ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Twitter isn't required to include an arbitration clause

In a recent case out of the District of Arizona, Brittain v. Twitter Inc., No. CV-18-01714-PHX-DG (behind paywall), a court finds Twitter's terms enforceable as neither illusory nor unconscionable. The plaintiffs admitted that they agreed to Twitter's terms of service, but they argued the terms were illusory and unconscionable.

The illusory argument depended on the assertion that Twitter could unilaterally modify the terms at its discretion. But, unlike other cases where the terms were found to be illusory, Twitter did not try to retroactively modify the terms, and it mutually bound itself to the forum selection clause. 

Brittain's unconscionability argument weirdly revolved around the fact that Twitter's terms don't contain an arbitration provision. I found this curious because I've read lots of cases where people want to get out of arbitration clauses, so complaining that the lack of one means the terms are unconscionable isn't an argument I quite follow. Neither did the court, which found that Twitter was not required to include an arbitration clause in its terms and that the terms weren't otherwise unconscionable. 

This decision is behind a paywall, but this case has received some news coverage because of who the plaintiff is

 

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/contractsprof_blog/2019/01/twitter-isnt-required-to-include-an-arbitration-clause.html

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