubstantiated claims, violates the privacy rights of any third party, is unreasonably harmful or offensive to any individual or community.
  • violates any right of TheMash.com or any third party.
  • discriminates on the grounds of race, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, sexual orientation or disability, or refers to such matters in any manner prohibited by law.
  • violates or encourages the violation of any municipal, state, federal or international law, rule, regulation or ordinance.
  • interferes with any third party’s uninterrupted use of TheMash.com.
  • advertises, promotes or offers to trade any goods or services, except in areas specifically designated for such purpose.
  • uploads copyrighted or other proprietary material of any kind on TheMash.com without the express permission of the owner of that material.
  • uses or attempt to use another’s account, password, service or system except as expressly permitted by the Terms of Service.
  • uploads or transmits viruses or other harmful, disruptive or destructive files.
  • disrupts, interferes with, or otherwise harms or violates the security of TheMash.com, or any services, system resources, accounts, passwords, servers or networks connected to or accessible through TheMash.com or affiliated or linked sites.
  • “flames” any individual or entity (e.g., sends repeated messages related to another user and/or makes derogatory or offensive comments about another individual), or repeats prior posting of the same message under multiple threads or subjects.