Legal Implications of Social Networking

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In the final part of this series, we`ll take a closer look at one of the most important controls for managing the legal risk associated with social media use: social media policy. We will examine the key elements and issues that should be addressed in a social media policy and identify strategies to manage this risk. In addition, we will discuss some new technology controls that companies are developing to help organizations understand, monitor, and manage social media usage and legal risks. Overall, there will be much more to come on this topic. Wait a minute! A social media policy doesn`t just dictate how your organization`s social media accounts should be managed. It should also specify how your employees should use their social media accounts. Outline the right guidelines on how your employees should use their social accounts. The landscape of social media law is evolving. In general, “social media law includes legal issues related to user-generated content and the online sites that host that content,” said Corinne Chen, an associate attorney at New York-based law firm Romano Law. It`s a vast field as it covers the internet and social media. As a social media lawyer, I help my clients who make a living on social media navigate unusual legal issues! When it comes to social media law, companies should keep the following points in mind: Voller won that first case and the Australian court considered who can be held liable for posting defamatory content, particularly on social media. In this case, the media outlets will be held liable for participating in the defamatory communication and for facilitating and encouraging the comments.

Social networks are full of social interactions and information generated by and through these interactions. This information may be of great importance in litigation, and the parties to the dispute may attempt to obtain this information by disclosure or subpoena. The question arises as to whether this information is permitted for use in court, given potential privacy concerns. On the other hand, when litigation begins, how should lawyers advise their clients regarding the retention of information on social media sites and what types of problems can arise if a litigant does not retain the information on social media? Social media is public, even if you`re in private environments. Any prohibited content will be published, is out of your control and can potentially damage your image. Therefore, you need to have a plan to reduce your company`s social media liability. This includes the rights of social media users and third parties if the published photos are used online without the permission of the people depicted. Social media contains a lot of a user`s personal information. Therefore, legal risks include data breaches that can potentially harm a user.

High-profile people must protect their identity from people who want to harm them physically and from people who want to commit identity theft with their identity. Everyone at the company knows this, but a social media policy reminds them to be polite and agreeable when engaging with others online. If your employees disagree with someone online, they should politely express and justify their disagreement. A harsh or pure argument can quickly turn into an argument and go viral. This can damage your brand image. The policy should prevent them from posting hate speech, racist content, online harassment, cyberbullying and violent threats against others, etc. on their personal social media accounts. However, when it comes to employee rights on social media, the process is sometimes complicated. Federal law prevents employers from discriminating against an employee based on their social media. However, employers can legally fire employees for a variety of reasons that they cannot honestly disclose. You can deploy the policy to your organization`s internal network.

You can post your policy on social media by posting it on your public website. Ofcom (2008) Social networks: a quantitative and qualitative research report on attitudes, behaviours and use. Office of Communications of United Kingdom, UK Ossian KL (2009) Legal issues in social networking. Technical report. Miller Canfield, USA Most employees try to separate their private and professional lives. But the way social media fits into our lives has erased the distinction between personal and professional lives. No matter how hard you try to keep your privacy on social media, someone somewhere on social media will connect you to your organization. With that in mind, the policy explains to your employees that anything they post on the social platform or anywhere online can mirror the company or them. If a user posts defamatory or otherwise illegal content, § 230 protects the provider of the social network from certain liability resulting from publication. Websites that create or develop totally or partially controversial information, on the other hand, are considered “content providers” that do not benefit from the protection of Article 230. Awareness of third-party brands is equally important.

A person or entity may be prosecuted for infringement or unlawful use of another`s trademark or service mark. The test for an offence is a “likelihood of confusion”. Based on the example above, would someone who visits your Twitter account or Facebook page believe that he or she is dealing with The Coca-Cola® Company and not with your company? While there are some exceptions, it is best to (1) not use a person`s trademark and (2) not imply affiliation, affiliation or sponsorship with a business if there is no such relationship. Freedom of expression also applies to online communication. However, be careful with your use of speech and sound, as social media is a sensitive place. Keep your language clean and eliminate profanity from your online vocabulary. Goldman E (2007) Social Networking Sites and the Law. Technical report. Santa Clara University, Santa Clara Small businesses need to be aware of confidentiality on their official accounts and on their employees` personal accounts. The company needs clarity on whether the “social media account is linked to the employee or the employer,” Chen said. Sometimes employees have access to computers, social media accounts, and other devices associated with their jobs. In the event of a dispute, businesses should determine whether social media activities took place during business hours.

You should also assess whether the activity is personal or professional. Intellectual property. Companies need to be aware of their own business identity and also of third-party brands. Registering a trademark protects against misuse by third parties and allows you, as the business owner, to control when and how the trademark and documents can be used. Consider registering your trademark or service mark as a username on social media sites. For example, it would be fairly easy for Coca-Cola® to sue for misuse of its logo on an independent Facebook page because the company has taken steps to register the logo as a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. While not impossible, it is much more difficult to assert a right in a logo or trademark if no actual ownership of the logo or trademark can be claimed. intellectual property rights; Legal issues and implications; Privacy; Regulatory concerns Monitor and manage reviews for all your business locations on Facebook and Google My Business from a unified inbox. Statusbrew can help you ensure that no harmful content is posted on social media that could damage your brand image. Undoubtedly, social media has become a breeding ground for people who commit fraud. Social media leads to social engineering, which is a factor in maintaining scams and scams on social media.

Copyright would focus on copyright protection; If you have plagiarized original content that infringes its copyright, make sure you are aware of the copyrighted material. Otherwise, you could be held liable for the violation. Company administrators should seriously consider updating policies to determine the appropriate form of social media moderation where prospects or followers can comment. Content that may generate potentially defamatory comments must be actively moderated; You should also not ignore content with less risk. Here`s what small businesses should know about the Social Media Act and its impact on their policies. For a phenomenon that is invading the world, one would think that the meaning of social media would be clear.

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