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Does WorldPulse Want to Steal My Work? Your Thoughts….?

I was so excited to learn about WorldPulse through its Voices of Our Future competition, and even more excited once I joined and experienced the supportive community!

I posted my 1st Voices of Our Future challenge ( incorporating an interview I did with an Iraqi refugee in Syria – a child whose father’s finger was cut off following the US-led invasion of Iraq. The response from WorldPulse participants overwhelmed me.

Then I read WorldPulse’s Terms of Service for those participating in Voices of Our Future (, which included a very disturbing clause that says by posting on WorldPulse, I consent to WorldPulse’s taking this sensitive interview and altering it in any way it chooses and posting it elsewhere without compensation to me, without my permission – or even without notification to me – forever!

So, I had to ask myself: Would WorldPulse edit this interview, take some of the sensitive quotes out of context and post on – for example – a pro-war blog?

Probably not.

But, this little girl trusted me with her interview – not some anonymous web site – or anyone who might buy this web site years or decades from now. Don’t I have a duty and responsibility to this little girl to protect her story from potential bastardization? What right do I have to post her story somewhere where I relinquish how her story might be told?

I immediately contacted the CEO of WorldPulse (from whom I have yet to receive a response) and the head of the Voices of Our Future challenge. I have had a courteous interchange with Rachael, but the upshot after 3 weeks of exchange is that WorldPulse’s Terms of Service will not be changed any time soon, even though I’m told my email sparked attention.

I’m conflicted. On one hand, I want to get out the stories of these forgotten refugee women and children ( to a wider audience, and I selfishly want to become one of the finalists of the Voices competition so I can become more adept at getting these important stories out.

On the other hand, these women and children trusted me with their most vulnerable stories. What right do I have exposing them to even a sliver of possibility of misrepresentation?

What if WorldPulse is sold next year, or next decade, or several decades from now? By posting on this site, I give up my rights to control how my writing is used – forever! Here’s the clause from World Pulse's Voices of Our Future Section 7:

Content Ownership. …However, with respect to content any participant makes available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Site, including without limitation any and all Entries [to VOF], each participant hereby grants …the worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to distribute, reproduce, publish, publicly display, publicly perform, modify, adapt, translate, and otherwise use such content (in whole or in part), and to incorporate such content (in whole or in part) into other materials, in any format or medium now known or later developed, in Sponsor's sole discretion, without notice, payment, attribution or other obligation to such participant of any kind.

I’m torn. I do not believe WorldPulse would steal my work, but, if that‘s the case, why would they post on their TOS that they can? If they believe in empowerment -- as I believe they do – why require their members (us!) to give up our rights to our work in order to post on their site?

So, my question to you, my new friends in my community who share the divine femininity: What should I do?

Kelly Hayes-Raitt


Liliana's picture


I think you should be confident. Word Pulse is able to listen and help us. It´s a brilliant women community.


Liliana Delgado

Liliana, thank you for taking the time to reply. It's not that I don't trust World Pulse, it's that sometimes well-meaning people make innocent mistakes that hurt innocent people. If I'm "in the loop" -- not just because the web folks want me to be, but because I HAVE to be -- I can catch things they might not think of and protect my sources. Please see my response to Jensine below for a time when this DID happen!

Kelly Hayes-Raitt

Ify Onyegbule's picture

Listen deeply!

Dear Kelly,

I think its about the voice within you...what does it say about helping to echo the voice of the voiceless? I think this is a wonderful community of women helping other women to get heard and share experiences. Give it a try!



I agree that World Pulse provides a terrific opportunity, but I can't take advantage of that opportunity if the refugees I have interviewed may be harmed. This is really an important issue that has serious repercussions. You might be interested in the thread about this issue that appears here:

Thanks for writing, Ify!

