Trusted OriginsTM Terms of Service

  1. Preface

This is a binding agreement. By using any Trusted Origins Site and any services provided in connection with therewith, you agree to abide by these Terms of Service, as they may be amended by Trusted Origins Corp. from time to time in its sole discretion. Trusted Origins Corp. will post a notice on the on the website any time these Terms of Service have been changed or otherwise updated. It is your responsibility to review these Terms of Service periodically, and if at any time you find these Terms of Service unacceptable, you must immediately leave the website and cease all use of the services associated therewith. YOU AGREE THAT BY USING THE SERVICE YOU REPRESENT THAT YOU ARE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OLD AND THAT YOU ARE LEGALLY ABLE TO ENTER INTO THIS AGREEMENT.

  1. Defined Terms

“Adjudication” means the result of a Challenge.

“Agent” means an officer, employee or other agent of Company and Governing Members of any Community of Trust.

“AuthenticPerson”™ means a credential issued by Company based on high quality government documentation such as a passport or a REAL ID driver’s license, or by a third party verification.

“Company” means Trusted Origins Corp.

“Challenge” means an application to falsify truthfulness of an article, reverse trustworthiness status, or the veracity of a Member.

“Challenger” means a Member who submits a Challenge against an article’s truthfulness, article’s trustworthiness status, or a Member’s veracity.

“Community of Trust” means community established under the penumbra of the Company.

“Content” means content submitted by a User in the form of comments, rebuttals, or other unmediated posting on the Site.

“Governing Member” means a Member exercising governance of a Community of Trust.

“Member” means a User who has obtained an AuthenticPerson credential.

“Site(s)” means the Trusted Origins website located at and, and any subdomain or top level domain thereof.

“Service” means any services provided in connection with the Site.

“User” means anyone who uses the Site.

  1. Trusted Origins Service

Company is a for-profit benefit corporation serving the public interest in cleaning up the Internet. In addition, Company serves other stakeholders, including community members, agents, shareholders, and suppliers.  We strive for honesty, transparency and positive impacts for all stakeholders. 

Company and its Sites provide means for consumers to filter information based on its trustworthiness. In the simplest case, a user can filter out all articles known to originate with mistrusted sources. Sources can include authors, publishers, and endorsers of articles.  Articles on the Internet can have a known trustworthiness status including either Trusted or Mistrusted, based on the reputation of their sources. Articles from unknown sources or sources without a known trustworthiness status have effectively no trustworthiness, so we label these as Unknown.  Members of Trusted Origins agree to support the worldwide effort to establish a trustworthiness status for all significant articles.  These and other related services are all part of the Service.

Most Mistrusted articles on the Internet come from bots, trolls, shills, and bullies.  Bots are computer agents that obtain login credentials as if they were humans. Usually these login credentials only require a valid email address, and bots are able to generate these on demand, so they can easily obtain credentials for thousands of non-human accounts under their control. Trolls are usually contract employees paid to generate biased engaging content such as Internet memes and thus lure unwary readers into reinforcing the influence of that content. Most trolls use disposable email addresses to obtain credentials that give them access to the platforms they use for content generation or redistribution. A given troll may employ many of these disposable credentials.  Shills are typically highly paid professionals who cloak their funding sources, biased points of view, and conflicts of interest behind celebrity aurae or professional credentials, yet work as guns for hire to promote messages their employers dictate. Bullies use hate speech, threaten others, or generally violate ordinary rules of civility. The Internet as we know it today does not bar bots, shills, trolls, and bullies in any effective manner.  Trusted Origins differs from legacy Internet applications, because we explicitly bar bots, trolls, shills and bullies.  

By using the Service, you hereby agree to the terms and conditions of this Terms of Service, as well as the additional rules and terms of use that are located on the Site, which are incorporated by reference herein. All rules and guidelines posted anywhere on the Site are hereby incorporated by reference.

