Terms of Service (TOS), user agreements, and other purported contracts between Big Tech corporations and end users are invalid and void. Neither clicking buttons Sign up or I Agree next to these TOSes nor using their services creates a contract between the corporation and the user, at least on the terms written by these corporations, especially Big Tech Social Media Platforms (“BTP”).
The substance of the Big Tech TOS violates multiple conditions necessary to form a valid contract.
- Exchange of value is a necessary condition of a contract: both sides must give (immediately or in the future) and receive something of value. Big Tech TOS promise nothing of value to the users because their services have value only if provided continuously and reliably, but the corporations reserve the “right” to discontinue the services to anybody, any time, for any or no reason. At the same time, they receive substantial value at the moment the user signs up, continue receiving value as the user interacts with the service, and keep most of the received value even after discontinuing the service to the user.
- The purported agreements are neither executed nor delivered by Big Tech Platforms. The texts are referred to by a URL on the platforms’ websites and can be modified at any time, even while the user reads them. On top of that, they incorporate other documents by reference, sometimes conditionally (“if you use feature F, terms Z11 and V102 apply to you”), which incorporate more documents and so on.
- Those are contracts of adhesion. They are choke-full of clauses that no reasonable (or even sane) user would voluntarily accept if she or he knew of them.
- These contracts are too long to read, even with notice. Furthermore, even if the users are given notice of TOS, they are likely not given the notice of other documents incorporated by reference from the TOS.
- BTP deceive users about many aspects of their services, especially the nature, value (both to the Platform and the user), and the intended use of the private data they collect from the user.
- Most content used by BTP is created by the uncompensated labor of their users. BTP TOS allow them to coerce their users to give them forced labor, in violation of the XIII Amendment and 18 U.S. Code CHAPTER 77 — PEONAGE, SLAVERY, AND TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS.
The forum selection clause, attempting to drag users to Big Tech home courts, is void, too.
The Kings are naked!
The article is Big Tech TOS are Void.pdf
The article is updated on May 8, 2022. Added cases to the subsection “Unilateral Modification”. One of them is Light v. Centel Cellular Co., Texas Supreme Court , 1994: “Such a promise would be illusory because it fails to bind the promisor who always retains the option of discontinuing… When illusory promises are all that support a purported bilateral contract, there is no contract.”
The Annexes to the article: TOS Void Annexes.pdf