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Socially Aware Blog The Law and Business of Social Media

Monthly Archives: January 2012

Running Contests and Sweepstakes on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter: How the Rules Stack Up

Posted in Online Promotions, Terms of Use

Over the past two years, Socially Aware has revisited Facebook’s Promotions Guidelines from time to time — even as recently as August 2011 — to help keep our readers up-to-date on how popular social media platforms seek to regulate contests, sweepstakes and other promotions. Online promotions are as popular as ever, and given that two-thirds… Continue Reading

Proposed Facebook Settlement Underscores the FTC’s Privacy Priorities

Posted in FTC, Privacy

On November 29, 2011, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced a proposed order against Facebook that builds upon both the FTC’s recommendations from its 2010 draft privacy report and precedents set in the order that it recently imposed on Google.  Any business that collects personal information from consumers should pay close attention to this action… Continue Reading

Standard for Discovery of Anonymous Internet Users’ Identities Remains in Flux

Posted in Discovery, Litigation, Privacy

Plenty of press attention has been given to social media sites’ views on whether their users can use “handles” or pseudonyms instead of their real names.  But much of the Internet’s social conversation remains dependent upon that dot-com staple, the anonymous message board.  In the recent case of Varrenti v. Gannett Co., Inc., a New… Continue Reading

Tracking the Trackers: Social Media Companies Face Pressure for Tracking Users’ Browsing Habits

Posted in Privacy

Facebook is facing renewed scrutiny following efforts to explain its data collection practices, which include tracking where and when members and nonmembers are browsing after they visit a Facebook page. At the end of 2011, USA Today reported on how Facebook tracks user browsing habits, following in-depth interviews with senior Facebook engineers and spokespersons. According… Continue Reading

2011: Most Popular YouTube Videos

Posted in Statistics

      1. Rebecca Black’s “Friday” 2. “Ultimate Dog Tease” by Talking Animals 3. “Jack Sparrow” by The Lonely Island (feat. Michael Bolton) 4. “Talking Twin Babies” by Randy McEntee 5. “Nyan Cat” by Christopher Torres and Sara Joon 6. “Look At Me Now” by Chris Brown feat. LilWayne, Busta Rhymes 7. “The Creep”… Continue Reading

Updated FINRA Guidance on Social Media Websites and the Use of Personal Devices

Posted in Securities Law

On August 18, 2011, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) issued Regulatory Notice 11-39 providing guidance to broker-dealer members on social networking websites and business communications.  The notice represents FINRA’s first update to its guidance on social media since the release of Regulatory Notice 10-06 in January 2010. Regulatory Notice 11-39 merely clarifies existing… Continue Reading

Northern District of California Court Addresses the Law of the (Virtual) Horse (and Bunny)

Posted in DMCA, Terms of Use

Online “virtual worlds,” such as Second Life, have their own cultures, customs and economies.  This presents new challenges for applying existing intellectual property laws to user-created content in such virtual worlds, as illustrated by a recent case in the Northern District of California, Amaretto Ranch Breedables, LLC v. Ozimals, Inc.. Second Life places users, or… Continue Reading