Terms of Service for using Baobab, an online community for Scholars

Last Updated: 11/11/2020

Welcome to Baobab, an online community of educators, mentors and scholars interested in sharing ideas and information. Baobab is provided by Mastercard Foundation (“MCF”, “we”, “us”, “our”) as part of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program and hosted by Arizona State University (“Hosts”). At Baobab we want to provide you with information and support to help you to learn the skills that are necessary to succeed in today’s global economy. As a member of the Baobab community, you are allowed to post comments and other material into interactive areas of Baobab, including the chat feature and discussion channels and boards (“Postings”).

Legal Agreements

You may create a Baobab account and use Baobab if you agree to these Terms of Service ("Terms"), Privacy Policy ("Privacy Policy") and the Baobab Acceptable Use Policy ("AUP") and you provide the opt-in consents set out below. Please read the Terms, Privacy Policy and AUP carefully. If you do not agree with the Terms, Privacy Policy or AUP, and if you do not provide certain opt-in consents, you may not create a Baobab account or otherwise access or use Baobab.

After you have created your account, if you violate any of these Terms, Privacy Policy or AUP, or if you act in a manner contrary to any applicable law or regulation when using Baobab, your account may be terminated or suspended by us without notice to you.

We may change these Terms, the Privacy Policy or the AUP at any time without advance notice to you. Any changes will be effective immediately when we post them on Baobab. If you access Baobab after we make any changes to the Terms, Privacy Policy or AUP, this means you agree to all of the changes. Be sure to return to this page often to make sure you are familiar with and understand the most current version of the Terms, Privacy Policy and AUP.

User Accounts

You may not use Baobab if you are under the age of 16.

In order to participate fully on Baobab, you must create your own user account (“User Account”). You must use your real name and information to create your User Account and identify yourself on Baobab. You may not provide any false information to Baobab, or create an account for anyone other than yourself. You may only create one account on Baobab. If you select a username or similar identifier for your User Account, we reserve the right to remove or reclaim it if we believe it is appropriate (such as when a trademark owner complains about a username that does not closely relate to a user's actual name).

You must never share your access to Baobab or your User Account details (such as your password) with any other person for any reason. When you set up your User Account, you will be asked to provide additional information for your profile (e.g., your gender and birthdate). Baobab’s Privacy Policy explains how we use this information. You agree to maintain and update your User Account information to keep it accurate and current at all times.

We care about the use, confidentiality and security of your personal information. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information about the type of information about you we collect and how we use that information.

If you see any other user behaving in a way contrary to these Terms, the Privacy Policy or the AUP (“Infringing Content”), please report this to us so we can maintain a respectful and positive environment on Baobab. MCF and/or the Host will determine whether content is Infringing Content and can be removed. You also have the option of blocking another User from sending you direct messages. However, postings from blocked Users will still be visible in public channels and group message forums.

Deactivating Your User Account

If you choose to deactivate your User Account, your profile and profile picture will no longer be displayed publicly, but will be stored on the site should you want to reactivate your account at a later date. Any of your postings and comments on the site will remain in place without your name or profile picture; instead, your postings and comments will be marked “Baobab User” to show your User Account is no longer active. Once you deactivate your User Account, other users will not be able to search for you on Baobab. If you wish to have any of your comments or postings removed from Baobab when you deactivate your User Account, you will need to remove them yourself before you deactivating your User Account. To deactivate your User Account, click the account menu at the top of any Baobab page, select Account Settings and choose 'Deactivate your account'. Your User Account will be deactivated in 5 business days and will remain in backup form, including the progress of any tracked modules, should you choose to reactivate your User Account.

Deleting Your User Account

If you choose to delete your User Account, your login will be deleted along with your profile, profile picture, posts, comments, and any tracked progress in modules in which you are working at the time you delete your User Account. When you delete your User Account other users will not be able to search for you on Baobab or see any of your previous activity on the site. You cannot undo deleting your User Account and will not be able to restore any of the content created by you on the site. When you delete content you have posted or your User Account, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer. However, you understand that removed content may persist in backup copies. To delete your User Account, click the account menu at the top right of any Baobab page, select Account Settings and choose 'Delete your account'. Your account will be deleted and no longer visible to other Baobab users within 5 business days, but the full deletion process from our backup systems may take up to four weeks from the date we receive your request. Once deletion is completed, some material associated with your User Account such as log records may remain on the Baobab platform for technical reasons, but this remaining material will be disassociated from any information that can identify you.

Use of the Baobab Community

The Baobab community is being established to help the MCF alumni network interact with each other, with faculty and with community mentors. The goal is to help you and future scholarship recipients continue to gain skills that will help you be successful. As part of that goal, researchers may study the behavior of Baobab users on Baobab, including you. Another goal is to create a community that researchers can access to learn more about how people use and benefit from on-line communities so that we can improve Baobab and other on-line social media platforms can be improved.

From time-to- time, a researcher may wish to survey you as a member of Baobab. Your participation in any survey or research study is entirely voluntary and you will never have to complete a survey or any research study to continue to participate in Baobab. Your personal information will never be disclosed in a research report and the result of any research completed through Baobab will be reported anonymously. Please see our Privacy Policy for further information about how your personal information may be used.