The Service is available only to individuals who can form legally binding contracts under applicable law. Without limiting the foregoing, the Service is not available to minors (those under 18 years of age), or individuals or organizations who cannot form legally binding contracts. If you do not qualify, please do not use the Service. Company may refuse to provide the Service to any person, or prohibit any person from using the Service, at any time, in its sole discretion. In addition, if you reside in a country that is prohibited by law, regulation, treaty or administrative act from entering into trade relations with the United States or its citizens, you may not use this Site. Such countries currently include, without limitation, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Serbia, Syria and Sudan.

By using the Service, you agree that (i) you have read this Agreement and understand all of its contents and (ii) you will be subject to all the terms and conditions in the Agreement. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, any new services or features that augment or enhance the Service or are otherwise provided on the Site shall be automatically incorporated into this Agreement.

  1. Registration, Membership, Password and Security

You agree, represent and warrant that any information that you provide to Company or its Users will be accurate to the best of your knowledge and that you have a right to disclose the same, and you acknowledge that use of certain portions of the Service may be conditioned on your providing certain information about you or submitted by you. Company's use of such information shall be in accordance with its Privacy Policy as posted at the Site from time to time.  The Company, or a third-party service provider, may request identification documents to verify your identity; in such cases, such documents will be used transitorily for such purpose, and will not be retained by either Company or such third-party service provider.

You understand that Company may implement features that allow it or other users to rate your interactions with the Site, and you hereby consent to being so rated. You agree not to take any action to undermine any such rating system. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any password and account number provided by Company for accessing the Site, and are fully responsible for all activities that occur under your password or account. You agree to immediately notify Company of any unauthorized use of your password or account or any other breach of security.

To create communities of interacting members free of bots, trolls, shills, and bullies, we require that every Member obtain an AuthenticPerson credential. No bot can obtain an AuthenticPerson credential. Company may employ external services to authenticate a person’s identity and then create a permanent, secure credential. That credential enables the Member to participate fully in the activities of the community.  The Member associates a pen name with that trusted identity.  The pen name may be a Member’s real name or a fictitious one, must be unique among all Members, and cannot be misleading or offensive.  Thereafter, the Member will manifest the same name, except when special circumstances warrant a name change.  Company will endeavor, within the limits of the law, to maintain the secrecy of the real identity associated with a community pen name. 

This credential enables participation in any Community of Trust. Members of these communities agree to these terms of service and also agree to the community’s code of conduct. This code requires all members to base claims on objective evidence, to label opinions as such, and to treat all members respectfully and honestly.  


  1. Communities of Trust

Company anticipates creating many “communities of trust.” Each such Community of Trust comprises Members and articles, both of which have trustworthiness status values. Each new community adopts appropriate governance policies and protocols. The base community consists of all Members. Every other Community of Trust is built atop some other community through specialization. This means the newer community may set additional requirements for membership and for participation.  These additional requirements constitute addenda to these base Terms of Service or the associated Codes of Conduct. A community can specialize another specialized community, so that the applicable Terms of Service and Codes of Conduct comprise a hierarchy of requirements collated from all the applicable supporting communities. 

  1. Code of Conduct

All Members agree to abide by the Code of Conduct for Members of Trusted Origins.  This code makes explicit the Members’ obligations for honest and ethical behavior. A parallel code makes explicit the obligations for honest and ethical behavior of all agents of the company, including directors, employees, and consultants as well as any members of the community that perform governance or adjudication roles.  See Code of Conduct for Agents of Trusted Origins for details. In addition, Members of Company may choose to become members of additional Communities of Trust. Members of such communities agree to adhere to any additional provisions of Terms of Service or Codes of Conduct for Members that those Communities of Trust have adopted.  Similarly, agents of other communities agree to adhere to any additional provisions they may specify in the Code of Conduct for Agents of their Community.  

  1. Challenges and Adjudication

Members can challenge others’ claims they find wrong or untruthful based on objective evidence. They can also challenge the Trusted status of members themselves when they have evidence of hidden conflicts of interest or other violations of community standards.  Those standards include these terms of service, the codes of conduct, and any additional policies the community has adopted.

