The Law and Business of Social Media
October 07, 2019 - First Amendment, Artificial Intelligence, FTC, Influencer Marketing, Fraud, Free Speech

A dating platform’s alleged fraud; a decline in the popularity of popularity metrics; TikTok’s unique AI

Singapore has enacted a law granting government ministers the power to require social media platforms to completely remove or place warnings alongside posts the authorities designate as false.

Unlike the compensation earned by child stars who perform on television, in films, or on other traditional media in California, the income generated by children who perform on social media—“kidfluencers”—still isn’t protected under California law.

The Federal Trade Commission is suing Match Group, the owner of dating sites including, Tinder, OkCupid and Plenty of Fish, for allegedly tricking hundreds of thousands of users into subscribing by disingenuously implying that their profiles were getting a lot of attention from other users.

Speaking of dating sites, OKCupid is auditing photos posted by its users and banning the ones that employ filters.

Instagram and Facebook are testing the practice of making the “likes” on a person’s posts invisible to other users. Some marketers say that eliminating engagement metrics such as “likes” will have a significant effect on the influencer marketing industry.

YouTube is modifying its popularity metrics too, citing a concern for its users’ mental health.

Also motivated by concern for their users’ wellbeing, Instagram and Facebook have adopted a new policy regarding posts promoting weight loss products and certain types of cosmetic surgery.

Based in China, the social media network TikTok is incredibly popular, having been downloaded more than 104 million times in the United States since its U.S. debut in 2017. Although the network has sparked controversy in several ways—including its parent company’s $1 billion spend on ads to achieve TikTok’s meteoric rise—the revolutionary artificial intelligence that the network employs to gather data about its users might be the biggest cause for concern, according to Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes.

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