Our Communication with You

We ask for your consent to send electronic messages to you. For example, you may opt in to receive electronic messages about topics, programs, jobs, internships, scholarships, bursaries and similar programs that the Mastercard Foundation believes may be of interest to you and other communications such as updates about Baobab via newsletters and trending activities on Baobab. You can always opt-out by going into your User Account profile and changing your account settings. Opting out will not affect normal service messages that we send to your User Account.

Your Right to Use Content

All content on Baobab is owned by its contributors or by persons who have provided their permission for the content to appear on Baobab. Some examples of this content are the text, audio, video, graphics, charts, photographs, and icons on the site. The selection, design, and arrangement of the content are owned by MCF and its suppliers and are protected by applicable laws, including copyright.

Unless we give you our written permission, you may not copy, modify, distribute, mirror, republish or transmit any of the content or materials on Baobab. You agree not to “scrape” or download in bulk, any Baobab content, including any lists or directories of Baobab users, online learning materials or articles, user postings or user information. However, you may, make one copy of documents posted on Baobab which are of interest to you for your own personal, non-commercial, educational use as long as it does not contain personal information of other Baobab users, including photographs and videos.

Some content on Baobab may have copyright restrictions and thus may only be copied and used by users in accordance with specified rules that must be followed by the user. We will post these rules for you when they apply. By using this copyright protected content in accordance with the specified rules, you agree to accept and follow all rules and conditions that apply to it.

You agree to keep all copyright and other notices on all copies of any content you obtain from Baobab. All rights in Baobab and its content, if not expressly granted to you, are reserved to MCF and its suppliers.

We respect the rights of intellectual property (including but not limited to copyrights and trademarks) owners, and ask that you do the same. If you believe that your work has been copied in a way that infringes your rights, please provide us with the following information:

  1. a description of the copyrighted work or works that you claim have been infringed;
  2. a description of the allegedly infringing material, including its location on the site;
  3. your address, telephone number, and e-mail address;
  4. a statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law;
  5. a statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act for the copyright owner; and
  6. an electronic or physical signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

Our Intellectual Property Agent for notice of claims of intellectual property infringement on Baobab is: concerns@baobabplatform.org

User Postings

The success of Baobab relies on the content that its users contribute to Baobab. We encourage you to post, upload, comment, and otherwise submit content in any format (text, pictures, videos, etc.) to Baobab as long as you follow these Terms, our Privacy Policy and our AUP. Please remember that whatever you post can be seen by all members of the Baobab community, so be careful and do not post personal information that you wish to keep secret.

You are responsible for your use of Baobab and all content, in any type or format that you upload to Baobab. Although our AUP provides rules with respect to posting content, we do not actively monitor, or vet any user posted content prior to it being posted on Baobab and are not responsible for the content or information users transmit or share on Baobab.

Examples of this content are all forum and chat room posts that you make, and all notes, questions, comments, videos, audios and digital files that you post to Baobab. You, and not MCF or its providers, are solely responsible for all of your postings and the consequences of posting or publishing them.

You agree that you will only upload content to Baobab if you are the sole owner of the content or if you have been given permission from the rightful content owner or owners to send it to Baobab and for Baobab to publish it and modify it as necessary to display it on Baobab. By submitting content to Baobab, you give your permission and grant to MCF and its contractors, including Hosts, a license to use, copy, modify, distribute, mirror, republish or transmit the content for the purpose of hosting this site and you agree that this permission and license is unlimited, perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, sub-licensable, royalty free, and transferable. You waive all moral rights in and to your submitted content in favour of MCF and Hosts. You may post links to third party websites, but you need be sure that the content of that link meets the requirements of the AUP and is not defamatory or obscene.

Some of the services on Baobab may not be available in some countries.


“The Mastercard Foundation,” “The Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program” and the related names and logos are trademarks of The Mastercard Foundation.

You may not use any of these trademarks, or any variations of the trademarks, without MCF’s prior written consent.


If we should choose to offer software downloads from Baobab and you download or use our software, such as a stand-alone software product, an app, or a browser plugin, you agree that from time to time, the software may download and install upgrades, updates and additional features from us in order to improve, enhance, and further develop the software.

You will not modify, create derivative works of, decompile, or otherwise attempt to extract source code from us, unless you are expressly permitted to do so under an open source license, or we give you express written permission.

Disclaimers of Warranty / Limitations of Liabilities / Indemnity

Baobab and any information, content or services made available on or through Baobab are provided “as is” and “as available” without warranty of any kind (express, implied or otherwise), including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement, except insofar as any such implied warranties may not be disclaimed under applicable law.

MCF and its contractors, including Hosts, do not warrant that Baobab or its related mobile app will operate in an uninterrupted or error-free manner, that Baobab or its related mobile app is free of viruses or other harmful components, or that the content provided will meet your needs or expectations. Neither MCF nor its contractors, including Hosts, make any warranty about the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or quality of the site, the related mobile app or any content, or that any particular content will continue to be made available.

