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Social Media & the Law

Like many people do, you may use the social business site, LinkedIn. The business-connection site offers a function called “Add Connection” to make it easier to connect with people you know. It is designed to make less burdensome finding people who you’d like to have in your business network.

The function lets you link your Contacts with your profile, and then sends an email inviting your friends to join your personal network. If the first email doesn’t work, the company sends another and another after that, if needed. Users claim that the extra emails do more harm than good to their professional reputations.

Hence, the extra emails are part of a class-action lawsuit in which the company has agreed to pay $13-million and up to $3.25-million in legal fees to LinkedIn members for sending too many emails on the users’ behalf.

The firm, on Friday, reached a settlement in California to compensate users for their inconvenience. If you signed up to use the “Add Connections” feature between September 17, 2011 and October 31, 2014, you are eligible to make a claim.

The person who brought the suit has even set up a website (www.addconnectionssettlement.com) to make it easier to file your claim. LinkedIn says ‘they get it – less is more’ and that if enough users make a claim, they’ll add $750-thousand to the pot.

Apparently, the whole thing has been the source of many jokes by bloggers and the late night talk show hosts.

A statement from the company to its users admits that LinkedIn made the mistake and is taking steps to correct things. “The results so far have been very encouraging. For every 10 emails we used to send, we’ve removed 4 of them. Already, member complaints have been cut in half. And this is just the beginning.”

If you have a legal issue, or just a question, consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.

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