Kelly Hayes-Raitt

gingerhooper's picture

Not stealing but not ethical

I write this response with care. I believe that the community is a great idea and hopefully reflects what it promotes with how it then conducts itself. With that said this clause is one that is not acceptable to me as a photographer for a number of reasons and I thank you for drawing our attention to it:
1) I do not want the photographs or words of those I speak on behalf off to be used out of context - ever! This is demeaning to both me as an artist and to those whose identities are fragile already. This clause does not empower us, quite the opposite!
2) The fact my work could be published without my permission or even my name to it is really NOT in fitting with making me or anyone else a voice of the future. It takes away our individual voice.
3) If work can be used anywhere then this is dangerous indeed on so many levels....The context in which the work is created is usually key to others understanding what the writer/digital storyteller meant.

I somewhat agree with Liliana in that I would hope we can trust the World Pulse to use our work ethically. I have learnt a huge lesson here though to always read the terms and conditions more carefully. I now trust that PulseWire will not use the photos I have posted (and now taken down) in any way in the future but I leave my previous words up at the moment. I will be posting something to this effect in my Week 4 Voices of the Future entry. I no longer feel I can take part.

Thank you Kelly for raising this and I hope The Pulse can reconsider their stance on this.


Laura, I, too, am dropping out of Voices of Our Future until the Terms of Service more accurately reflect what I hope and believe are World Pulse's true intentions. I think it's too easy for many of us to use standard "cut and paste" stuff that has been used to disempower people for eons. You might be interested in another thread on exactly this issue: or in the founder of World Pulse's response on this issue below....

Kelly Hayes-Raitt

Not sure why this posted three times - posting from my phone...

Makepeace_Sitlhou's picture

Understand your concern

Dear Kelly.

Thanks for bringing this to our notice. As a writer and former researcher, I can understand your concern as a field journalist to issues of copyright, context and sensitivity.

Usually, you expect large corporate giants to keep such non negotiable T&C but considering World Pulse's agenda is largely non profit, it does seem a li'l too curt and should give enough reason for you to feel a little insecure.

Especially, in the following lines, "without notice, payment, attribution or other obligation to such participant of any kind.", even if obligation or payment isn't always feasible but I would think giving prior notice and attribution just about is. I understand that the amount of content they're managing on this website is massive yet only to keep this kind of spirit and interest in posts and discussions going, they CAN ensure more RIGHTS to the contributors.

Having the experience of managing a user generated platform like this, I would definitely say that although it may be perfectly 'legal' to reproduce, in part or full, someone else's work in any platform or publication, it is not always 'ethical' and hinges very closely around violating human rights, that as we know are not always secured in international or national laws.

I, myself, would like to see a satisfactory response from the World Pulse team on this.

Makepeace Sitlhou

@makeysitlhou on Twitter

Makepeace, thank you for your comments here. Perhaps you can provide Jensine with more specifics about your experience as a platform manager? For me, it's not only an issue of MY rights as a journalist and writer, but the rights of the vulnerable people who have trusted me with their stories. Please see my response to Jensine below for a time when a well-meaning website unwittingly jeopardized my interviewees by posting without my permission or knowledge.

Kelly Hayes-Raitt

sunbo55's picture

Global village

Dear Kelly,

I want you to know that once you post any work on the website, then it becomes part of the global village an anybody can access it at any time. The only area i will agree with you is that when your work is used , you deserve an acknowledgement.

The only way you can prevent the accessibilty is through the use of a passord or by enscription. Then you can control the accessbilty.

Kelly Hayes-Raitt's picture

Control of content....

Sunbo, I agree with you about accessibility. My issue is with control of content....Please see my response to Jensine below for more specifics. Thanks for writing!

