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Tag Archives: Facebook

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Reality test. Facebook has begun to test a new feature that marks as “satire” material from satirical or comedic websites that appears in the guise of “fake news.” Some users, evidently unable to tell reality from clever fiction, requested that the social network tag these posts in this way. Got to be a morning after. … Continue Reading

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On the right track? Google reportedly will be testing a new method of targeting mobile users, one which connects the company’s mobile web tracking mechanisms with its mobile app tracking mechanisms, thereby allowing Google and its advertisers to track mobile users as they switch between web surfing and in-app activities. Until recently, advertisers usually have… Continue Reading

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May a lawyer ethically instruct a client to delete potentially damaging information from a client’s Facebook page? According to a new ethics opinion from the Philadelphia Bar Association, yes, so long as the information is preserved in some way, should it become relevant to the case. The opinion also determined that, under the Pennsylvania Rules… Continue Reading

Picture This: Online Photos and Big Data

Posted in Privacy

As the quality of visual recognition software continues to improve, privacy concerns have grown concomitantly. Because we now document our lives with so many pictures posted to social media—Facebook hosts over 250 billion photos, with 350 million new photos added every day—photographs are becoming hugely important to the big data movement. Indeed, some say Facebook… Continue Reading

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Long arm of the law. A federal judge in Manhattan has upheld a magistrate judge’s ruling that Microsoft must turn over customer emails that are held in a Microsoft data center in Ireland. The key issue is whether communications kept in overseas data centers operated by American companies are beyond the reach of domestic search… Continue Reading

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Going mainstream. For the first time, both Twitter and Facebook are seeing significant growth in online advertising placed by major companies for brands such as Heineken, Tide, McDonald’s, and Charmin. Major consumer products companies have long struggled with the question of how to reach consumers on their mobile devices, and right now, this appears to… Continue Reading

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Going viral: Silencing its critics, Twitter posted strong second quarter results, adding 16 million new monthly active users and boosting its user base by 24 percent from this time last year. #Disappointing: In other Twitter news, the company recently revealed data about the composition of its workforce. It turns out that 90 percent of tech… Continue Reading

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Facebook reported strong results for ad revenue in the second quarter of 2014. Mobile advertising was particularly strong, up 30 percent from last year. Mobile ads now account for 62 percent of Facebook’s advertising revenue. A federal district judge in California declined to dismiss a case against Google that alleged that it did not adequately… Continue Reading

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An Illinois woman was arrested on July 11 and charged with theft after she allegedly stole a dress from a boutique in West Frankfort, Illinois, then posted a selfie wearing the dress on her Facebook page. Police Chief Shawn Talluto noted, “[W]hen the social media aspect played into it, we were able to identify who… Continue Reading

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 The average millennial checks his or her smartphone 45 times a day and learns about news online primarily through Facebook and Twitter, according to a new survey. Search engines and email, the “more traditional” venues, rank well below social media as a source of information. The Securities and Exchange Commission has suspended trading in Cynk… Continue Reading

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The New York Court of Appeals has struck down that state’s “cyberbullying” law in a 5-2 decision, finding that it is overly broad and chills First Amendment-protected speech. The case arose when a 15-year-old boy pleaded guilty under the law to creating a Facebook page that included graphic sexual comments alongside photos of classmates at… Continue Reading

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Twitter is rolling out a new type of advertising that reportedly has been very successful for Facebook’s mobile business — mobile-app install ads, which link directly to games and other apps in popular mobile app stores. An Idaho state court affirmed the Idaho Industrial Commission’s denial of unemployment benefits to a nurse who was discharged after… Continue Reading

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Facebook’s deputy general counsel describes the company’s pushback since last summer against sweeping search warrants issued by a court in New York for private data from no fewer than 381 Facebook users. The company regards the warrants as overbroad and unconstitutional. The San Francisco city attorney has ordered the developer of a new mobile app… Continue Reading

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In the top news story of the day, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Aereo in a closely watched copyright dispute with broadcasters; the Court found that Aereo engages in unauthorized public performances in violation of U.S. copyright law. Will cloud storage models survive this decision? What remains, if anything, of the Second Circuit’s landmark… Continue Reading

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Lately, when Facebook has wanted to increase its users’ engagement on its site, it has turned to taking out ads—on Facebook. The theme is “Where will your friends take you?” Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer told audiences at the International Festival of Creativity in Cannes that Tumblr, which is owned by Yahoo, is the best place… Continue Reading

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Are threats made on social media protected free speech, or potentially criminal acts? The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to examine the constitutionality of a federal law making it a crime to transmit communications containing “any threat to injure the person of another.” In this case, the “threats” were in a series of Facebook postings…. Continue Reading

“Do You Want to Know a Secret?” The Risks Posed by Anonymous Social Apps

Posted in Privacy

First we had social media platforms, but recently a variety of “anti-social” media platforms have emerged—well, anti-social in a sense. For years, social media platforms have encouraged (or even, in some cases, required) us to use our real identities, with the aim of building friendships and networks in the online world. But these new social… Continue Reading

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Some freelancers are turning to social media to try to get paid for their work, often by making postings on vendors’ Facebook pages asking for overdue payments. This online shaming tactic is often successful but in some cases may lead to legal jeopardy for the freelancers. Arkansas legislators are considering changing a 2013 law after… Continue Reading

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The CIA has entered the realm of social media, setting up a Twitter presence and a Facebook account. There one can find, among other things, reflections on intelligence history and fun facts from the CIA World Factbook. On May 23, Louisiana became the latest state to enact a law prohibiting employers and public and private… Continue Reading

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The U.S. Secret Service is looking for software developers who can write programs that are capable of detecting sarcasm in postings on social media sites in order to distinguish real threats from facetious ones; some critics said that this is intrinsically a futile effort and that programs can’t effectively make the distinction. On May 30, a… Continue Reading

French Consumer Association Takes on Internet Giants

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

Earlier this year, the French consumer association UFC-Que Choisir initiated proceedings before the Paris District Court against Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc., accusing these companies of using confusing and unlawful online privacy policies and terms of use agreements in the French versions of their social media platforms; in particular, the consumer association argued… Continue Reading

SEC Staff Guidance on the Use of Social Media in Securities Offerings, Tender Offers, Business Combinations and Proxy Contests

Posted in SEC, Securities Law

The staff of the Division of Corporation Finance of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently provided guidance on applying its rules regarding communications in connection with securities offerings, tender offers, business combinations and proxy contests when statements are made utilizing certain social media channels. The staff’s guidance permits the use of a hyperlink… Continue Reading

Jerked Around? Did the FTC’s “Jerk.com” Complaint Just Turn API Terms Into Federal Law?

Posted in FTC, Litigation, Privacy

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) announcement that it had filed a complaint against Jerk, LLC and its websites like “jerk.com” (“Jerk”) looks at first glance like a run-of-the-mill FTC Section 5 enforcement action involving allegedly deceptive practices online. But hidden in the facts of Jerk’s alleged misbehavior is a potentially significant expansion of the FTC’s use… Continue Reading

The Internet of Things Part 2: The Old Problem Squared

Posted in Ethics, FTC, Internet of Things, IP, Privacy

Cisco estimates that 25 billion devices will be connected in the Internet of Things (IoT) by 2015, and 50 billion by 2020. Analyst firm IDC makes an even bolder prediction: 212 billion connected devices by 2020. This massive increase in connectedness will drive a wave of innovation and could generate up to $19 trillion in… Continue Reading