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Socially Aware Blog The Law and Business of Social Media

Bieber’s New Record, The Most Expensive Tweet Ever, and More

Posted in Status Updates

Not Hot For Teachbook
In the latest chapter of an ongoing dispute, Judge Marvin E. Aspen of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois was not hot for Teachbook.com’s motion to dismiss Facebook’s trademark infringement action. The court denied the motion, holding that the suffix “book” was not necessarily generic as used by Facebook in connection with social networking services.

Twitter Settles Trademark Dispute with App Developer
Continuing with the trademark segment of our program, Twitter announced that it has settled a trademark dispute with one of its app developers regarding the developer’s registration for the slogan “Let Your Ad Meet Tweets,” which had been blocking Twitter’s own application to register its “tweet” mark

Bad News Travels Fast
An Australian social media monitoring firm estimated that Twitter hit 10,000 tweets per second following news of Steve Jobs’ death, beating the previous record of 8,868 tweets per second set when Beyonce announced her pregnancy at the MTV Video Music Awards

Ounce of Prevention
Proving once again that old chestnut about an ounce of prevention, the Bank of Melbourne recently had its Twitter account hijacked, reportedly due to a weak Twitter password used by an employee. The hijacker then used the bank’s account to send phishing messages to followers, including the bank’s customers.

Facebook Tracking Users’ Internet Activity?
Facebook was hit with a class action complaint based on allegations that its use of cookies to collect information on users even when they were logged out of the Facebook site violates the federal Wiretap Act and various Kansas state laws. The Kansas action follows a similar suit in California, as well as complaints from privacy groups. And more recently, German regulators have been looking into the issue. For its part, Facebook has denied that it tracks users’ Internet activity.

Wrapping  Up Our Facebook Coverage
Wrapping up our Facebook privacy coverage (and what social media report is complete without a good-sized helping?), German researchers were reportedly able to steal 250GB of personal information from Facebook by using fake profiles and “a virtual army” of bots. Demonstrating a keen understanding of human nature, the researchers gave the bots photos of attractive individuals from the “Hot or Not” website to raise the chances of successful friending. If you are concerned that some of your Facebook friends may be bots, we suggest a series of probing questions to root out the imposters.

British Columbia’s Social Media Guidelines
British Columbia’s Information and Privacy Commissioner has issued new guidelines to assist organizations and public bodies using social media sites to conduct background checks of prospective employees, volunteers, and candidates.

Buzz Kill
Google announced that it is discontinuing Google Buzz in order to concentrate its social media efforts on its newer Google+ service. Google Buzz was the source of various problems for the search giant, including a class action lawsuit and FTC investigation regarding privacy complaints. Continuing with its spring cleaning, Google also announced that it is discontinuing its Sidewiki website annotation tool.

No Facebook Friends?
Your brain’s to blame:  Research suggests that the number of Facebook friends you have may correlate with the size of certain regions of the brain.

Google+ Traffic
We have a certain fascination with social media stats here at Socially Aware, so we were interested to see that a data analytics company reported that Google+ traffic spiked 1,200% soon after launching, but has since fallen by 60%. Sic transit gloria mundi, as they used to say back in the old neighborhood.

Domain Names
Marking humankind’s latest triumph, the .com top-level domain is closing in on 100 million registered domain names. We should all be very proud.

More Fun With Numbers
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner told listeners on an earnings call that the professional social network now has 131 million members and more than a million groups. More than 15 million people joined LinkedIn in the third quarter of 2011, representing a 63% increase over the growth rate from the same period last year.

Is That a Real Job?
The NLRB recently decided against a law firm technology employee who was fired when he listed his job title as “f***tard” on LinkedIn. (Note: This item has been sanitized for your protection.) The Board determined that the worker had failed to support his claim that the termination actually resulted from his overtime policy discussions with co-workers.

Levitt v. Yelp!
In the most recent ruling in Levitt v. Yelp! (a case we have covered previously), the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that the Communication Decency Act’s protections do not depend on the service provider’s motive for editing user submissions. Quoting the Ninth Circuit’s folksy waterfowl metaphor from the Roommates.com case, the court noted that, from a policy perspective, linking immunity under the Communication Decency Act to a service provider’s motives could result in “death by a thousand duck-bites.”

Most Expensive Tweet Ever?
Reports are that the NBA fined Miami Heat owner Micky Arison $500,000 for tweeting about the NBA lockout in response to a tweet from a fan.

Most You Tube Views
We’ve given up trying to get through an issue of Socially Aware without mentioning teen pop sensation Justin Bieber. The singer recently became the first person ever to have over two billion official You Tube views.

Facebook Wins Anti-Spam Lawsuit
As we have previously reported, Facebook has aggressively pursued spammers who target Facebook users.  Facebook racked up a win in one of its anti-spam lawsuits when the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that the social media giant sufficiently pleaded claims under the CAN-SPAM Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as common law fraud, against Internet marketing company Max Bounty.