Did Twitter violate Anti-Terrorism Act by providing ISIS accounts?

On August 10, 2016, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, in Fields v. Twitter, Inc., dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaint against Twitter with leave to amend. The plaintiffs’ complaint arose out of the deaths of Lloyd Fields, Jr. and James Damon Creach, two United States government contractors who were working at a law enforcement training center in Amman, Jordan. Fields and Creach were murdered at the hands of Anwar Abu Zaid, a Jordanian police captain who was inspired to commit the act after watching the ISIS execution of the Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh via a video that ISIS distributed through a Twitter account.

The plaintiffs’ claim alleged that Twitter violated parts of the Anti-Terrorism Act by knowingly provided material support to ISIS by permitting ISIS to use its social network as a tool for spreading extremist propaganda. Twitter’s primary argument for the dismissal of the plaintiffs’ claim was the application of Section 230(c)(1) of the Communications Decency Act (the “CDA”), which states that “[n]o provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” Twitter argued that since Twitter’s actions constituted publishing activity, the plaintiffs’ claim is barred by the CDA. Continue reading

What’s In Your Terms of Service?

Social media platforms often require users to agree to Terms of Service or Terms of Use (“TOS”) to use the platform. These contracts can be lengthy and many social media users may not read them in their entirety before agreeing and proceeding to use the platform. This can raise particular issues in contract law, especially about the legal enforceability of the provisions.

The legal enforceability of TOS provisions is relevant to both social media users and app developers. Individuals or businesses who use social media should consider how the TOS affect their legal rights and obligations, especially regarding privacy and dispute resolution. On the other hand, if you’re developing an app for your business, you need to consider what provisions you should include in your TOS and how they should be drafted to ensure legal enforceability.

In particular, “choice of forum” provisions in TOS may be contentious in Canadian courts. Such provisions purport to set out where dispute resolution must take place. Continue reading

Germany: Can you be sued for tweeting #Rio2016?

The answer depends on who you are: For consumers there is little risk involved. Companies, however, did receive letters by the German Olympic Committee in recent weeks warning them about stealing intellectual property, similar to the letters send by the United States Olympic Committee. In particular Twitter accounts should not reference any Olympic results, share or re-tweet anything from the official Olympic account, or use official hashtags including #Rio2016 or #Team. Continue reading

Don’t congratulate #TeamCanada at #Rio2016: Olympic social media rules in Canada

With the Rio Olympics well underway, Canadian brands need to be aware of the “do’s and don’ts” of advertising and social media content involving the Olympics and Olympic athletes.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) have long been aggressive in enforcing illicit use of the term “Olympics”, the five rings and the other associated Olympic Marks. See Olympic and Paralympic Marks Schedule 1. Olympic and Paralympic Marks Act. S.C. 2007, c. 25. To this end, Canada, along with all other countries who have ever hosted an Olympic game, have created special legislation prohibiting the use of those marks.

Please read the entire post on The Brand Protection Blog: http://www.thebrandprotectionblog.com/dont-congratulate-teamcanada-at-rio2016-olympic-social-media-rules-in-canada/

In case you missed it – ICYMI

The digital world moves fast. To get you up to speed, we have compiled a quarterly recap of our five most popular social media blog posts from the Social Media Law Bulletin and the post that is currently trending. From questions ranging from “Is my SnapChat really deleted?” to “Can I tell my employee to stop Tweeting?,” we’ve got you covered ICYMI.

Top posts

 

Facebook “like” button violates privacy laws

Nerushka Bowan and Tatum Govender | April 21, 2016

On 9 March 2016 the Düsseldorf Regional Court in Germany ruled that an online shopping site, Peek & Cloppenburg, which integrated Facebook’s “like” button into its website had violated users’ privacy rights. The button allows website users who click on it to share instantly the pages and content from the website on their Facebook profiles. Read more

Liability for friends’ defamatory statements

Brian Chau | May 5, 2016

Liability for third-party defamatory comments on one’s personal account, whether on Facebook or another internet-based platform, is an emerging legal issue in Canadian law. If a social media “friend” posts defamatory statements about another person on your profile, or other site, can you be personally liable to the defamed person? Read more

Is my SnapChat really deleted?

Nerushka Bowan | May 16, 2016

Yes and no. SnapChat automatically deletes most messages after they have been opened or expired. However, it warns users that the recipient may take a screenshot or use some other screen capture technology (or simply take a photo of their screen with another camera). Read more

Asking employee to delete Twitter posts can be unlawful

Heather Sherrod | April 22, 2016

On March 14, 2016, the popular chain, Chipotle Mexican Grill, was found to have violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it asked an employee to delete posts on his Twitter account about the company. Read more

Social media users responsible for comments

Edward Odendaal and Kerri Crawford | April 4, 2016

The High Court of South Africa ruled in Isparta v Richter that a Facebook user was guilty of defamation because a defamatory post appeared on his Facebook wall and was not removed by him, even though he was not the author of the post. The court ruled that because he knew of the post and “allowed his name to be coupled” with the author, he was as liable as the author. Read more

Currently trending

 

Social media risks during the Rio Games

Saul Perloff | August 1, 2016

Individuals, news outlets, and official Olympic sponsors are generally free to post and tweet about the games and athletes during the roughly month-long blackout period which began last week and ends on August 24. However, non-sponsor brand owners in the United States could face potential legal action if they are not careful. Read more

Social media risks during the Rio Games

In just four days, the world’s attention will turn to Rio de Janeiro and the Games of the XXXI Olympiad.  At the same time, sports enthusiasts will turn to social media to express their support for the Games, for their countries’ teams and for their favorite athletes.

Individuals, news outlets, and official Olympic sponsors are generally free to post and tweet about the games and athletes during the roughly month-long blackout period which began last week and ends on August 24.  However, non-sponsor brand owners in the United States could face potential legal action if they are not careful.

Please read the entire post on The Brand Protection Blog:  http://www.thebrandprotectionblog.com/3144-2/

Social Media Property Rights

The number of people using social media these days is staggering. For instance, Facebook has 1.65 billion monthly active users as of March 31, 2016. As such, the ability to reach such a broad consumer base through social media is becoming increasingly important to businesses. Companies are no doubt eager to create social media pages that generate “followers” and “likes” that may, in turn, generate profits. As the number of “followers” and “likes” of a page increase, so do potential issues surrounding ownership of these aspects of social media pages. Continue reading

Facebook wins privacy case on tracking logged-out users

Facebook has won an appeal against a Belgian court ruling, which ordered it to stop tracking logged-out users who visit Facebook pages and other websites linked to Facebook.

On 29 June 2016 the Brussels Court of Appeal held that the Belgian data protection authority (the Belgian Privacy Commission), which brought the original case, does not have jurisdiction over Facebook’s operations in Ireland, where the data is actually processed. Continue reading

NLRB seeks cases on internal co. messaging

The General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) in March of 2016 issued memorandum 16-01 requiring the Board’s Regional Offices, which investigate and prosecute unfair labor practices, to submit all cases or complaints related to employee e-mail and other electronic systems to the NLRB Division of Advice.  The General Counsel explained in the memorandum that certain cases and issues are of particular interest to the Board and therefore require consideration by the head office in Washington, DC.  This memorandum makes clear that the NLRB continues to take a keen interest in extending the reach of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) to new media. Continue reading

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