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Limitations of Online Mediation

Thursday, August, 4, 2011

Online mediation is spreading because the internet over the past two decades has changed from being an interesting novelty or amusing toy to a serious platform for conducting business of all types.  Many websites offering online mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution services specialize in blind bidding and efforts to use discussion to resolve disputes.


Online Mediation Not Suited for Every Situation


Online mediation services, however, are best at resolving certain kinds of disputes.  For example, those websites whose niche is blind bidding do best when the issue in dispute is merely a matter of price, cost, or compensation.  They are not appropriate solutions when the question to be resolved involves which party to a dispute needs to assume liability for resulting financial losses.


Other online conflict mediation services provide a more robust repertoire of alternative dispute resolution techniques.  These sites can be appropriate for the resolution of disputes that are quite complex.  One of their advantages is their ability to seamlessly convey data between the parties in dispute when personal contact is not feasible.  This can be especially helpful when one of the parties may feel that mediating in person may result in bias due to a claimant's age, gender, race or disabling condition.  The internet allows parties to communicate as pure intelligences rather than people who have such data automatically attached to their physical appearance.  In many ways this is less than ideal, but when it comes to mediation, it can actually be advantageous.