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Wildly popular microblogging platform Twitter got nailed this week by what may well go down in history as the Dumbest. Lawsuit. Ever.

Dumber than that one time that old woman put hot coffee in her crotch and then sued McDonalds because she spilled hot coffee into her crotch?


Dumber than that one time that cat burglar fell through his intended victim's skylight, hurt himself on some kitchen knives, and then sued the burglary victim for negligence?


Dumber than that one time that guy sued Michael Jordan because he thought he looked a lot like the legendary basketball player, and that this resemblance had somehow worked out negatively for him?

Yup, even dumber than that.

Here's how it went down. These two California (obviously) residents, Sahar Maleksaeedi and Drew Moss, apparently decided one day that they were sick of being the last two people in the United States who actually use SMS to send and receive Twitter messages, and so they sent Twitter a "STOP" SMS (since in California they apparently can't log onto Twitter's website). That "STOP" message, according to Twitter's help section on SMS commands (which, incidentally, they almost certainly used the aforementioned "World Wide Web" to view), turns all SMS notifications off.

According to Twitter's website: "STOP, QUIT, End, Cancel, Arret or Unsubscribe: turns ALL phone notifications off."

So wait, you're asking, where's the lawsuit here?

Good question. The lawsuit, according to Moss et al v. Twitter, Inc (take note of that name, people, because your grandkids' grandkids will be studying this case in law school), alleges that upon sending Twitter the "STOP" SMS, Twitter "then immediately sent another, unsolicited, confirmatory text message to Plaintiffs’ cellular telephones."

GOOD GOD. What kind of heartless corporation would follow a "STOP" SMS with an IMMEDIATE FOLLOWUP SMS? Who would be so bold, so shameless, so brazen, as to disregard a user's express request to cease SMS communications and immediately send them another SMS?

That would be Twitter, apparently. You see, upon receiving the "STOP" SMS, Twitter immediately sent both men an SMS saying, in essence, "We won't send you any more SMS messages."

And that, according to these two douchbags Moss and Maleksaeedi, is a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. So hang on, you're probably wondering, because unlike Moss and Maleksaeedi, you are not a complete idiot, how much could they possibly be demanding for this predatory confirmation SMS message? I'm not sure what receiving a single text message costs these days, but I'm assuming it's somewhere right around absolutely nothing.

These guys want $1500 PER MESSAGE, which, they say, aggregated over "tens of thousands" of users, would add up to a very, very significant payment on Twitter's part.

This. Exactly this. This is what is wrong with the United States. These two d-bags, Malaksaeedi and Moss, decide that they're going to leech off of a company that's had millions of times more success than they're ever going to have. They cook up some hairbrained scheme that barely even passes Looney Tunes muster, subscribe to Twitter's SMS notifications, and then unsubscribe via SMS, hoping to cash in on a ludicrously unlikely $1500 settlement and (I'm assuming), pad the pockets of some lawyer friend with the bounty from the class action lawsuit settlement.

Honestly, despite being a die-hard, bleeding-heart liberal, it's lawsuits like these that make me secretly glad the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week companies can require their customers or employees to arbitrate disputes individually rather than joining forces in a class action lawsuit.


Apr 29, 2011

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