Kelly Hayes-Raitt

MaDube's picture

Hey Kelly

Thank you Kelly for pointing out this very important clause. Indeed it is always important to interpret the terms of an agreement and make sure that both parties to the agreement have mutual understanding of all the clauses to the agreement. I must admit I had not applied my mind to the implications of this clause should it be applied in the manner proposed here. I would agree with Makepeace that it is only befitting of a forum that seeks to 'empower' women as WorldPulse is to at least have the courtesy to give notice if they are going to alter the content of a submission that a participant makes. However, I have observed the way in which WorldPulse has presented the work of previous VOF applicants and I would give the benefit of the doubt that any such alteration would not change the tone, the context, and the message of Correspondents' stories. And by the way in my experience, legal documents may sound closed up, lock, stock and barrel but more often than not in situations where a disagreement arises, and contracts have clear terms, parties will still reach a negotiated solution because it is the ethical thing to do. I do not want to believe that we are dealing with an unethical, cutthroat group of people who want to exploit our contributions for their own benefit. I believe we have a mutual beneficial relationship where we get a space to tell our stories and they get to publish them for free without having to pay royalties. I would still be interested in knowing what the World-Pulse legal team would have to say in response to the scenario you painted where maybe (which I also doubt will happen) Worldpulse is sold to someone else.

MaDube, I totally agree with you that World Pulse is unlikely to have any nefarious intentions. But, even well-meaning folks make unintentional mistakes that could harm innocent people. This is not a theoretical issue for me -- it happened with another web site. (Please see my response to Jensine below for specifics.)

You've been graciously reading my posts, so you know how vulnerable the refugees are who have shared with me their very sensitive stories. I can't violate their trust in me by assuming a web site won't do what they say they can do in their Terms of Service.

I might be back when World Pulse's TOS reflect their stated intentions.

Kelly Hayes-Raitt

choirgirl's picture

Dear Kelly

Thank you so much for driving our attention to this aspect of World Pulse.
I did not consider reading WP T&C before applying to VOF or simply registering, so I am now as torn as you Kelly to know about this clause.
...I must admit, maybe it was our negligence not to read it before entering the community, but anyway I find this condition a little unethical and to some extent disrespectful. I agree the main concern does not even deal with our own acknowledgement, but with the people who put their stories in our hands. It's them World Pulse should help us preserve. Let's wait and see if the situation evolves.
Thank you again Kelly


Maria, I appreciate your comment. I decided to drop out of Voices of Our Future and pull down my posts. I hope World Pulse will contact me when they have Terms of Service that accurately reflect their stated mission. You might be interested in this thread about this issue: or in Jensine's response below.

Kelly Hayes-Raitt

Monica Clarke's picture

Trust v Infringement

Dear Kelly

Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. I should have read the small print for myself but, as usual, have not!

I wonder though, what it is we are fearing here? I think we need to look at what it is we are talking about on WorldPulse.

There is the WorldPulse community, which comprises you and I and others like us, including the administrative staff and the executive. We have all signed up to an ethos of using our energies to make the world a better place. I do not think that plagiarism and abuse of copyright are words which even remotely enter into our vocabulary.

Then there are the lawyers. Their job is to protect their clients. In this case, WorldPulse is the client and the lawyers have done their job. The legal implications which can flow from the clauses you quote is huge, I do not disagree with you. But for us to achieve our vision of amplifying the voice of those whose stories we use (yes, even you and I 'use' them) – their stories will not be heard unless we as a community continue to speak up for them. Our vehicle at the moment is WorldPulse.

Indeed, the exclusionary clauses, reservation of rights, and power to tweek stories which you quote are frightening. That legal speak, though, is all over the web. Have you looked at what is in YouTube's small print? It is even more frightening. Yet people tell their stories on YouTube too. They are prepared to expose their souls in that dog-eat-dog community, which does not remotely have the ethical foundation on which we in the WorldPulse community stand. How shall we ever be able to get our stories out if we do not use the vehicles at our disposal right now?

I have, for a long time, for more than two decades, told my stories. These have appeared in various magazines, very seldom under my name as author, sometimes under an editorial or comment, often retold in professional journals, magazines and broadcast on radio and television, often used verbatim in professional books under someone else's name. The stories have been cut, pasted, have been interwoven into other ideas, and I have seen my voice appear all over the place.

