Gadgets, Themes, and Buttons Community Guideliness

Gadgets, Themes, and Buttons Community Guidelines

Mini web applications such as gadgets, themes, and buttons (referred to collectively as "gadgets" in this document) are everywhere these days -- We have a wide variety of people, from high school kids to retirees, techies to tech dinosaurs, using them on Google products (such as Toolbar) as well as on many other sites across the internet. In order to make sure that the gadgets community remains a safe and positive environment for everyone, we're asking developers to take in account these community guidelines when developing their gadgets.

As a user, you may not like every gadget you see in the directory. If a gadget offends you, you can ask Google to review it for breach of our terms of service, gadgets program policy, or themes program policy. If we don't take it down, there are many other gadgets you can pick and you can uninstall the offending gadget. You can also help developers make better gadgets by leaving comments in the directory page or contacting them through the contact information in the directory.

To make gadgets work for such a wide variety of users, we have some common sense rules in play for developers:

  • Don't include pornography or obscenities in your gadgets. This includes image and video content that contains nudity, sexually graphic material, or material that is otherwise deemed explicit by Google. If your content can be described as "adult", you probably shouldn't be including it in your gadget. We remove any gadget we see that includes pornography.
  • Respect intellectual property rights. This includes copyright and trademark rights of third parties, who may own the rights to the content you are using in your gadget (See more about copyright below). As well, we do not allow impersonation of third parties, including pretending a gadget comes from one developer, when it was actually developed by another.
  • No hate speech or incitement of violence. We encourage free speech and defend everyone's right to express unpopular points of view. But we don't permit hate speech (speech which attacks or demeans a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, and sexual orientation/gender identity).
  • Be conscientious of privacy. If you are collecting personal information from users in your gadget, you should have an adequate privacy policy on your website or explain to users why you are collecting the information and what you will do with it. Remember that some jurisdictions may impose restrictions on your collection of personal information. You should not be storing any personal information in your gadget, nor should you be collecting any sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, through the gadget. You can find more information about how to create a privacy policy at the OECD website, or the Better Business Bureau site.
  • No illegal content. You're required to comply with the law in your jurisdiction of residence and in the domain where you post the gadget. This could, depending on your jurisdiction, include regulations on online gambling, contests, defamation, alcohol or indecent content amongst others.
  • Don't create gadgets that spam or interfere with the pages they're on. No one likes spam and malware, so be nice to the community and do not upload gadgets that contain harmful or malicious code or that otherwise interfere with the iGoogle homepage, a user's homepage, or any other page where gadgets run. Similarly, please don't create misleading descriptions, tags, titles or thumbnails for your gadget in order to increase views.
  • Respect our advertising policies. If you are considering including advertising in your gadget, follow our gadget program policy or themes program policy With few exceptions, we restrict advertising to the canvas view and all advertising must meet the Google AdWords content guidelines even if you are using third party ads. Additionally, we encourage developers to focus first and foremost on the user experience. Poor user feedback may impact a gadget's ranking and directory placement.
  • Follow security best practices. Do not use gadgets as a way to promote the installation of client software, especially software that might be considered malware. Do not ask users for their login information on other websites, especially if that website provides a mechanism for users to delegate their access to another webservice through protocols like OAuth. Minimize storage of private user data in gadget preferences. If you need access to such data, use the locked-domain feature and/or store the data on a well secured web server that you can connect to using the function using the SIGNED or OAUTH options. Avoid XSS by using gadgets.util.escapeString to escape strings before assigning them to innerHTML.

Please take these rules seriously and take them to heart. They are here because we want to make sure we have a friendly and respectful community of gadget users. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or post on the gadget developers forum.

A special note for developers on using copyrighted content

We think it's important for the gadgets community to respect copyright law. Make sure you have permission to use all the content in your gadget or that your use of content fits under a fair use exception. This includes any pictures, text, RSS feeds or music you use in your gadget. You can find out more information on what fair use is from websites such as Chilling Effects or the Electronic Frontier Foundation among others, or ask your attorney.

Under the DMCA, we are required to have a repeat infringer policy that terminates your account or use of iGoogle in cases of repeat copyright infringement. This can include deletion of all your gadgets. See our DMCA policy for more information.

Inappropriate gadgets, themes, and buttons

If you think a gadget or theme is inappropriate, you can contact the developer directly through the following method:

  1. Visit for gadgets and for themes.
  2. Perform a search for the gadget or theme in question.
  3. Click on the title to see details about the gadget or theme.
  4. On the gadget or theme detail page, click on "Contact the developer."

You can also report the gadget to us by contacting us from this page. You can report a problematic buttons to us from this page.

When a gadget is reported as inappropriate, we review it to determine whether it violates our Terms of Service—they are not automatically taken down by the system. If we remove your gadget after reviewing it, you can assume that we removed it purposefully, and you should take our warning notification seriously. Please review our Terms of Service to understand why we removed your gadget.

Violations of terms

Violations of our Terms of Service or Program Policy can result in being blacklisted from uploading future gadgets, deletion of your gadgets, and/or termination of your Google accounts. We decide whether we believe your violation should result in blacklisting, deletion or termination. If you have an account terminated you are prohibited from ever uploading gadgets to iGoogle again!

Note: Any links to third party websites are provided as a convenience to our users only, and Google does not make any representation, affiliation or endorsement of these websites.

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