Members maintain their good standing by adhering to rules in the Code of Conduct and as well as those included in appropriate checklists.  These rules aim to create a community of trusting consumers and trustworthy articles from trusted origins.  Members producing or endorsing Trusted articles must adhere to an Endorser’s Checklist. This checklist requires that factual claims be well supported by credible evidence. Any Member in good standing can challenge the trustworthiness of any trusted article. Members’ challenges require adherence to a Challenger’s Checklist. That checklist requires the challenger to refute a claim in the article with credible evidence.  A Member will receive a “strike” to his or her reputation when a community adjudicator determines that the member supplied or endorsed an article subsequently adjudged untrustworthy. A Member also receives a “strike” for improperly challenging an article adjudged trustworthy.  Company or other governing communities adjudicate Member challenges to the trustworthiness status of an article or member by assessing the evidence in their best judgment.  Decisions of community adjudicators are final and cannot be appealed.    

After a specified number of strikes determined by Company, a User loses his or her good standing, and is no longer considered trustworthy.  These Users are considered Mistrusted. Users whose trustworthiness has not been established to the satisfaction of Company are considered Unknown. Only Members in good standing, namely those considered Trusted, may endorse or challenge articles.  Initially, we allow Members to continue in good standing with one strike.  However, if a Member receives a strike that is considered egregious, the Member will automatically lose his or her good standing status.  

  1. Use of Challenges

You acknowledge that the information you provide to Company must be, prior to submission, publicly available and therefore, is public information, which is free for Company to use as it wishes. 

Company may in the future make available products or services, such as databases or pages, that contain Challenges or other user content for resale or license to its Users. You grant to Company permission to use, copy, reproduce, publish, distribute, transmit, perform and display the Challenges, and other content you submit, post to or transmit through the Service (in whole or part) worldwide for resale by Company as part of a database. In granting the foregoing license, you understand that the technical processing and transmission of the Service, including your content, may involve (A) transmissions over various networks; and (B) changes to conform and adapt to technical requirements of connecting networks or devices. Nothing herein shall obligate Company to make such databases or any similar service available or to include any Challenge in the database or any similar service.

  1. Ownership and Limited License

Company shall retain all ownership in the Site and all content generated by it that is displayed on the Site. Company grants you a nonexclusive, revocable right to use the Site provided that you do not (i) copy, modify, create a derivative work of, reverse engineer, reverse assemble or otherwise attempt to discover any source code, (ii) modify or attempt to modify the Site in any manner or form except that you have the right to modify your self-generated content on the Site. You agree that Company shall not be liable to you for any modification or discontinuance of the Site.

  1. Community Areas

If the Site publishes your Content or contains public services, chat areas, news groups, forums, communities and/or other message or communication facilities, you agree to use such community areas only to send and receive content, messages and other material that are relevant and proper to the applicable forum. By way of example, and not as limitation, you agree not to:

  • Defame, abuse, harass, stalk, threaten or otherwise violate the legal rights (such as rights of privacy and publicity) of others.
  • Publish, post, upload, distribute or disseminate any profane, defamatory, infringing, obscene or unlawful topic, name, material or information.
  • Use the Site in violation of local, state, national or international law.
  • Upload files that contain software or other material that violates the intellectual property rights (or rights of privacy or publicity) of any third party.
  • Upload files that contain viruses, corrupted files, or any other similar software or programs that may damage the operation of another's computer.
  • Advertise or offer to sell any goods or services for any commercial purpose on the Site that are not relevant to the services offered on the Site.
  • Conduct or forward surveys, contests, pyramid schemes or chain letters.
  • Impersonate another person or allow any other person or entity to use Member's identification to post or view comments.
  • Post the same note repeatedly (referred to as 'spamming'). Spamming is strictly prohibited.
  • Restrict or inhibit any other Member from using and enjoying the Community areas.
  1. Third Party Verification Services

For certain services in which you may participate, Company may make available a third party verification service ("Verification Service") which would enable parties to verify identities, answers, credentials and the like, and otherwise authenticate any submissions you may make as part of the Service. Use of the Verification Service is at the discretion of Company. Company may or may not monitor the information provided by such a Verification Service. Company may act merely as a conduit. Further, Company does not endorse or make any representations regarding the reliability of the Verification Service. Neither the Company, nor any such third-party service provider, will retain any identification documents used to verify your identity.