The receivers of my stories, like at WorldPulse, have always been professionals, mostly those in the caring professions. When we tell our stories, we are often asked why we are doing this, why are you prepared to tell others the very intimate details of your life? Inevitably, the answer comes back something like, 'Because I do not want others to suffer the way I have suffered,' or 'Because I would not want my children to go through what I have gone through. I want them to have a better world'.

We tell our stories because we trust. We trust each other as members, we trust the administrators, we trust the executives of WorldPulse. We give our stories and trust that the receivers of our stories on WorldPulse are sensitive to us and will respect our vulnerabilities.

So trust is the big platform on which WorldPulse stands. The lawyers have to build into the foundations of that platform the reservation of rights and exlusionary clauses to protect WorldPulse as a legal persona, yes. Let's hope that the scenario which you paint of a transfer of rights does not fracture the trust which keeps WorldPulse together.

Meantime, I shall continue to trust, for our work is to increase the light into the world so as to dispel the forces of darkness. We need to continue to believe that our combined light is stronger than the darkness which surrounds us.

Thanks for reading to the end of this rather long message. You might like to look at a site called Patient Voices, where I and many other people have been telling our stories for a long time. Not once has the issue of copyright come up, although the stories there are also in the public domain, and freely available for use in exactly the same way that we tell our stories on WorldPulse: for use by others to take up our voices and throw them into the winds so that they can be amplified into the four corners of the earth and beyond. See

Thanks again, Kelly, for bringing this very important issue to our attention. And to Laura Cook, above, I plead, please Laura, do not remove your wonderful talents from this work we are doing together. The value of your contribution far, far outweighs the threat of an infringement of your copyright. The sum total of our efforts is mightier and much bigger than that of our individual parts.

With lots of loving and respect from Monica in France

Monica Clarke, Writer & Storyteller, bringing human rights alive.
I wish you 'Nangamso', that is: May you continue to do the good work which you do so well.
(A blessing from my ancestors, the Khoikhoi, the first people of South Africa).

Monica, thank you for taking the time to post. A huge difference between your work and mine is that I am telling other people's stories -- people whose safety could be jeopardized if I am not careful in how and where I tell their stories. Please see my response to Jensine's post below for a time when another web site -- well-meaning -- posted one of my stories alongside a photo I did not authorize that had the potential to compromise my interviewees' safety.

I have accepted a responsibility to not only "get out" these refugee women's stories, but to do it in a way that safeguards them and their families.

I think it's time we all speak up and demand that the "legal speak" truly reflect the missions of the sites we post to....

Kelly Hayes-Raitt

gingerhooper's picture

Heart and Mind

I have been watching this post carefully all day and after encouragement from a few of you have decided I will stay in VOF application process for now but would really like a response from World Pulse on some of these questions. My main concern, like others, is not over payment etc but over copyright, permission to use/change words or photos and notification of use.
This is a truly wonderful network of women and a unique opportunity. I also do not believe WP would use words or images without wisdom but I would therefore ask why this clause exists?
Thanks to all of you for encouraging me to stay in the process.

"...but I would therefore ask why this clause exists?"

That's the great question!

Laura, I wish you the best in the VOF challenge! I'm pulling out until this issue is resolved. Maybe you'll see me next year!

Kelly Hayes-Raitt

Jensine's picture

About World Pulse’s Terms of Service

Hi there Kelly (and other members of our community!) -

I wanted to write to thank you personally for raising this issue and address the concerns regarding our Terms of Service. It is important and exciting to us to have an open forum about our policies and receive feedback from our community! I have been working closely with Rachael Maddock-Hughes and our legal team since you have raised the issue several weeks ago to ensure that these questions are answered.