Use of Baobab, and the content and services obtained from or through Baobab, is at your own risk. Your access to or download of information, materials or data through Baobab or the related mobile app or any linked sites is at your own discretion and risk, and you will be solely responsible for any damage to your property (including your computer system) or loss of data that results from the download or use of any material or data.

User Postings.

You understand that when using Baobab you will be exposed to user postings from a variety of sources and that we are not responsible for the accuracy, usefulness, reliability or intellectual property rights of or relating to such user postings.

You may be exposed to user postings that are inaccurate, offensive, defamatory, indecent or objectionable, and you waive all rights or remedies you have or may have against MCF, its officers, directors, employees, agents, and contractors, including Hosts, in respect of these postings. We do not endorse any user postings or any opinion, recommendation or advice expressed on Baobab. We have no obligation to monitor any user postings or any other user communications through Baobab.

We reserve the right to review user postings and to decide whether to edit or remove all or part of any user posting at any time and for any reason. When we receive notice from a user or a content owner that a user posting allegedly violates these Terms, our Privacy Policy or our AUP, we may investigate the allegation and decide whether to remove the user posting. User postings may be removed at any time and without notice. Although we provide rules for user conduct in our AUP, we do not monitor, control or direct users' actions on Baobab and are not responsible for the content or information users transmit or share on Baobab.

Links to Other Websites.

Baobab may include hyperlinks to websites maintained or controlled by others. MCF and its contractors, including Hosts, are not responsible for and do not routinely screen, approve, review or endorse the contents of or use of any of the products or services that may be offered at these sites. If you decide to access linked third-party websites, you do so at your own risk.

No Liability.

To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, you agree that neither MCF, its officers, directors, employees, agents nor any of its contractors, including Hosts, will be liable to you for any loss or damages, either direct, actual or consequential, arising out of or relating to these terms, or your (or any third party’s) use of or inability to use Baobab, or your placement of content on Baobab, or your reliance upon information obtained from or through Baobab, whether your claim is based in contract, tort, statutory or other law.

Further, neither MCF, its officers, directors, employees, agents or any of its contractors, including Hosts, is liable for any consequential, indirect, punitive, special, exemplary or incidental damages, whether foreseeable or unforeseeable and whether or not negligent or otherwise at fault (including, but not limited to, claims for defamation, negligence, errors, loss of profits, loss of data or interruption in availability of data).


You agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless MCF, its officers, directors, employees, agents and contractors, including Hosts, from and against any claims, suits, demands, losses, liabilities, costs, expenses, damages or actions, including legal and professional fees, which may be suffered or incurred by MCF or any of the foregoing, arising out of or as a result of or relating in any manner whatsoever to your use or misuse of Baobab or your breach of these Terms of Service.

The laws in some jurisdictions do not allow limitations on implied warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain damages. If these laws apply to you, some or all of the above disclaimers, exclusions, or limitations may not apply to you, and you might have additional rights.


Termination Rights; Discontinuation of Features and Content.

If you no longer want to participate in Baobab, you may deactivate or delete your User Account at any time. We may also, in our sole discretion, terminate your use of Baobab by deactivating or deleting your User Account for any reason, upon notice to you. We may, at any time in our sole discretion, cancel, delay, reschedule or alter the format of or stop providing any part or all of Baobab content or related services and features, and you agree that neither MCF nor its contractors, including Hosts, have any liability to you for doing so. The rights granted to you in these Terms will terminate upon any termination of your right to use Baobab, but the other provisions of these Terms will survive any termination. For information regarding the process for deactivating your User Account please review the section Deactivating Your User Account above. For information regarding the process for deleting your User Account please review the section Deleting Your User Account above. This process will also apply if we terminate your User Account.

Entire Agreement.

These Terms, the AUP, and the Privacy Policy together create the entire agreement between MCF and you with respect to your use of Baobab.

Waiver and Severability of Terms.

Our failure to enforce any of our rights in these Terms does not mean we waive those rights, and we may enforce any right in the future.

Choice of Law/Forum Selection.

You agree that these Terms and any claim or dispute arising out of or relating to these Terms or any content or service obtained from or through Baobab will be governed by the laws of the Province of Ontario and the laws of Canada, excluding any conflict of law provisions. You agree that all such claims and disputes will be heard and resolved exclusively in the courts located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. You consent to the jurisdiction of those courts over you for this purpose, and you waive and agree not to assert any objection to such proceedings in those courts (including any defense or objection of lack of proper jurisdiction or venue or inconvenience of forum).

Contacting Us

If you have any questions or concerns about these Terms, please contact us at: concerns@baobabplatform.org.

The parties have required that the Terms and all documents relating there to be drawn up in English. Les parties ont demandé que les modalités d'utilisation ainsi que tous les documents qui s'y rattachent soient rédigés en anglais.

By accessing Baobab and creating a Baobab account, you have provided us with the opt in consents described in these Terms and have agreed with these Terms, the Privacy Policy and the AUP, and that we can collect, use and disclose your personal information in accordance with the Privacy Policy as amended from time to time. Please review the requested opt-in consents, Privacy Policy and the AUP.