Strava facing lawsuit

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
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#3
Lame . Americans will sue for anything. It's always someone elses fault.

And...

downhill segments are dumb racing to win one is even dumber.
 

GSAstuto

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Oct 11, 2009
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#4
It's the right of any American citizen to bring forth a civil lawsuit. So what. No better or worse than the f*d up systems anywhere else in the world - including Japan. In fact, I'd bet if this happened in Japan the site would be summarily shut down within a few days.

The guy who died lost control. No one was holding a gun to his head demanding him to race down the hill. Just the same, STRAVA should be a little more responsible in how they designate segments and 'encourage' riders to go out and 'Show them who's Boss'. Many of the segment's times and speeds would indicate illegal transit of those sections. So - in effect - Strava would be encouraging a rider to break the law.

I have seen a few of those downhill segments and wondered how they got there. Any developer with half a brain should have spotted this anomaly right from the start and just nulled any segment that had a negative gradient.

Strava is a fun way to get some sense of performance. But anyone who actually races (or has) knows it's a far cry from the real thing and don't take it so seriously.
 
Apr 26, 2010
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#6
Interesting. I figured something like this would happen eventually. I joined Strava a few weeks ago, fired it up for one commute, checked a few rankings after I got to the office and thought, "This is not where my focus needs to be while commuting through central Tokyo." The guy in this case was always going to do something stupid, whether he was motivated by a website or by someone in his cycling club besting one of his times, the outcome of him riding recklessly and having an accident was a 'when,' not an 'if.'
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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#7
I recently found this segment flagged as dangerous and could not figure out why. Actually, since it is a climb, I still don't understand why. Maybe someone got bumped from the KOM and wanted to block it for everyone.

http://app.strava.com/segments/836056
Strava usually has no way of verifying if a segment really is hazardous. They'd have to take people's word for it. Thus the system is open to abuse, but in a failsafe direction.

I expect they will use the flagging feature as a major defence strategy in legal cases: "See, we're taking down routes if they are reported as unsafe. We are good citizens."

But there again, in a country where people can be awarded millions for spilling hot coffee on themselves, anything is possible.
 

GSAstuto

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#8
Bear in mind, McD was warned repeatedly about the hot coffee as it burned alot of people. And I can tell you that it was really HOT having burnt myself on several ocassions. At near boiling when served it could cause 3rd degree burns almost instantly. And given that drive-through was / is so popular this is a recipe for disaster.

Conversely, look at TEPCO and the current Nuclear fiasco. Japan will be let off with hardly more than a bow and hand slap. Is that justice?

I disagree if they can determine a hazardous segment. They are mapping against Google Maps and have all the roads. If it's a negative gradient - especially more than 5%, there's a very high likelyhood a cyclist attempting KOD would be engaging in dangerous , if not illegal riding.

When a social system becomes 'social' it does have certain responsibilities. Look at FB - why do you think people are actually concerned about privacy, responsibility, etc ? 8yrs ago they didn't care. As an early pioneer in social (bbs) systems across a very wide range of demographics perhaps my viewpoint is a bit different than most.


Strava usually has no way of verifying if a segment really is hazardous. They'd have to take people's word for it. Thus the system is open to abuse, but in a failsafe direction.

I expect they will use the flagging feature as a major defence strategy in legal cases: "See, we're taking down routes if they are reported as unsafe. We are good citizens."

But there again, in a country where people can be awarded millions for spilling hot coffee on themselves, anything is possible.
 

FarEast

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May 25, 2009
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#10
"My casual Strava use became addiction. This addict, sadly, has hit rock bottom. I now see how nothing good comes from obsessing daily about time and VAM and the mind games needed to confront threshold pain. It's not good training, and it's no way to maintain a lifelong marriage to the bike."

Every Mile Too Serious - CC


I stopped using STRAVA for this exact reason, basically turns every ride in to one big global pissing match.

I can totally see the fun in it and when I started using it (Before the segments for KOM etc.) I felt it was a much better application than the Garmin Connect online software that I was using.

But in regards to the law suit - basically one could argue that any speeding ticket is the fault of the car manufacturer for developing and selling a car that is capable of breaking the speed limit.

The fault is with the rider not the software developers.
 

FarEast

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#11
Also I was going through the comments on Cycleicio

http://www.cyclelicio.us/2012/strava-lawsuit/

and one of the users "Gravity" makes a very valid comment about the culture that STRAVA is encouraging:


"I'm not so sure the lawsuit is frivolous.. I was recently a Strava KOM on a descent.. when my record was broken I received a direct email that notified me and expressed I needed to get back out there and 'show them who was boss'. Strava isn't taking into account that I was already blowing the posted speed limit by 20+ mph on State property. As harmless as Strava can be it's has a strange was of playing to the ego.. Sort of the Drink, Drink, Drink... College days."


Was also looking at the 5 minute and 10 minute power data LMFAO good god knows where they get the data from but either 90% of riders are on EPO or there are a lot of riders that should think about turning Pro Tour.
 
May 22, 2007
3,597
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halffastcycling.com
#12
Tim S and I were discussing Strava at the Pink Cow last week. The word "insidious" was used more than once.

The hill on which Thomas, Eugen ('Bird') and I live is the first real hill going out of Tokyo heading west, and is used for training by riders from all over. Nagao-dai on Strava. Eugen is currently 4th. Malte 5th. Fumiki 9th. Thomas 13th.

I will not be getting out there to show you who's boss, although I reckon I could get on the board if I really wanted to.
 

GSAstuto

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#13
Yep - couldn't agree with you more. Of course we are all responsible for our own actions - but we are also social creatures and some more than others swayed by the group. And cyclists are a somewhat competitive bunch already - so this type of system could bring out more intention to push the envelope than just , say, a typical group ride.

