This is a little odd. I was reading the Gmail Program Policies and noticed this in the large list of things that users may not do.

Interfere with other Gmail users' enjoyment of the Service.

That seems sufficiently vague.

If someone sends a message to my Gmail account to tell me I'm fat and it's pissed me off, does that constitute interfering with my enjoyment? Can I have their Gmail account terminated for doing so?

This reminds me certain food makers who are lame enough to print "enjoy by" instead of "use by" as the label over the freshness date on their food packages.

What if I merely want to eat the food without the pressure of having to enjoy doing so?

Posted by jzawodn at February 27, 2005 05:36 PM

Reader Comments
# Mike Trausch said:

Wow. That's interesting.

I guess it depends on how it's interpreted. Then again, how many users read the terms of service, and policies, and such, and would be inclined to say, "So and so said that I'm fat! It's not true! I can't enjoy my GMail account anymore!"

I'm guessing not many... but it *would* be funny to see it happen... really, it would... lol. Later!

on February 27, 2005 05:55 PM
# Satya said:

"Caution: The beverage you are about to enjoy is extremely hot." I believe that sentence may be copyright Starbucks.

on February 27, 2005 07:32 PM
# Steven Romej said:

I've got a Michelob Ultra that is simple in its admonitions. It says "Freshest taste within 110 days", giving me ample time to either enjoy it or simply drink it out of boredom.

on February 27, 2005 08:57 PM
# Ben said:

It's like the US constitution: "The accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial"

on February 27, 2005 10:45 PM
# Derek said:

I dunno, it's not much more lame than, from Yahoo's TOS:

"disrupt the normal flow of dialogue, cause a screen to "scroll" faster than other users of the Service are able to type, or otherwise act in a manner that negatively affects other users' ability to engage in real time exchanges;"

Apparently, I'm supposed to know exactly how fast everyone else in a Yahoo chat-room can read. Or,

" 14. collect or store personal data about other users."

Apparently, if I'm using a messenger or chat client that has chat-logs, I'm supposed to go through and delete those if the people in the chat room say anything personal about themselves.

And, on a par with your "what if I call you fat?" comment, there's this from Yahoo's TOS:

"upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any Content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another's privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable;"

There's a glass house there, so you might not want to lob too many stones. :-)

on February 28, 2005 04:25 AM
# Patrick Mullen said:

Apparently the policy uses the term "enjoyment" in the sense of "possession" or "use." A word can frequently have various connotations.

There have been times I have not enjoyed Email, meaning that it was not functioning correctly and causing me frustration for various reasons. Perhaps that issue can be left to a different Blog topic.

At present, the wife is not enjoying her Email for some reason. I will not stick my nose into it simply because if I cannot find a solution, I will be assuming the blame for its balky operation ("You're supposed to know how to fix these things!"). In life, as well as Email, discretion is the better part of valor.

on February 28, 2005 03:26 PM
# Chris said:

U R fat.

But seriously, I guess they don't want someone to email all their mail to a random Gmail user, or harass them, or something. They should be more clear there.

on March 1, 2005 03:48 PM
# Migs said:

I think "enjoyment" is lawyerspeak.

on March 2, 2005 06:03 AM
# Craig said:

OK, I decided this was worth writing about in my own blog. Not the issue, but the actual post. It's really just a wild misinterpretation of legal terms and it should never have been published. You can find the story at

Jeremy, I hope I can get traffic by participating here - and cling on to your obvious success as a writer.

on March 2, 2005 01:35 PM
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