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Category Archives: Status Updates

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Status Updates: Appeals court upholds anti-cyberbullying law; better marketing through neural networks; restaurant owner turns the tables on Yelp critic

Posted in Cyberbullying, Defamation, First Amendment, Marketing, Section 230 Safe Harbor, Status Updates

Cruel intentions. Laws seeking to regulate speech on the Internet must be narrowly drafted to avoid running afoul of the First Amendment, and limiting such a law’s applicability to intentional attempts to cause damage usually improves the law’s odds of meeting that requirement. Illustrating the importance of intent in free speech cases, an anti-revenge-porn law… Continue Reading

Status Updates: AZ’s anti-revenge-porn law scrapped; civil rights claim against blogging prosecutor dismissed; Match buys PlentyOfFish

Posted in First Amendment, Status Updates

There oughta be a law? As we’ve reported previously, states all around the country have enacted laws that criminalize the posting of revenge porn—nude photographs published without the subject’s consent, often by an ex-lover seeking retribution. To avoid running afoul of the First Amendment, these laws are typically fairly limited in scope and provide for… Continue Reading

Status Updates: Driving while social; a small country’s Facebook ban; and Pinterest’s new purchasing feature

Posted in E-Commerce, Status Updates

Driven to distraction. A frightening number of people are interacting with social media when they should be watching the road. As part of a public service campaign to stop distracted driving, the phone company AT&T recently conducted a poll of 2,067 U.S. residents from 16 to 65 years old who own a smartphone and drive… Continue Reading

Status Updates: Artist sues Pinterest; texting for teens without data plans; quit smoking with social media

Posted in Copyright, IP, Mobile, Status Updates

Pin pain. As a primarily visual social media platform whose self-described purpose is to help users bookmark and save “good stuff you find anywhere around the web,” Pinterest has raised copyright infringement questions since it became explosively popular in 2012. In many cases, copyright owners are happy to have their images “pinned” on the site,… Continue Reading

Status Updates: Errand Apps for Everyone?; A Right to Be Forgotten Update; Your Entire Google Search History

Posted in First Amendment, Privacy, Status Updates

Information wants to be (not quite) free. In its early years, the Internet was often seen as a vehicle for democratizing data, taking information that was previously accessible only to a select few and making it available to the masses. Many Internet entrepreneurs still espouse those ideals, developing business models that cut out the middle… Continue Reading

Status Updates: Facebook Posts—Reliable Evidence?; Quora Post Costs Applicant a Job; a New Ephemeral Messaging App

Posted in Disappearing Content, Discovery, E-Discovery, Litigation, Status Updates

Facebook: Fact or fiction? These days, courts are more and more frequently faced with disputes over whether, as part of the discovery process, a litigant should be entitled to view the opposing party’s social media posts. As we’ve discussed, some courts deciding physical and emotional injury claims have held that the photos and status updates… Continue Reading

Status Updates

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Social discovery. Are the photos and status updates that you post to your social media accounts discoverable regardless of the privacy settings you choose? If they contain information that is especially relevant to the case, they probably are. Take, for example, two recent cases in which courts have required litigants to produce information contained in… Continue Reading

Status Updates

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Photo negative. Daniel Morel, the photojournalist who was awarded $1.2 million in damages from news agencies that distributed his iconic Haiti earthquake pictures without his permission after he posted those pictures on Twitter, will not be collecting attorneys’ fees. A federal district court in New York has denied Morel’s motion for an order compelling Agence… Continue Reading

Status Updates

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Home(page) renovation. In an effort to encourage return visits from the 150 million Internet users who visit Twitter every month without signing in, the social media giant has revamped its home page. Now, instead of just “a background photo, a few lines of text, and a prompt to sign up or log in,” Twitter’s home… Continue Reading

Status Updates

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Searching social. At long last, tweets will appear in Google search results as soon as they’re sent, as the result of a deal that the two Internet giants recently struck. As part of its efforts to increase user growth and attract more eyeballs to its social media platform, Twitter is finally giving Google immediate access… Continue Reading

Status Updates

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Bad ads. New research shows that 5% of the people visiting Google-related websites are using computers infected with programs that insert illegitimate ads onto web pages; as a result, these web surfers see ads that site operators haven’t been paid to run and that may even be promoting products or services that are objectionable to such… Continue Reading

