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Socially Aware Blog The Law and Business of Social Media

Twitter Milestones, Threatening Social Media Posts, Sexyback Singer buys Myspace, and More

Posted in Status Updates

Facebook’s Motion to Dismiss Denied
A federal court in Texas denied Facebook’s motion to dismiss or transfer to California a declaratory judgment suit filed by Lamebook, a self-described parody website that Facebook asserts is infringing its trademarks.

New Jersey Supreme Court on Defamatory Comments
The New Jersey Supreme court held recently that a person who posted allegedly defamatory comments on an Internet message board cannot invoke the protections of New Jersey’s news media shield statute.

Myspace Threats
According to the Virginia Court of Appeals, a defendant’s posting of threatening lyrics on his ex girlfriend’s MySpace page constituted communication of a written threat within the meaning of Virginia Code § 18.2-60(a)(1).

Privacy Policies Survey
In a recent survey, 31% of respondents claimed to have read all of the privacy policies of the websites they used.  Even though we draft website privacy policies for a living, and would like to believe that such policies are widely read, the 31% figure seems high to us.

Google Buzz Class Action
As Google rolls out its new Google+ social networking service, a federal judge issued final approval of the $8.5 million settlement in a class action suit brought by Gmail users who alleged that Google exposed their personal information without authorization through “Google Buzz,” the search giant’s previous foray into social networking.

Facebook Facial Recognition Violates German Law?
Facebook’s new facial recognition feature has sparked objections from a German data protection agency, which claims that it violates German data protection laws.

New Lawyers in Facebook Suit
Paul Ceglia, the man suing for a 50% stake in Facebook, apparently needs new lawyers.

Twitter Co-founders Solving Big Problems
Reports are that Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams have stepped back their involvement in the microblogging service and will be starting a new venture.  The Obvious Corp. has set itself an ambitious program of “solving big problems” and helping develop systems that “improve the world,” according to Stone’s blog.

Reward Points for For Facebook Ads
American Express cardholders can now use their rewards points to buy ads on Facebook.

Justin Timberlake buys MySpace
Remember when you switched from Friendster to MySpace because MySpace was the hot new thing in social networking? Well, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. recently sold the former hot new thing to a group formed by Justin Timberlake and a California-based digital advertising agency for $35 million, just 6% of the $580 million that News Corp. paid for the company in 2005.

LinkedIn Take Number Two Spot
In what may be a related development, it has been reported that LinkedIn has overtaken MySpace to become the second most visited social networking site in the U.S. after Facebook (and Twitter is not far behind).

Facebook Declining Traffic
Of course, even the mighty Facebook may not be completely immune from declining traffic:  a number of media outlets reported that Facebook lost users in the U.S. and Canada in May 2011.  Facebook issued a statement that the reports are inaccurate.

Isn’t It Ironic
Apparently Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is the most followed user on Google’s new “Google+” social networking service.  Google bigwigs Larry Page and Sergey Brin are a relatively distant second and fourth, respectively.

Don’t Post Facebook Threats in Minnesota
The Minnesota Court of Appeals has held that a college student’s threatening Facebook posts substantially disrupted activities at the school and, therefore, the school’s imposition of disciplinary sanctions did not violate the student’s First Amendment rights.

350 Billion Tweets Each Day
Twitter, founded just five years ago, reached a new milestone:  the micro-blogging service reports that it now delivers 350 billion tweets each day.  Twitter also announced that a new tweets per second (or “TPS” as we say in the biz) record had been set, with 7,196 TPS at the end of the Women’s World Cup soccer game.

Google + Users
Not to be outdone in the social media statistic game, Google’s recently-launched Google+ service reportedly hit the 25 million user mark just a month after its launch, and may be on track to sign up 22 percent of online adults in the U.S. within a year, which would make Google+ the second- most-used social networking site after Facebook.

Don’t Violate Google +’s Terms of Use
In other Google+ news, some outlets are reporting that users who violate the Google+ terms of use may find themselves barred not only from Google+ itself, but also from other Google services such as the search giant’s Gmail email service.

Nirvana and Facebook’s Rules on Nudity
Speaking of terms of use violations, the rock band Nirvana recently had images of its classic album “Nevermind” (which, incidentally, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this fall—feel old yet?) yanked by Facebook because the iconic cover image of a naked baby boy floating in the pool ran afoul of Facebook’s rules regarding photos that include nudity.

Shatner Shut Down on Google+
Actor William Shatner, however, had better luck with his Google+ account, despite being temporarily shut down for “violating standards.” Shatner tweeted that he did not know what rules he had violated, writing, “Saying hello to everyone apparently is against the rules.”  His Google+ account was up and running later that same day.