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Today I received an email about new Terms of Service. It contains no trace whatsoever of the changes that Tim Post announced several weeks ago. In fact, the page https://stackoverflow.com/legal/terms-of-service that it links to appears, as far as I can remember, to be identical to the first ones announced.

In particular,

  • These terms of service still purport to require a paper letter to opt out.

  • The terms of service still contain this paragraph:

    You agree that, notwithstanding anything in the foregoing, any arbitration proceeding between you and us will be conducted in New York, NY, USA, that the language of the arbitration shall be in English, and that all arbitration proceedings shall be considered confidential in nature.

    which directly contradicts the earlier "clarification" promising that arbitration would happen in the victim/defendant's hometown rather than in New York.

The email also doesn't contain any reference to the arbitration clause at all, making it completely useless as a way of putting people on notice that they need to opt out.

What's going on here?

  • This might provide a little clarity – Mgetz May 22 '18 at 13:37
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    I was just about to ask the essentially same question: why doesn't the email mention the arbitration clause, which was the most controversial change? – Kimball May 22 '18 at 16:46
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Having to post this as an answer to be able to post images and such.

You are correct for the most parts, but you too seem to have missed - like I did - that the new ToS does at least reference the option to send a email to opt out.

Your written notification must be mailed to us at Stack Overflow, Attn: Legal Department, 110 William Street, Floor 28, New York, NY 10038 or by email notification at team (at) stackoverflow.com. If you do not notify us in accordance with this paragraph, you agree to be bound by the terms of this section, including, without limitation, the arbitration and class-action waiver provisions, and also including such provisions in any modifications we make to these Public Network Terms after the date of your first acceptance. Such notification must include: (i) your name; (ii) your email address and mailing address; and (iii) a statement that you do not wish to resolve disputes with us through arbitration or waive your ability to participate in a class action

That said, do be aware that Tim post had a different procedure - you needed to send a letter to team@stackoverflow.com instead. I have confirmed those mails will still be processed, but new mails should probably be sent to the new address. ^ This is no longer true, Nick Craver has afterward confirmed this was an error and the correct address is still TEAM(at)stackoverflow.com. I've updated the above quote to reflect that.

As for the rest, yep, you seem to be right. But I have also confirmed that the hub is still being worked out.

enter image description here

I guess we will have to wait a little longer before drawing our conclusions.

  • This was indeed a miscommunication while porting the legal hub over. The address has been updated in the latest builds to team@. – Nick Craver May 22 '18 at 16:54
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    I'm rather concerned that the text of the ToS requires a mailing address even for electronic opt-out. This is in contradiction to what @TimPost had previously said was required (a link to the network profile and "that's it"). I have never provided such information to SO and have no intention of doing so now. – jmbpiano May 23 '18 at 18:41
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    I said it before and I will say it again now, @jmbpiano. I have seen some comments saying that it is lame that so many got angry because of the arbitration clause. To those I should say that as now I am far more annoyed by the way all of the new ToS transition is being handled than by its actual contents. – SPArchaeologist May 24 '18 at 7:56

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