Downloading General Mills coupons means you cannot sue them

Oh, to be a New York Times writer. The Newspaper of Record yesterday reported that consumers who “liked” General Mills foods on Facebook could “give up their right to sue the company.” Today, the paper backpedaled a bit. Under a misleading headline suggesting that General Mills had amended its legal policies, the Times reports that only consumers who join the cereal maker’s online communities and download items of value, such as coupons, agree to the company’s policy requiring legal disputes to be settled in arbitration.

General Mills, the multibillion-dollar food company behind brands like Cheerios and Pillsbury, said on Thursday that an update to its new legal policies, which stated that consumers “joining our online communities” could not sue the company, did not apply to people who visit its Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. The company was responding to a n article in The New York Times on Thursday about the new policy, which broadly asserts that consumers interacting with the company in a variety of ways and venues no longer can sue General Mills, but must instead submit any complaint to “informal negotiation” or arbitration. Asked for comment before the article was published, company representatives declined to make anyone available for interviews and issued a brief statement instead.

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