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Socially Aware Blog The Law and Business of Social Media

Tag Archives: social media

Status Updates

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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

Data for the Taking: Using the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to Combat Web Scraping

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

“Web scraping” or “web harvesting”—the practice of extracting large amounts of data from publicly available websites using automated “bots” or “spiders”—accounted for 18% of site visitors and 23% of all Internet traffic in 2013. Websites targeted by scrapers may incur damages resulting from, among other things, increased bandwidth usage, network crashes, the need to employ… Continue Reading

Status Updates

Posted in Status Updates

According to a current study by Bank of America, Americans are very closely attached to their smartphones. Of those surveyed, 85 percent said they check their phone at least a few times a day and 35 percent say they check it constantly. 47 percent of Americans say they couldn’t last more than one day without… Continue Reading

Status Updates

Posted in Status Updates

A Gallup survey found that a majority of Americans do not turn to social media when making purchasing decisions — but the survey appears to be flawed in several respects, especially because the information was gathered 18 months ago, which, let’s face it, is a virtual lifetime in social media marketing. Google has begun to implement… Continue Reading

Drugs and the Internet: FDA Distributes New Draft Guidance Regarding Social Media Platforms and Prescription Drugs

Posted in FDA Regulations

Last week the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) promulgated two much-anticipated draft guidance documents on using social media to present information about prescription drugs and medical devices. The draft guidance documents, which were originally promised by the FDA in 2010, represent the FDA’s latest attempt to provide direction for drug and device manufacturers concerning how… Continue Reading

Status Updates

Posted in Status Updates

Debt collectors are using social media more and more frequently to try to track down people who owe money, but they are bound by restrictions in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act when they do so, just as if they used traditional means. The controversial “right to be forgotten” recently received another boost when a… Continue Reading

Status Updates

Posted in Status Updates

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

Status Updates

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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

Status Updates

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Twitter’s leadership was thrown into disarray on June 12 after Ali Rowghani resigned suddenly as the company’s chief operating officer amid a dispute with Chief Executive Dick Costolo. Twitter’s stock has fallen about 42 percent this year as concerns have arisen that the company is not signing up enough new users. More and more couples are… 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

Status Updates

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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

Status Updates

Posted in Status Updates

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

Status Updates

Posted in Status Updates

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

Hot Off the Press: The May Issue of Our Socially Aware Newsletter Is Now Available

Posted in Copyright, FTC, Internet of Things, IP, Litigation, Privacy, SEC, Supreme Court, Terms of Use

The latest issue of our Socially Aware newsletter is now available here. In this issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award-winning guide to the law and business of social media, we analyze a groundbreaking FTC complaint alleging deceptive practices online that could turn website Terms of Use into federal law; we summarize a U.S. Supreme… 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

European Court of Justice Strengthens Right to Be Forgotten

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued a quite surprising decision against Google which has significant implications for global companies. On May 13, 2014 the ECJ issued a ruling which did not follow the rationale or the conclusions of its Advocate General, but instead sided with the Spanish data protection authority (DPA) and found that:… 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

If You Host Videos on Your Website, Read This Blog Post Regarding the Video Privacy Protection Act

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

In a much anticipated decision in the class action In re Hulu Privacy Litigation, U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has shed new light on the meaning of “personally identifiable information” (PII) under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA). This has important implications for companies… Continue Reading

Hot Off the Press: The April Issue of Our Socially Aware Newsletter Is Now Available

Posted in Copyright, Discovery, DMCA, E-Discovery, Employment Law, First Amendment, Litigation, Privacy, Wearable Computers

The latest issue of our Socially Aware newsletter is now available here. In this issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award-winning guide to the law and business of social media, we summarize the current status of various state laws restricting employer access to the personal social media accounts of applicants and employees; we explore how… Continue Reading

New Regulatory Guidance on Use of Social Media by Investment Advisers

Posted in Investment Management Law

Acknowledging the growing demand by consumers for information through social media, the Division of Investment Management set some ground rules on how investment advisers can use social media and publish advertisements featuring public commentary about them from social media sites. Under the new rules, investment advisers may refer to commentary published in social media without… Continue Reading

U.S. Courts’ Evolving Approaches to Social Media E-Discovery

Posted in Discovery, E-Discovery, Litigation

Courts across the United States have now made clear that discovery of social media is fair game. At the same time, courts have consistently found that litigants will not be permitted to engage in social media fishing expeditions; rather, litigants will be required to show that the sites likely contain relevant material. We explore below… Continue Reading

Employer Access to Employee Social Media: Applicant Screening, ‘Friend’ Requests and Workplace Investigations

Posted in Employment Law, Privacy

A 2013 CareerBuilder survey of hiring managers and human resource professionals reports that more than two in five companies use social networking sites to research job candidates. This interest in social networking does not end when the candidate is hired: to the contrary, companies are seeking to leverage the personal social media networks of their… Continue Reading

German Court Rules Against Facebook’s “Friend Finder”

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

On January 24, 2014, in a case filed against Facebook by German consumer protection association VZBV, the Berlin Court of Appeal (“Court”) upheld a lower court ruling that Facebook’s “Friend Finder” function is unlawful. The Court agreed with the Berlin Regional Court’s 2012 decision that the Friend Finder function violates both German data protection law… Continue Reading

Uncovering a Line in the Sand: Employee Social Media Use and the NLRA

Posted in Employment Law, Litigation

If an employee calls his supervisor a “nasty motherf[**]ker” on Facebook, would the employee lose the protection that he would otherwise enjoy under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)?  Probably not, according to National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) decisions like Pier Sixty LLC. In Pier Sixty, an employee reacted to a labor dispute by posting… Continue Reading