Here’s How To Opt Out Of Instagram’s New Arbitration Clause

Instagram's new TOS takes away your right to a class-action lawsuit, unless you opt out now.

Instagram’s new TOS takes away your right to a class-action lawsuit, unless you opt out now.

Among the other controversial changes to Instagram’s Terms of Service is a spanking new forced-arbitration clause that, as things do, effectively takes away consumers’ rights to band together in a class-action against the company. Thankfully, you can opt out of the clause in writing before Feb. 15, 2013.

Per the updated TOS, users who don’t opt out of arbitration agree that all disputes with Instagram “will be resolved by binding, individual arbitration under the American Arbitration Association’s rules for arbitration of consumer-related disputes and you and Instagram hereby expressly waive trial by jury.”

The clause does allow for users to take Instagram to small claims court, but notes that “You may bring claims only on your own behalf. Neither you nor Instagram will participate in a class action or class-wide arbitration for any claims covered by this agreement.”

Here’s the real zinger of this clause:

You also agree not to participate in claims brought in a private attorney general or representative capacity, or consolidated claims involving another person’s account, if Instagram is a party to the proceeding.

So if your state’s Attorney General takes Instagram to court over any sort of violation that could result in settlements with a class of users, you’re out of luck — unless you opt out.

Existing users have 30 days from when the new TOS kicks in on Jan. 19, 2013. So just put a pin on Valentine’s Day and remember to send your opt-out letter before then.

Users who join Instagram after the Jan. 19 date have 30 days from when they first sign up to send their opt-out letters.

Now, about the actual letter.

Here is a template of the letter in Word format that you can download and fill in with the appropriate information.

Alternatively, here is the same fill-in-the-blank text that you can copy/paste into whatever format suits you best:

Instagram, LLC
ATTN: Arbitration Opt-out
1601 Willow Rd. Menlo Park, CA 94025

Re: Opt-out Notice
To Whom It May Concern:
I do not agree to the Agreement to Arbitrate. By this letter, I am opting out of the Agreement to Arbitrate, including the prohibition on class actions, as authorized by the Instagram Terms of Use effective January 19, 2013. This opt-out applies to the following Instagram accounts:
Email(s):
[list the email address(es) associated with your Instagram account(s)]
Sincerely,
[sign here]
[YOUR NAME]
[YOUR ADDRESS]
[YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER]