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Thursday, February 26, 2009


Guy Kingston

I don't see how this is an improvement - well certainly not for everyone.

Take my case of example. I live in the UK. Facebook disabled my account due to an error at their end. Their customer service is so dreadful they will not respond to emails and I am unable to have any dialogue with them.

Now either I just accept I am banned form Facebook forever for something I didn’t do, or I have to issue legal proceedings in California. The cost and hassle of doing so is completely disproportionate to the nature of the dispute.

Whereas Arbitration is simple to set up and low cost. I am ambivalent about it being binding, though inclined to be in favour. If it weren’t then Facebook could completely ignore it. If it is and goes against me then I am no worse off than I am now.

I can see US law firms profiting from this change to the Terms of Use, but for private individuals outside the US it is dreadful.


Okay, I suppose one should give credit to a company that does something that most other companies won't do -- even if what all the other companies do is very unfair. But the forum selection clause is terrible. Should Facebook be able to force a Maine customer to sue in California? In many cases, that's like having no right to sue at all. Sure, picking California is better than picking Delaware or the Yukon, but it's still awful.

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