Status Updates

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Platforms against porn. For a while now we’ve been tracking the legal landscape of revenge porn—the public dissemination of nude photographs without the subject’s consent, usually by a jilted paramour seeking retribution. More than a dozen states now have laws criminalizing the posting of revenge porn, the victims of which suffer untold harm to their… Continue Reading

Status Updates

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Out with the inbox? The overwhelming popularity of workplace-specific platforms that facilitate coworker communication—commonly referred to as “enterprise social media”—is undeniable. But are these platforms poised to someday supplant business email accounts altogether? New York Times technology columnist Farhad Manjoo thinks so. The one big advantage that enterprise social media platforms like Slack have over regular email is their potential for workplace transparency;… Continue Reading

Status Updates

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Forced friendship. A committee of the Arkansas Senate is expected to vote this week on a bill that would allow companies and other organizations responsible for supervising minors to require their employees to include a supervisor or manager in the employees’ list of social media contacts or friends. Specifically, the bill exempts employers at schools,… Continue Reading

Status Updates

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Blawg rules. The California State Bar has issued an opinion outlining the circumstances under which an attorney’s blog would be subject to the requirements of the California State Bar Act’s Rules of Professional Conduct regulating attorney advertising. According to the opinion, a legal blog qualifies as attorney advertising if it conveys the message that the… Continue Reading

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Big plans. Pinterest’s active user base grew in 2014 by 97%, more than any other social media platform. Now, the social bookmarking site is taking steps to monetize its impressive metrics by making itself more attractive to advertisers, who, so far, have only been able to target their ads based on basic information like Pinterest… Continue Reading

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Tiny tales. Short videos featured on the messaging app Snapchat, known as Snapchat Stories, are the future of social media, at least according to Casey Neistat, a YouTube filmmaker with more than 480,000 subscribers. Neistat attributes what he says has been the unprecedented response to his Snapchat Stories to two things: (1) the fact that… Continue Reading

Status Updates

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Snap decision. The National Arbitration Forum has refused to transfer the domain name snapchatcheck.com to the company behind the popular messaging app Snapchat. The NAF panel decided that the respondent, Dreamhost, the company holding the domain name, was making “a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of” snapchatcheck.com by using it as the web address of a site that allows… Continue Reading

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Pupils, passwords and privacy. A law that went into effect on January1st has the parents of some Illinois school children asking themselves how much of their children’s privacy they’re willing to forgo to keep cyberbullying in check. The new Prairie State law requires students to surrender their social-media-site passwords to school officials if—according to a… Continue Reading

Status Updates

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Copyright crises averted. Until very recently, YouTube video creators had no way of knowing whether the music they included in their content was copyrighted until they’d uploaded their videos onto the site. Once uploaded onto YouTube, the music was (and still is) automatically scanned against the video-sharing site’s database of copyrighted material, known as Content… Continue Reading

Status Updates

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A Craigslist conviction. The highest court in Massachusetts upheld the conviction under the Bay State’s anti-harassment statute of a couple who posted fake Craigslist advertisements that caused a great deal of trouble for their neighbors. The convicted couple, William and Gail Johnson, had purchased a tract of land in 2003 with the intention to subdivide… Continue Reading

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Poster’s remorse. It’s official – as of January 1st, social media sites accessible in California had to begin allowing users younger than 18 “to remove, or to request and obtain removal of” posts they regret. The legislation, known as the “Eraser Button Law,” applies to all web sites that are directed at minors or that have… Continue Reading

Status Updates

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Porn again. Illinois became the most recent state to pass a law criminalizing “revenge porn,” sexually explicit photos publicly disseminated (most often by posting them to the Internet) without the subject’s consent, usually by a jilted lover seeking retribution, or by someone who has obtained the pictures by hacking into the victim’s smartphone or computer…. Continue Reading

Status Updates

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Facebook fit. It’s been said that a species’ evolutionary success depends more on its adaptability than any other trait. That apparently holds true for a social media platform’s staying power, too. Facebook continues to flourish despite two hugely disruptive developments that, at least in theory, should have had a negative impact on its standing in… Continue Reading