SAAS providers need to start thinking more about CSR in terms of the effects across a broad range of demographics more than just 'what is cool'.

Didn't you know that EPO was part of the paid member's program?

Also I was going through the comments on Cycleicio

http://www.cyclelicio.us/2012/strava-lawsuit/

and one of the users "Gravity" makes a very valid comment about the culture that STRAVA is encouraging:


"I'm not so sure the lawsuit is frivolous.. I was recently a Strava KOM on a descent.. when my record was broken I received a direct email that notified me and expressed I needed to get back out there and 'show them who was boss'. Strava isn't taking into account that I was already blowing the posted speed limit by 20+ mph on State property. As harmless as Strava can be it's has a strange was of playing to the ego.. Sort of the Drink, Drink, Drink... College days."


Was also looking at the 5 minute and 10 minute power data LMFAO good god knows where they get the data from but either 90% of riders are on EPO or there are a lot of riders that should think about turning Pro Tour.
 

Gunjira

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Oct 2, 2009
1,002
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#14
Limit to climbs with a 2k or longer ascent. 4k+ if they contain downhill sections. No sections that contain a negative incline for most of their length.
Voting system for flagging rides among riders who have ridden the particular segment...

So many ways to improve!
What I also would like to see is within the direct rider comparison page to have the segments we have both riden to compare performance.
 

Phil

Maximum Pace
#15
It's the right of any American citizen to bring forth a civil lawsuit. So what. No better or worse than the f*d up systems anywhere else in the world - including Japan. In fact, I'd bet if this happened in Japan the site would be summarily shut down within a few days.

The guy who died lost control. No one was holding a gun to his head demanding him to race down the hill. Just the same, STRAVA should be a little more responsible in how they designate segments and 'encourage' riders to go out and 'Show them who's Boss'. Many of the segment's times and speeds would indicate illegal transit of those sections. So - in effect - Strava would be encouraging a rider to break the law.

I have seen a few of those downhill segments and wondered how they got there. Any developer with half a brain should have spotted this anomaly right from the start and just nulled any segment that had a negative gradient.

Strava is a fun way to get some sense of performance. But anyone who actually races (or has) knows it's a far cry from the real thing and don't take it so seriously.
I'm not really in a position to comment as I hadn't even heard of Strava until a month or so ago, but what you say here all sounds dead right to me. My first reaction to the lawsuit was "Seriously?", but the more I think about it, the less frivolous it seems. I suspect it will fail, but at the same time prompt Strava to make changes, such as getting ride of downhills, changing the language of their messages, etc...
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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#17
They posted an updated of their terms and conditions to their users today. Not sure how much is different here from what they had before:

You expressly agree that your athletic activities, which generate the content you post or seek to post on the site (including but not limited to cycling) carry certain inherent and significant risks of property damage, bodily injury or death and that you voluntarily assume all known and unknown risks associated with these activities even if caused in whole or part by the action, inaction or negligence of Strava or by the action, inaction or negligence of others. You also expressly agree that Strava does not assume responsibility for the inspection, supervision, preparation, or conduct of any race, contest, group ride or event that utilizes Strava’s site.

You expressly agree to release Strava, its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, agents, representatives, employees, partners and licensors (the “released parties”) from any and all liability connected with your athletic activities, and promise not to sue the released parties for any claims, actions, injuries, damages, or losses associated with your athletic activities. You also agree that in no event shall the released parties be liable to you or any third party for any direct, indirect, punitive, incidental, special or consequential damages arising out of or in any way connected with (a) your use or misuse of the site, (b) your use or misuse of equipment or programs created or licensed by Strava while engaged in athletic activities, (c) your dealings with third party service providers or advertisers available through the site, (d) any delay or inability to use the site experienced by you, (e) any information, software, products, services or content obtained through the site, whether based on contract, tort, strict liability or otherwise, even if Strava has been advised of the possibility of damages. Because some states/jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages, the above limitation may not apply to you.
 

GSAstuto

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#18
The funny thing is that generally speaking mutual indemnity clauses don't stick. Especially without a real signature - checkbox in webpage holds very little credence. I'm sure there a re atty's here who know far better --- but it would be pretty easy to argue this.

Secondly - STRAVA developers could implement many safety aspects in their algorithms that would bolster their position as both FUN and RESPONSIBLE. The fact that they don't, is just stupid and lazy. The INSTANT you start TAKING MONEY from people, you have REAL responsibilities, both legal and otherwise.

I hope they listen hard to the questions and respond with an even better service. STRAVA is pretty cool, but like Mike and I discussed, it's also a bit insidious in it's effectiveness to bring out both the best and the worst.

I hope RWGPS takes some clues from this event / issue and do some revamping on their site as well. Overall I prefer it to Strava due the ability to actually map and share routes.
 

Yamabushi

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fudoushin.com
#19
downhill segments are dumb racing to win one is even dumber.
I have seen a few of those downhill segments and wondered how they got there. Any developer with half a brain should have spotted this anomaly right from the start and just nulled any segment that had a negative gradient.
If it's a negative gradient - especially more than 5%, there's a very high likelyhood a cyclist attempting KOD would be engaging in dangerous , if not illegal riding.
I suspect it will fail, but at the same time prompt Strava to make changes, such as getting ride of downhills, changing the language of their messages, etc...
What's with all the descending hate? I don't use STRAVA, but have created a number of downhill segments on RWGPS. I like having them and enjoy comparing my efforts against each other. IMHO, it provides a nice diversion from all the HC's. If people can't take responsibility for themselves and exercise discretion then they shouldn't be allowed to have bikes in the first place. Grow up already!