No, you don’t give up legal rights if you like Cheerios on Facebook


NEW YORK — General Mills is scrapping a controversial plan to strip consumers of their right to sue the food company.

The company, which owns Cheerios, Progresso and Yoplait, had posted a notice on its website notifying visitors of a change to its legal terms — visitors using its websites or engaging with it online in a variety of other ways meant they would have to give up their right to sue.

Instead, the new terms said, people would need to have disputes resolved through informal negotiation or arbitration.

The Minnesota-based company’s decision was widely denounced on social media after The New York Times wrote a story Wednesday bearing the headline, “When ‘Liking’ A Brand Online Voids the Right to Sue.” The next day, General Mills clarified the meaning of its new terms to say they did not apply when people engaged with its brands on Facebook and Twitter.

Despite the clarification, the company apparently continued to feel pressure regarding its new terms, and issued another statement late Saturday saying that it decided to return to the previous legal terms.

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