The arrival of social media has undoubtedly changed the world. Access to information, interaction with each other, the political landscape and other aspects of life have all been affected.
Social media began in the early 2000s and has since grown exponentially. Now, more than 50 percent of people worldwide use one or more social media apps. Even businesses are capitalizing on the opportunities offered by different platforms, as social media lets them gain valuable customer insights and respond to their needs quickly.
Since social media has become so prominent, legislators have amended laws to include how information on the varying platforms can be used or disseminated. As a social media user, you must be careful to adhere to social media laws and regulations. Here’s what you need to know about social media law and how to protect yourself online.
What Is Social Media Law?
Social media law is a new area of law that is still evolving. It covers criminal and civil matters and deals with legal issues related to content generated by users on various platforms. Some important areas covered under social media law are privacy, intellectual property and defamation.
Things To Consider
When it comes to social media law, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Intellectual property and fair use
Intellectual property refers to creative works of the mind, such as music or literary pieces. When posting on social media, it’s best to use your original content to avoid infringement. However, that may not always be possible. With fair use, copyrighted material can be used depending on certain conditions – namely, the purpose, the portion used and the effect on the original work.
In January 2022, rapper Cardi B was awarded a four million dollar judgment against Tasha K, a YouTuber accused of spreading defamatory statements about the rapper on social media. Making false or misleading statements that damage the reputation of another is called defamation. Defamation has far-reaching implications for the subject of the post and the user who posted the content. With social media, the likelihood of these statements reaching a wider audience within seconds has increased. Because of this, businesses should take great care to check the validity of information posted to ensure they post only accurate information.
Social media also poses a challenge to maintaining confidential information. Businesses possess a wide range of data about clients, and they must ensure that it remains private. However, social media has made this increasingly difficult. Those with access to client information can inadvertently disclose confidential details, which can lead to expensive lawsuits. A comprehensive social media policy can eliminate the risk of exposure. In addition, ensure software and privacy settings on company devices are updated regularly.
Social media has also affected how businesses handle the issues of employee rights. Businesses can monitor their employee’s internet activities on company devices, but doing so should not infringe on their employees’ rights. In the US, federal law stipulates that employers cannot discriminate against a current or future employee based on information gleaned from social media, such as their race, age and disability.
Speak With an Internet Lawyer at RM Law
Social media has many benefits, but you must be careful to avoid costly missteps. An internet lawyer can help you navigate the online landscape and capitalize on opportunities. Our team at RM Warner Law handles all internet-related issues, including defamation, cyberbullying and advertising. Visit our contact page to request a consultation or call us at (866) 570-8585 to speak with a member of our team.