How to change FAQ, Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service

(Neil Lalonde) #1

Today we changed how the FAQ, Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service pages are managed. Each of them now has a topic where they can be edited and discussed.

Simply editing the first post in those topics will change the documents that appear at the static urls /tos, /privacy, and /faq (or /guidelines if you’re redirecting faq to an external page).

The faq url, privacy policy url, and faq url site settings can be used to redirect to external sites instead, as before.

Some sections of the site contents (/admin/site_contents) have been removed since they’re not used anymore.


Existing sites that were using “Privacy Policy” and “FAQ” site contents in admin don’t need to do anything. They will be copied into the new topics during the upgrade.

However, the “Terms of Service: Content License” and “Terms of Service: Miscellaneous” sections will not be copied into the topic automatically. They will continue to be available in admin so that sites that were using them can copy and paste them into the appropriate sections of the Terms of Service topic.


Because of this change, the translations have been moved into the standard yml files. Transifex can’t handle .html.erb files, and we shouldn’t have been translating them that way in the first place. The faq.*.html.erb, privacy.*.html.erb, etc. files will be going away from the repo and from Transifex soon. I left them so that translators can see them and move them into the appropriate yml file.

Translations for v1.0
Hamburger menu: how to change FAQ to Guidelines, add Help link, remove About or make About customizable?
Is anyone working on a Discourse Wiki?
Guidelines Static page not displaying when it should
(Lee_Ars) #2

This is a great change that’ll make editing these things so much easier! Thanks for adding it!

One concern, though, is that putting these three items in Staff means that any staff user (including moderators, potentially) can edit them. Because these things contain official legal boilerplate type language, a well-meaning moderator might edit the TOS or Privacy Policy with what they think is a good idea or a clarification, and that change might potentially expose the site to liability.

It’s kind of a peripheral worry, since you’d expect users in the staff category wouldn’t be there if they weren’t known and trusted and would not not to modify critical things without approval, but the PP/FAQ/TOS are instruments of overall site policy, and really should be editable only by site administrators.

(Neil Lalonde) #3

Yes good catch, I’ll change it so only admins can edit it.

(Jeff Atwood) #4

There is also an issue with default title length restrictions. Try editing all three.

(Dave Stephens) #5

I’ve managed to hack around this by editing the min topic title length temporarily so it’ll let me save changes to my FAQ.

This feels like a less than ideal solution to having somewhere to store these specific pages. Whilst it’s nice to have data stored in a consistent way across Discourse (i.e. as posts), it means that you’re having to hack around “usual” post restrictions such as title length to get this to work.

Personal opinion is that they were better in the admin pages under “content”, as after all, these types of pages are static content (once defined) and not discussions.

(Jeff Atwood) #6

It looks like @neil fixed these issues in latest.

(probus) #7

Why is this still named FAQ/Guidelines? It doesn’t look anything like FAQ to me.

(Neil Lalonde) #8

Yes these issues have been addressed. Today I fixed it so that only admins can edit the posts that contain the documents.

(D H) #9

I have set my “faq url” to a category on the forum and that works fine but it seems that also /guidelines is redirected to my “faq url”.

FAQ/Guidelines - SAFE Network Forum (redirects to my FAQ category as expected)
FAQ/Guidelines - SAFE Network Forum (also redirects?!)

So, it seems that there is no way for me to reach my guidelines. On I can see 4 links but both FAQ and Guidelines go to the same page.

(Neil Lalonde) #10

I just fixed that problem. Thanks for reporting it!

(Michael - #11

One of our customers managed to delete the entire Privacy Policy topic. We could undelete it in the database, but still : is there any way to protect admins from doing this?

(Neil Lalonde) #12

We should prevent that. I’ll look into it.

(Jeff Atwood) #13

Another customer did this today, deleted one of these topics. So we need a strategery here.

(Neil Lalonde) #14

Fixed! Deleting those topics isn’t possible anymore.

(Camille Roux) #15

On a fresh install they are in English by default. Can I regenerate them in French? How?

FAQ, Privacy Policy for non-english Discourse
(Sebastien Miquerolle) #16

v1.0 is release, maybe we can remove *.erb files from Transifex to not distract translators :slight_smile:

(probus) #17

And change the misleading FAQ to Guidelines in the hamburger menu and other places where appropriate.


Should someone file a bug report on this? Calling this page FAQ is misleading in english and even more cryptographic for discourse installs in other languages.

(mountain) #19

Instead of FAQ, I would suggest ‘rules and regulations’ or something that says the content is about expected etiquette and behavior.

(Tobias Eigen) #20

I like ‘guidelines’ best.