As Rachael mentioned in an earlier email to you, your inquiry is very timely and we appreciate your concerns. In fact, in the past we have internally discussed our desire to adapt our Terms of Service to be more compatible with our mission. However, your recent questions have prompted us to launch a thoughtful in-depth inquiry. We want to ensure that our Terms of Service are serving our global community of women in an empowering way, while taking care to balance World Pulse’s legal protection. I would like to note that the current Terms of Service are very standard in the online community industry, and that our legal team recommended them to us as a means of protecting World Pulse from legal action. We are now beginning to conduct research on the best practices in the sector. Ultimately, given what I have seen so far, I have a feeling that World Pulse will likely be pioneering a unique TOS to serve our community that does not currently exist. Our inquiry and development may take some time, but it is a priority for us.

In the interim, although our current Terms of Service states that we can use content posted on the site without notice, payment, attribution or other obligation to users, in actuality we have a very responsive and pro-community set of internal practices and policy around this. As a matter of integrity and ethics World Pulse always endeavors to check with community members before using their content, quotes or posting their story in our editorial content. We have no plans to treat your entry any differently than any others, and no plans to use your content in any manner that you do not approve. Our community’s confidence to entrust us with their voices is sacred to us and it is our very reason for being.

I would also like to point out that our Terms of Service protects not only World Pulse, but our community as well. There have been multiple cases where we have had to go in and change user names and information in retrospect to protect the safety of community members. We of course check in with the community member in question, but given the urgent nature of some of these issues, may not be able to get immediate approval for all changes that are needed.

Once again, thank you Kelly for vocalizing your concerns. This is the true spirit of World Pulse! In the past we have worked closely with the community to set internal policies around community safety and harassment, and I know that we will continue to welcome community dialogue on many World Pulse policies into the future. I do hope that you, and others, continue with the program – we appreciate your voice and are grateful for your participation!

In partnership,

Jensine Larsen
Founder & CEO
World Pulse

Jensine Larsen
World Pulse


Jensine, I'm so happy to hear from you directly about this important issue, and very happy to read your post. I am even happier to hear that World Pulse is reconsidering its Terms of Service to more accurately reflect its values. Here is a bit more illumination about my concerns:

• There is a difference between ownership of content and control of content. I'm quite clear that World Pulse allows me to continue to own my material. This is very important to me because my blog posts are snippets from a book I am writing about my experiences with Iraqi and Palestinian refugees (tentatively titled Living Large in Limbo: How I Found Myself Among the World's Forgotten).

Ownership is also important to me because I do submit these stories elsewhere for pay or competition. Without this important consideration, I would not have engaged with World Pulse.

Control of my content is also extremely important because, as I have stated, it is possible -- according to your Terms of Service -- for World Pulse or anyone who buys World Pulse at any point in the future to take my stories out of context or post them in ways not consistent with my interviewees' intentions.

This has happened to me. For example, I sent a post to a contest sponsored by a travel-oriented web site. They loved it and wanted to post my story about Iraqi refugees. Without my knowledge or permission, they posted my story along with a US Army photo of an Iraqi child in a military helmet. I was appalled! Not only am I opposed to the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq, but so were the people I had interviewed and written about.

Furthermore -- and this is what incensed me -- a photo like that is precisely the type of "justification" Iraqi thugs used to prove "collusion" with US troops that led to violence against and terrorism of innocent Iraqi civilians. That web site meant no harm, but they weren't required to contact me first for my permission before posting my story with an unauthorized photo. And they weren't required to notify me; I discovered the posting only by doing a cursory google search. Luckily, when I voiced my concern for the safety of the people I had interviewed (even though I used pseudonyms) that was potentially jeopardized by their accompanying photo, the web site pulled down my essay.

So, Jensine, retaining control of my material is not an inconsequential issue. Sometimes, it could be a matter of jeopardizing innocent people's safety.

• Let's take another scenario: If World Pulse were to decide to print verbatim -- but without my permission -- one of my posts in its print magazine, I would lose the ability to submit that story to other print publications that require first or exclusive rights -- which means World Pulse is infringing on my ability to make a living.

