💋☠ DISCLAIMER: I am not a State Bar anointed attorney, and this is not a so-called “legal advice.” 🤑 I don’t practice law for profit. 🐄 I practice law for justice. My only qualification is my LinkedIn membership which comes with the expectation to abide by LinkedIn’s Terms of Service (ToS) agreement. If LinkedIn accepts my membership payment and allows me to login to LinkedIn Service with the expectation to abide by LinkedIn’s contracts, then expect me to read and understand the contracts without hiring a professionalized agent of the legal system.
🤢 Ugh, Where to Even Begin…
Krishna Almighty! In this article, I’ll present a high level overview of LinkedIn’s terms of service contract by providing a summary of three key pain-points; and then I’ll drill down on each pain-point with supporting evidence excerpts taken from LinkedIn’s ToS contracts – showing how the terms of service contacts are designed to exploit LinkedIn members for the benefit of LinkedIn. In concluding final thoughts, I’ll address common counterarguments and call on LinkedIn members and everyone to fight for a positive people-centric change.
🤮 Ever read LinkedIn’s Terms of Service agreement?
You’re exploited. LinkedIn 1) can harvest all your data, 2) owns your content and can profit on your work without your knowledge or compensation, and 3) the terms of service contract is aimed to protect LinkedIn from accountability in the court of law. LinkedIn is free to rob you, and you’re free to do nothing about it.
🕵 Three key pain-points summary:
- 👁 No data privacy. LinkedIn can scruff up your personal data like rats on cheese, and freely use your personal data for their profit and your detriment. Your personal data is LinkedIn’s data. They follow you everywhere their technology is allowed access, and then some…
- 🔏 Every content created with LinkedIn service is the property of LinkedIn. Content creators are not entitled to exclusive rights to own content and licensing options. What you create on LinkedIn is the property of LinkedIn. Creatives are free to create content, and LinkedIn is free to profit from creator’s content.
- ☠ LinkedIn’s Terms of Service aims to strip away your consumer rights as established by common law. A) LinkedIn’s ToS aims to prevent breach of contract from voiding the contract, and B) LinkedIn’s ToS aims to twist unenforceable contracts into enforceable. So expect high-impact football in the court of law if you care to stand ground.
👺 All your personal data are belong to LinkedUS®
LinkedIn can do whatever they want with your personal data. Seriously, anything… If you disagree, you can leave. Tough shit. (And yes, LinkedIn still owns your content and data after you leave). And no – you don’t have to post or upload personal data, but understand that LinkedIn will “limit your ability to grow and engage with your network” if you don’t.
🖋 Privacy policies were meant to be rewritten:
- 💩 You don’t have to post or upload personal data; though if you don’t, it may limit your ability to grow and engage with your network over our Services.”
LinkedIn tracks everything you do – everywhere you visit. LinkedIn tracks all your contacts, everyone you talk to, every employer you consider, every job you apply, everyone you’re connected to and every group you belong to. * LinkedIn follows you offsite, and continues to collect your private data on any site that uses LinkedIn’s services – and wherever else IPs, cookies, device-tracker and other articles-of-espionage embolden LinkedIn’s voracious data expedition.
- 💩 We log usage data when you visit or otherwise use our Services, including our sites, app and platform technology (e.g., our off-site plugins), such as when you view or click on content (e.g., learning video) or ads (on or off our sites and apps), perform a search, install or update one of our mobile apps, share articles or apply for jobs.
- 💩 We use log-ins, cookies, device information and internet protocol (“IP”) addresses to identify you and log your use.
- 💩 We receive personal data about you when you use the services of our customers and partners, such as employers, prospective employers and applicant tracking systems providing us job application data. … We receive data about you when you use some of the other services provided by us or our affiliates, including Microsoft.
- 💩 We collect personal data from you when you provide, post or upload it to our Services, such as when you fill out a form, (e.g., with demographic data or salary), respond to a survey, or submit a resume. If you opt to import your address book, we receive your contacts (including contact information your service provider(s) or app automatically added to your address book when you communicated with addresses or numbers not already in your list).
👹 All your creative content are belong to ChainedUS®
Friends, artists and publishers, all your content belongs to LinkedIn. LinkedIn can monetize your content without sharing the profit with you. This license is irrevocable.
