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Socially Aware Blog The Law and Business of Social Media

Tag Archives: First Amendment

Status Updates

Posted in Status Updates

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

Keeping Privates Private: The Legal Landscape of Revenge Porn

Posted in Copyright, DMCA, First Amendment, Privacy

Mark Zuckerberg famously stated that the purpose of Facebook is “to make the world more open and connected,” and indeed Facebook, other social media outlets and the Internet in general have brought worldwide openness and connection-through-sharing to levels unparalleled at any point in history. With this new universe of limitless dissemination often comes the stripping… Continue Reading

Refining the First Amendment Status of Social Media Activity by Government Employees

Posted in Employment Law, First Amendment, Litigation, Supreme Court

The Supreme Court’s 1968 decision in Pickering v. Board of Education allows governmental employers, including law enforcement agencies, to fire or discipline employees for disrupting operations with excessive complaining, but it prohibits governmental employers from firing or disciplining an employee for speaking out on matters of public concern as a private citizen if the employee’s… Continue Reading

Two Circuits Address the First Amendment Status of Facebook Activity

Posted in Employment Law, Litigation, Privacy, Supreme Court

Two recent U.S. appellate court decisions have clarified the extent to which the First Amendment protects the social media activities of government employees.  In Gresham v. City of Atlanta, the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit found that an individual’s First Amendment interest in posting to Facebook is reduced when he or she configures… Continue Reading

Socially Aware Looks Back: The Social Media Law Year in Review

Posted in Employment Law, Litigation, Privacy

2012 was a momentous year for social media law. We’ve combed through the court decisions, the legislative initiatives, the regulatory actions and the corporate trends to identify what we believe to be the ten most significant social media law developments of the past year–here they are, in no particular order: Bland v. Roberts – A… Continue Reading

New Issue of the Socially Aware Newsletter Now Available

Posted in Employment Law, FCC, FTC, IP, Litigation, Privacy, Section 230 Safe Harbor, Statistics, Terms of Use, Trademark

In the latest issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award-winning guide to the law and business of social media, we look at recent First Amendment, intellectual property, labor and privacy law developments affecting corporate users of social media and the Internet. We also recap major events from 2012 that have had a substantial impact on… Continue Reading

Be Wary of Sharing: Anonymous P2P User’s Motion to Quash Subpoena Denied

Posted in Copyright, IP, Litigation, Privacy, Trademark

BitTorrent, the peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing system that enables the quick downloading of large files, has sparked another novel controversy stemming from copyright-infringement claims brought against its users. Users take advantage of the BitTorrent sharing system to anonymously access popular media such as books and movies. That anonymity is unlikely to last long for users who… Continue Reading

Facebook ’em, Danno: Federal Court May Decide Whether Citizens Have First Amendment Right to Use Social Media to Publicly Criticize the Hawaii 5-0

Posted in Litigation

On top of a presidential election, protests over Instagram’s terms of use, and the invention of gloves that can translate sign language, 2012 also brought to light interesting constitutional issues involving public entities’ use of social media when a citizens’ group filed suit against the City and County of Honolulu for “violations of [the group’s]… 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