As I mentioned, I am pleased to hear that World Pulse is considering revising its Terms of Service. Since it doesn't seem that that will happen any time soon, I will pull out of the Voices of Our Future challenge and pull down my posts. Please do let me know when the TOS are revised and I will consider participating in the future.

Thank you again, Jensine, for your reply.

Kelly Hayes-Raitt

Jensine's picture

Thank you Kelly

Thank you Kelly. We completely understand and respect your decision. Your input is duly noted. I forsee more lively discussion as we work on the revisions and we'll certainly let you know when the TOS are updated.

In appreciation,

Jensine Larsen
World Pulse

gingerhooper's picture

Thanks Jensine

Thanks Jensine for the open message, I am so glad this is the attitude you have. This is such an exciting community and it is great (as a relative newcomer) to find it is being served by a reflective and thoughtful body of people. I pray that your research is productive and wish you all the best with seeking to have a forward thinking TOS. I would add at this point that bringing in multimedia digital storytelling in this year's VOF brings in a new layer of thought as an image (moving or still) presents other issues around permission, safety and ownership. I would suggest checking out the Visual Peacekeeper site as part of your research as it has some useful guidelines.
I am happy to suggest some other places to find out more when it comes to this aspect of your TOS.
Best wishes

Kelly Hayes-Raitt's picture

Well said!

I'm going to check out Visual Peacekeeper site....

Kelly Hayes-Raitt

Jensine's picture

Great suggestions

Thank you Laura for your thoughtful input and contributions. This kind of lively discussion is exactly why World Pulse was conceived. We will definately check out your recommendations as part of our research and feel free to send any others our way, you bring up an important point regarding multi-media considerations as well. I am looking forward to pushing the boundaries and being innovative as we enter the fray of the online legal world!
In appreciation,

Jensine Larsen
World Pulse

malba66's picture

Birthing New Models

I think that this is a unique and invaluable space, but share many of the concerns expressed on this thread. I actually agreed to the terms of service despite my concerns because I believe so strongly in the World Pulse mission, and am thrilled about the prospects of growing with this community. I have to be honest in saying that though I trust WP enough to contribute honestly and wholeheartedly, I will do so within certain perimeters until the TOS are modified (if they are modified). In-house practices which protect our work are not necessarily written as policy, and whether we like it or not, policy is what ultimately governs an organization and stands in the absence of the (clearly ethical) caretakers to whom we have entrusted our work.

Personally, the matter of ATTRIBUTION is a non-negotiable item for me whether it is "standard" practice or not.

Ultimately, if we wish to be the change we want to see in the world, we also have to challenge "best practices" that are too often rooted in market practices which I believe fundamentally contradict the values that World Pulse espouses.

In all of this, I am grateful that WP provides the space and forum for such a dialogue to take place. This conversation is part of birthing new practices and standards in this community, and perhaps, the field.

In the spirit of collective understanding and progress for this community...

Kelly Hayes-Raitt's picture

Be the change...

"...if we wish to be the change we want to see in the world, we also have to challenge "best practices" that are too often rooted in market practices..."


Kelly Hayes-Raitt

gingerhooper's picture


Thanks for the comments Kelly and Jensine,
My stance is 'staying in' but I do hope for a speedy resolution on this. I will also be carefully considering each and every piece of work I put on here as the safety of those I work with comes first.
Jensine; do you have any idea of when you would hope for a resolution? I understand it will take a while...
I also wanted to point to a case of my own as an example of why this is important:
A year ago one of my photographs of a young girl at school in Zambia was passed from an NGO I had given one-off permission to onto another organisation. This organisation then Photoshopped the image and edited out the background completely altering the context. I stumbled upon this image on a website promoting work I am not in sympathy with - and more importantly work that was nothing to do with what was going on in the original shot. I doubt the girl in the photo would have been impressed either! Fortunately they quickly took it down.
People can still 'steal' words and images without permission but we need to do what we can to promote ethical practice at all levels.
I hope to see you on here in the future Kelly!