  1. Limitation of Liability

Company is a neutral forum. You agree that Company is not responsible for the results obtained by use of the Service. Under no circumstances will Company or its affiliates be liable to you for any indirect, incidental, consequential, punitive, special or exemplary damages arising from the results of the Service or any provision of this Agreement. You agree to release Company and its affiliates from claims, demands and damages (actual or consequential) of every kind and nature, known and unknown, disclosed and undisclosed, arising out of or in any way connected with such disputes. Furthermore, the aggregate liability of Company or its Affiliates arising with respect to this Agreement and the Site to any party will not exceed the lesser of $10,000 or the total amounts paid to Company by party or the total amounts owing to a party in the twelve (12) months prior to the claim.

  1. Other Contracts and Indemnification

You agree that you will not disclose to Company or its affiliates any information which you are under an existing contractual or other legal obligation to maintain in confidence or otherwise do not have the right to sell or disclose to Company. Should your participation in the Service be found to breach legal obligations you may have with other third parties, you agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless Company, its officers, directors, employees, agents, licensors, and suppliers, from and against all claims, actions or demands, liabilities, and settlements, including, without limitation, reasonable legal and accounting fees, arising in connection with your use of the Site or resulting from, or alleged to result from, your use of the Service.

  1. Third-Party Web Site Links

The Site may contain hypertext links to Web sites operated by parties other than Company. Such hypertext links are provided for reference only, Company does not control such Web sites and is not responsible for their contents. Company's inclusion of hypertext links to such Web sites does not imply any endorsement of the material on such Web sites or any association with their operators.

  1. Privacy

Company's Privacy Statement located on its Site as modified by Company from time to time shall govern any disclosure or use of Member's personal information.

  1. Disclaimer


  1. No Third Party Reliance

Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as a representation, warranty, agreement, or covenant from Company to any third party. No third party shall rely on any submission, posting, or other content of Company. Users agree that they will not present to third parties any content or material in a manner that could be construed as conveying sponsorship, endorsement, option, or representation or warranty of Company. This agreement shall have no third party beneficiaries.

  1. Miscellaneous

Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as making either party the partner, joint venture, agent, legal representative, employer, or employee of the other. Neither party shall have, or hold itself out to any third party as having, any authority to make any statements, representations or commitments of any kind, or to take any action, that shall be binding on the other, except as provided for herein or authorized in writing by the party to be bound. This Agreement shall be interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of California (excluding any rules governing choice of laws) and any legal proceeding arising out this Agreement will occur in San Francisco, California. This Agreement will be binding on and will inure to the benefit of the legal representatives, successors and assigns of the parties hereto. This Agreement (and the policies referenced herein and incorporated by reference) constitutes the entire agreement between Company and you with respect to the subject matter hereof, and you have not relied upon any promises or representations by Company with respect to the subject matter except as set forth herein.

  1. No Assignment

You shall not assign this Agreement or assign any rights or delegate any obligations hereunder, in whole or in part, whether voluntarily or by operation of law, without the prior, written consent of Company. Any purported transfer, assignment or delegation without the appropriate prior written approval will be null and void and of no force or effect.

  1. Term of Agreement

This Agreement will become effective immediately upon any use by you of the Site and shall remain effective unless terminated by either party as provided hereunder. Either party may terminate this Agreement by providing the other with written or email notice of such termination which shall be effective immediately upon delivery of such notice to the other party. Furthermore, Company may terminate this Agreement immediately for any breach by you of this Agreement or any applicable policy of Company as posted on the Site from time to time. In the event of termination or expiration, the following sections shall survive: Term of Agreement; Ownership and Limited License; Disclaimer; Limitation of Liability; Other Contracts and Indemnification; and Miscellaneous.


Updated on Aug. 25, 2020