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Will your domain host ban you for using the F word?

But would you believe your ISP may ban you for saying fart?

One of the issues I would never consider living a free country is censorship. It's bad enough that people like Howard Stern are forced off the air because of FCC fines. It's even worse that you can see a murder on TV any time of the day, but PBS stations refuse to carry documentaries that might have an exposed female breast out of fear from the FCC. An ugly trend in Web hosting is developing, one where censorship of the content of your site could cause your Web site to be deleted without warning.

Read your Terms of Service Agreement.

Many popular hosts such as Host Monster, Blue Host (ironic name) will immediately delete your site if they find objectionable content. You lose your site, your back-ups and any pre-paid part of your account.

Of course, most people are not setting up dirty joke sites or porn servers, so do these rules really affect you? The answer is yes, they really do. Take a service like Host Monster, I read over their terms of service agreement to see what it said. Part of the agreement reads, "Foul language and profanity in the site content, and in the domain name are prohibited. All activities may be monitored, recorded, and examined by any authorized person, including law enforcement."

Monitored by law enforcement?

Doesn't that seem a little excessive?

Now you might think that I am over-reacting. Surely a host would not delete your account for using the word like "fart". After all, this has to be a reliable hosting company, not the second grade.

So I called them up and asked them the question. "Lets say I set up a blog and talked about making the smelliest fart I have ever released. Is that really grounds for termination?" The answer, "yes it is. We don't want any sites like that. It's against our rules."

Obviously you are a wise person and you are not in the business of setting up a Web site with low brow humor. Your Web site might be a blog on nutrition, civil rights, or even your battle with breast cancer. Here's an idea, you could set up a Web site featuring passages from the Bible. All of these are wonderful ideas and worthy of another voice. However, almost all of these sites would be terminated under the user agreements of both Host Monster and Blue Host since every subject contains words that might be considered adult in nature.

Do you really want to go with a hosting company that might delete your Web site that a spammer put up in your blog comments? Do you really want a host that is wasting time monitoring your site for content instead of monitoring the server for stability? Do you really want to take a chance your Web site will be deleted at any time for any reason an admin in the company dreams up?

Whomever you use for Web Hosting, make sure you have the rights to say what you want. It puts your business site in danger and it infringes on your rights as a human being. Never let the possibility of censorship affect your Web sites.

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