Thanks, Laura! I'm so sorry abut your experience with your photograph, and I thank you for sharing it. It's a good lesson for all of us....And also a good plug for everyone to -- at the very least -- sign up for Google Alerts to learn where our names are showing up.

I appreciate Jensine's responses to my posting. I know she's busy and I know that response took some time. But, another reason I decided to drop out of Voices and pull down my work at this time is that I don't see a resolution coming any time soon. I certainly hope I'm wrong, and perhaps all the attention my posting got will expedite their process. I first contacted World Pulse about this right after I posted my first week's assignment. I wrote Jensine, Rachael and Scott on their World Pulse pages -- no response. I rewrote them all directly to their World Pulse email addresses. Scott responded, then Rachael wrote. Each week, before I spent time preparing a new week's assignment, I wrote again -- no response from Jensine, but a response from Rachel that the lawyers were looking at it.

It wasn't until I posted publicly (something I did not want to do) that I heard from Jensine -- three weeks after my first email to her. That doesn't give me confidence that this issue will be resolved quickly, but I sure hope I'm wrong! I'd love to have all the work I've done considered this year -- I hate to see all the time I've put in go to waste.

What I still don't understand is the justification for that "control without permission" clause. How does being able to control and alter someone's work without their permission protect a web site? If I better understood the perspective and rationale for a clause like this, I might be able to offer some middle ground.

Good luck with the Voices challenge!

Kelly Hayes-Raitt

YAOtieno's picture

Loud enough

Hi Kelly,

Thanks for raising some valid concerns.I have followed the discussions here and I am happy that the issue is being addressed. It has made me realize two things

1. Read the fine print and ask when in doubt
2.Be cautious with whatever I post here..and in other forums

You may have pulled out of VOF but you have raised your voice loud enough to influence change here in the (near) future.

I also thank Jensine for responding and look forward to updates on the revised terms especially on attribution.

All the best K.



A candle looses nothing my lighting another

Y, thanks for responding! I love your "A candle loses nothing by lighting another..." Gorgeous quote!

Kelly Hayes-Raitt

Okeny-Lucia's picture


When I saw this post sometime on monday.I read and was like that is a very interesting issue raised.However it shouldnt send panic attacks and moments of a distractin creativity in us.This discussion is very healthy it is meant to build Pulse wire,remember it started with woman and has grown.Facebook with one student in Harvard and has grown through errors of lack of stringest privacy terms.Still in facebook you can trace the history of friends even for one month.
So why am writing to you and all other sisters in Pulse? It is simply to highlight that when I was in the Internet Governance Forum,there was alot of tension on cyber privacy and crimes.Alot of bashing was on UK and US.At one time I heard from a participant that google ,s terms are that they can get your data without notice and thats that..Whata you post on google becomes there property and they can invade privacy.Though not so much of an expert in IT ,but I found most online users are on other several sites that can make you vulnerable to phishers!
I believe Pulse Wire has taken all this comments in kind and will keep us updated.In the mean time lets reflect on this wise words;
'When something bad happens you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you'
Good night and well done ,you are a very keen lady and full of courage.
Thank you

Lucia Buyanza
Reproductive Health

Kelly Hayes-Raitt's picture

Lucia, I look forward to

Lucia, I look forward to seeing World Pulse's revised Terms of Service. I hope they more accurately reflect the site's values and intentions. In the meantime, I can't afford to jeopardize the women who have shared their most vulnerable stories with me.

Thanks for writing!

Kelly Hayes-Raitt

Dear Kelly.

In response to your request to share my experience as a website manager, the platform I handled was much smaller in comparison to the World Pulse's reach with contributions that come from almost 200 countries.

