I have almost never tried to read the terms of service of any app, website, or game that I use. Although, one time I did try to, I ended up just doing a quick skim. I feel like there is just so much information and it is so wordy that I feel disconnected from any information it is trying to convey to me. One interesting portion that I found in both the Medium and TikTok readings was the presence of arbitration consents. I was learning what this meant in my intro to legal writing class, and both texts lay out the process that parties who have a grievance against the company must go through. They both make similar points by saying the arbitration is the only way to go and that they cannot seek class action lawsuits. They also state specific parameters that govern the process of arbitration, emphasizing the fact that they must remain confidential. Apart from all of the terms that govern out day to day use of these platforms, I feel like this is also important to know since it outlines the process those who have formal complaints must go though and the legal implications of pursuing one. While there would be almost no way to establish TOS’s that are the same for platforms across the board, I hope that companies would at least try to make them a bit shorter, although I guess it is not in their best interest to.
The other site that rated websites by outlining important parts of their agreements is a step in the right direction, since it condenses the terms into pros and cons and gives an overall rating as to how safe it is and what the site does with your information. On there I saw some sites that I use, who utilize my information in ways that I did not like. But in this case I feel powerless since if I do not agree to their terms, then I cannot use their sites. We do not have much bargaining power since we cannot regulate them as consumers, so I wonder how much these companies would be willing to change about their structure of TOS.