🔐 LinkedIn grants itself a non-exclusive license to all your content:
When you post content on LinkedIn , you are “only” granting LinkedIn and their mysterious affiliates a non-exclusive, worldwide, transferable and sublicensable right to your content. (What!? Only non-exclusive!? Such generosity – truly philanthropy!) In other words, LinkedIn has the same rights as you do to your content. LinkedIn can monetize your content – without your knowledge or compensation. Effectively, by posting on LinkedIn, your content falls under “Creative Commons” license which cannot be revoked. Anyone with a Creative Commons license can use your work as they want without your consent, even if you stopped distributing the content – as in, example: you quit LinkedIn. (💸 And guess who still makes a buck doing you-know-what after you’re buh-bye gone? Hint: Not you, Bozo!)
But don’t take my word for it – read LinkedIn’s User Agreement for yourself:
- 💩”you are only granting LinkedIn and our affiliates the following non-exclusive license: A worldwide, transferable and sublicensable right to use, copy, modify, distribute, publish, and process, information and content that you provide through our Services and the services of others, without any further consent, notice and/or compensation to you or others. “
- 💩 “if you choose to share your post as “public”, we will enable a feature that allows other Members to embed that public post onto third-party services, and we enable search engines to make that public content findable though their services”
- 💩 “Because you own your content and information and we only have non-exclusive rights to it, you may choose to make it available to others, including under the terms of a Creative Commons license.”
Remember the license may not be revoked. Once you apply a CC license to your material, anyone who receives it may rely on that license for as long as the material is protected by copyright and similar rights, even if you later stop distributing it. Source: “Considerations for licensors and licensees” | https://wiki.creativecommons.org/
🤬 All your fraud protection are belong to EnsnaredUS®
What protection? You have none. You’ll need an army of lawyers to pig wrestle with the opposition council at their home turf court in Santa Clara County, California, USA. The contract is clear as mud. So how many gallons of blood you’ve got to burn on circling sharks !? … Who will drag out the court proceedings, who will nip you on the ankle with legalese jugglery, who will play-dead like skunk and cry “woe is me” to the tune of Babyface? How good are your judicial connections – are you established in the area? Ah, congratulations! Now you’re starting to think like a lawyer!
🖊 LinkedIn’s terms of service agreement attempts to rewrite common law:
If you believe LinkedIn has violated the terms of service agreement, you’re screwed. Surprised? Hah! LinkedIn lawyers have trampled and subverted contract law in LinkedIn’s favor. Shocking, I know… LinkedIn’s terms of service contract is not within the framework of common law. Rather, LinkedIn aims to rewrite common law to suit its business needs. See example A and B.
Example A: According to common law, a breach of contract voids the contract and occurs when any of the parties to the contract breaches the contract. LinkedIn wants the ability to breach its end of the terms of service contract, but still hold you accountable to your end of the contract.
Example B: According to common law, an unenforceable contract is void when – for example – one party to the agreement unfairly took advantage of the other party. LinkedIn wants the ability to unfairly take advantage of LinkedIn users by turning unenforceable contracts into enforceable.
But don’t take my word – compare common law to LinkedIn’s terms of service yourself ( example: A and B )
✅ Common Law on breached contracts:
- “ In contract law, a “material” breach of contract is a breach (a failure to perform the contract) that strikes so deeply at the heart of the contract that it renders the agreement “irreparably broken” and defeats the purpose of making the contract.” Source:https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/breach-of-contract-material-breach-32655.html
❌ LinkedIn’s Terms of Service trampling on breached contract law:
- 💩 “If we don’t act to enforce a breach of this Contract, that does not mean that LinkedIn has waived its right to enforce this Contract.”
✅ Common Law on unenforceable contracts:
- “An unenforceable contract is a written or oral agreement that will not be enforced by courts … Contracts may be unenforceable because of their subject matter, because one party to the agreement unfairly took advantage of the other party, or because there is not enough proof of the agreement.” Source: https://www.upcounsel.com/unenforceable-contract
❌ LinkedIn’s Terms of Service trampling of unenforceable contract law:
- 💩 “If a court with authority over this contract finds any part of it unenforceable, you and we agree that the court should modify the terms to make that part enforceable.”
😤 Linked, Chained, & Ensnared – Final thoughts on LinkedIn’s ToS
LinkedIn’s terms of services is exploitation, designed for the benefit of LinkedIn’s business and detrimental to LinkedIn’s users. All your personal data from using LinkedIn belongs to LinkedIn. All the content you publish on LinkedIn belongs to LinkedIn. You have no tangible legal recourse. And this is how LinkedIn puts profit over people.
Some people may have the following counterpoint objections – to which I’ll answer myself.
👿 Counterpoint objections and my answers:
- 🧐 If you don’t like it – go elsewhere. This is how capitalism works. (You commie socialist, who just wants free stuff. Don’t you know there is no such thing as a free lunch!?)
Excuse me!? No! (I do not appreciate your Red Scare tactics!) Hear me loud and clear: We do NOT have free market capitalism! A free market requires competition. We do NOT have a competition of options for people to choose from. Capitalism is a pipe-dream not the reality. People using social networks don’t have choice power to negotiate better agreements. Name one social network that gives you the choice of private data privacy? MeWe!? Ok, nice try: Guess what social network app came preinstalled on my government issued ‘Obama phone’ per The Lifeline Assistance program? Facebook – not MeWe! Guess what happens when I try to uninstall Facebook app!? Can’t be done! – it’s embedded into Android OS release. And I’m not the only one bitching. Tech monopolies have captured the markets, and stampede over the competition by their entrenched largeness, too big to compete and fail. Our government regulators are corporate executives. Although we have many rules and regulations to protect consumers, they’re not enforced. Prime example: Anti-Trust Act. See: It’s time to break up Facebook!
- 🤦♀️ But can you show me that LinkedIn is selling my content after my account is closed?
What is stopping LinkedIn from selling your content after you close your account? Nothing! Trust no corporation. Let’s say LinkedIn burns out like Tumblr and is acquired by another company for peanuts – who just wants to use the company assets to defray acquisition costs and squeeze out every last drop of profit to satisfy investors. 🧟EnsnaredUS® can take all your writing and publish books. 🧟♀️ EnchainedUS® can take your photographs and sell prints on canvas. 🧟 LinkedUS® can do it all – to your most intimate data, hanging splayed on display for would-be buyers to touch, grope and sample. And those corporate lawyers overseeing consummation will not be your affectionate partners-in-crime, my dear friend. Noooo Sir! … They’ll wan’t a piece of their own, and quick to chime, “Principles can be very expensive.” See: 🐸 The boiling frog metaphor.
“All your most intimate data, hanging splayed on display for would-be buyers to touch, grope and sample. And the corporate lawyers overseeing consummation will not be your affectionate partners-in-crime, my dear friend. Noooo Sir! … They’ll wan’t a piece of their own, and quick to chime in, “Principles can be very expensive.”
- 😇 People are stupid signing up for something without reading the fine-print.
They aren’t stupid. People are exploited! Protecting the people is but an afterthought – a nettlesome priority for these corporate collaborators sitting in our government offices with heels perched up on desk. (Who are you to them!? Quite frankly Honey – that’s just not the job they were hired to do!) Corporations are given green-light to create own rules and self-regulate. We – the consumers – already know this; we already know we’re the lolita-playthings of the elite – so what to do!? Accept that, “this is just the way things are, and if you want to participate you need to play by the rules“??? 🖕Hell motherfucking no!!! That’s rape culture! 💩Take no Sh*t!
The perpetrator’s role is given little attention. A combination of acquired beliefs and expectations, learned maladaptive behaviors, and skill deficits on the part of women sexually abused as children are thought to result in poor choices of intimate partners as adults, a lack of self protective techniques, low self worth and denial, and a personal culture that includes abuse as a normal experience.Source: Clinical Psychology Review
, V. 16 (5), 397-420, 1996https://mainweb-v.musc.edu/vawprevention/research/revictim.shtml
✊🏿 Nothing will Change if We Don’t
It is the opinion of the author, Alexander X, that LinkedIn’s terms of service is letter-of-the-law fraud; and that in time the courts will overturn and ban these exploitative practices to protect consumers from theft and spying by these so called “social networks.”
But nothing will change if we the people do not act. Nothing will change if we the people don’t stop corporate money electing corporate executives into our government. Nothing will change if we accept things the way they are. Nothing will change if we don’t acknowledge the pain. Nothing will change if we don’t identify the source of pain. Nothing will change if we don’t confront the perpetrator!
💪🏿 Stand up! Hold your ground! Act now! The life you save may be your own.
Fuck You for cheating on me. Fuck you for reducing it to the word cheating. As if this were a card game, and you sneaked a look at my hand. Who came up with the term cheating, anyway? A cheater, I imagine. Someone who thought liar was too harsh. Someone who thought devastator was too emotional. The same person who thought, oops, he’d gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Fuck you. This isn’t about slipping yourself an extra twenty dollars of Monopoly money. These are our lives. You went and broke our lives. You are so much worse than a cheater. You killed something. And you killed it when its back was turned.David Levithan , from The Lover’s Dictionary. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/345798-livid-adj-fuck-you-for-cheating-on-me-fuck-you
👊🏿 Who is ready for change!? I want to hear from you!!!
(If something in this article is incorrect or could use clarification, please let me know in the comments and explain why; I will consider and update the article accordingly.)