Here again, although I may generally agree with Jensine on the legal formalities of fine print and how when it comes to real world situations, they're always negotiable or can be worked around, but I also think that the same fine print can and is often used by individuals, organizations and companies to procure maximum benefit/profits with minimum losses at the cost of a "good willed scapegoat". Its how governments justify war crimes as 'collateral damage'.

The platform I managed owing to its much smaller outreach and lack of incidence in the past or preparation for the future worked by the moral and ethical principle of reproducing content for non commercial purposes always with the attribution to the author and an informed consent. Sometimes, it may be that the consent would not be procured in time but would be requested in time. Moreover, when it came to sensitive stories, the reproduction would never be flagged until consent was procured in writing by the author. As far as I can remember, all the authors or contributors on the site that I worked on had ownership rights as well as control of their posts, although it was not given in writing anywhere on the site but at the same time, in the occasion that the authors/contributors may have re-posted the content anywhere else, we never raised an issue over it.

I'm glad to hear from Jensine that World Pulse is reviewing its T&C and hope that it comes out with a 'middle ground' that serves to protect both the contributors' rights and the interests of the platform. Having been on the latter side as well as being on the former side now, I can understand this is a complex issue but if enough good intention and wit is put into it, it can be sorted out!

Makepeace Sitlhou

@makeysitlhou on Twitter

Great! I hope Jensine sees your comment and enlists your expertise and experience. I'm a bit surprised this has taken more than a month since I raised this issue; to me it doesn't seem that complicated. Then, again, I don't have your expertise, Makepeace.

Good luck with Voices!

Kelly Hayes-Raitt

Makepeace_Sitlhou's picture

Wait it out...

Hey Kelly.

Revising T&C takes time and I respect that for your sake as well as to protect the voices of your interviewees, that you pulled them out of Pulsewire and dropped out of the VOF application.

Give them some time to get back to you and I'm sure they'll find a way around that sits down well with all. After you've raised this concern, I don't think it can possibly go neglected again!


Makepeace Sitlhou

@makeysitlhou on Twitter

Kelly Hayes-Raitt's picture

3 Months and Still NO ACTION

Today, I removed my posts with interviews I conducted with Iraqi refugees because World Pulse's Terms of Service require I abdicate my control of anything I post on this site to World Pulse. These are exclusive stories, and by posting on this site, I grant World Pulse the rights to edit and repost these sensitive interviews anywhere World Pulse wants, in any format, without my permission or knowledge -- forever, which means any company that buys World Pulse in the future has the right to control my work. See the paragraph below and full Terms of Service at

Since I have a commitment to keep these refugees safe, I have opted out of participating in World Pulse.

I am very disappointed in World Pulse's lack of response to this issue. Their motto is noble: "No one speaks for me. I speak for myself." Yet, their decision to require me to legally give up control of my work -- my voice -- as well as those of the women and children I've interviewed -- is counter to this noble goal. I first raised this issue via emails to Jensine a month before I posted publicly on this site, and there is still no change at World Pulse. I waited another 6 weeks following Jensine's response above, but there's still no change. ...Very disappointing.

To view a variation of my original posts as well as other interviews with refugees of the Iraq War, please visit:

These interviews are part of my forthcoming journalistic memoir about my work in the Middle East with Palestinian and Iraqi refugees. To become part of my personal email list of friends and family who will get a special pre-publication discount, please email me directly at I'm pulling out of World Pulse and will not be monitoring emails sent through this site.

Kelly Hayes-Raitt
8. Content Ownership
WPV does not claim ownership of Content you make available through and/or for inclusion on the Site (including the Services). However, with respect to Content you make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Service, you hereby grant to WPV the worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, irrevocable and fully sublicensable right to distribute, reproduce, publish, publicly display, publicly perform, modify, adapt, translate, and otherwise use such Content (in whole or in part), and to incorporate such Content (in whole or in part) into other materials in any format or medium now known or later developed, in WPV's sole discretion, without notice, payment, attribution or other obligation to you of any kind.

Kelly Hayes-Raitt

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