By Adrienne Catherine H. Beauregard-Rheaume, Esq.
So why does your posting mean diddly? Because you can’t unilaterally change a contract. If you want to change what governs your relationship with Facebook, you have to go through that whole offer, acceptance, consideration, meeting of the minds jazz. You can’t just throw words out there and say this is how we do things now. That’d be like hiring someone to paint your house in exchange for you paying her $1,000, then mid-paint yelling at her that you’re now going to be paying her $500, keep up the good work.
And, it’s cute that the originator of these hoaxes bothered to throw in some UCC language (that is the Uniform Commercial Code), but also totally misleading because it gives undue credibility to these posts. Those sections of the UCC cited in the hoax post address the concept of “reservation of rights,” which is designed in commerce to help protect people from unknowingly giving up rights by agreeing to certain contract terms. Eg, if somehow the way a contract plays out based on the interpretation of the wording wasn’t really clear or intended within the contract words itself, then a reservation of rights can save the day. It doesn’t allow you to avoid legally binding contract terms, and it doesn’t apply to privacy or social networking anyway.
So please, I implore you, quit it with these hoax posts. You’re cluttering my otherwise eclipse-blood-moon-filled-feed. And, as usual, this Blog is written in the simplistic of terms regarding a specific situation. Contract and UCC law can be complicated and treacherous, and a slight variation of facts can change the legal analysis. Beauregard, Burke & Franco has dealt with the drafting, negotiating, and litigating of hundreds of contracts in its almost 25 years of practice. If you have any contractual issues or questions, you should consult an experienced attorney.