Topic: Social media policies

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US Federal Trade Commission to see Snapchat for 20 years

On May 8, 2014, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed for public comment its draft complaint and consent with mobile messaging service Snapchat, best known for promoting its “ephemeral” photo messaging site. (See our previous posting here.) The FTC’s complaint claimed that Snapchat violated federal law (Section 5 of the FTC Act) with the … Continue reading

Contests on Pinterest and other social media; pin = endorsement

Companies frequently try to engage customers through social media in a variety of ways, including contests that involve photos of the companies’ products and brands. Fashion design company Cole Haan was investigated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding a contest that asked contestants to pin five shoe photos from Cole Haan’s “Wandering Sole” Pinterest … Continue reading

Do you “like” it?

From clicking “like” on Facebook to the +1 button on Google+ to the “Follow” or “Retweet” buttons on Twitter, the use of endorsements in social media has exploded since 2009. “Like” buttons and retweeting are growing trends in social media.  While the use of third-party endorsement type functionality in social media has obvious benefits in … Continue reading

Beware of the threatening tweet

Early April saw the arrest of a 14-year-old girl who sent a threatening tweet aimed at American Airlines.  Tweeting under her own account, this girl, identified only as Sarah, posted “hello my name’s Ibrahim and I’m from Afghanistan. I’m part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I’m gonna do something really big bye.”  American … Continue reading

Blog posts, commercial speech and false advertising

In Goodman v. Does, plaintiff Todd Goodman alleged various defamation and federal unfair competition (Lanham Act) claims stemming from postings on the website localdirtags.com, a blog, which was run by the defendant Linda Lagoy. Goodman v. Does 1–10, No. 4:13–CV–139, 2014 WL 1310310 (E.D.N.C. Mar. 28, 2014). The court noted that Goodman, who was a licensed … Continue reading

Mobile/ Facebook game developers face off in CANDY mark dispute

Our readers are probably familiar with a game that can be played on Facebook or on a mobile device known as CANDY CRUSH SAGA.  Also available on Facebook and on mobile devices is another game called CANDYSWIPE.  This posting summarizes the trademark application dispute between the two companies, one of which has leveraged the power … Continue reading

FDA and Facebook: Back to basics

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has issued numerous Warning and Untitled Letters[1] delving into very specific aspects of social media (such as “likes” on Facebook, tweets on Twitter and posts on Tumblr,  collectively, the “Social Media Letters”).  Recently, the FDA warned a drug manufacturer and its agent that even the “About Us” or … Continue reading

Jurors and social media

A recent article published in the Duke Law and Technology Review sheds new light on the jury’s use (or more precisely, lack of use) of social media when given proper instructions from the Court. (See Amy J. St. Eve, et al., More from the #Jury Box: The Latest on Juries and Social Media, 12 Duke … Continue reading

Social media: did you know?

How many of us actually read social media terms of use? Be wary: you allow public information to be accessible over public search engines. When you tweet you: grant Twitter a licence to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute content in any manner or method. Twitter may sublicense these rights … Continue reading

Identifying anonymous reviewers

On January 7, 2014, a majority of a Virginia appellate court held that a social media provider can be required to disclose the identity of its anonymous users. See Yelp, Inc. v. Hadeed Carpet Cleaning, Inc., No. 0116-13-4 (Va. Ct. App. Jan. 7, 2014). A Virginia carpet cleaning business had subpoenaed from Yelp the identity of … Continue reading

District of Nevada OKs plaintiffs’ Facebook ad for collective action

A Nevada federal district court recently refused to enjoin plaintiffs’ counsel’s solicitation of potential class members via an advertising campaign on Facebook and Twitter. In Gamble v. Boyd Gaming Corp., No. 2:13-cv-01009-JCM-PAL (D. Nev. Nov. 20, 2013), defendant Boyd Gaming accused plaintiffs’ counsel of using “false and misleading” advertisements in its attempt to identify and … Continue reading

Chances Are, Companies Will ‘Like’ Facebook’s New Contest Rules

In addition to laws regulating sweepstakes, contests, and the prizes given in such promotions, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, each have their own written policies regarding running promotions and contests on their websites.  If marketers are non-compliant with these rules, they can risk having their contest or promotion removed, resulting in lost … Continue reading

Corporate Governance: Cyber Security Issues (Part II)

There are three distinct aspects of cyber-security that should be addressed by directors: prevention, detection and, if a company is publicly traded, disclosure to the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Part I of our posting addressed prevention and detection matters. This Part II addresses disclosures and some questions to consider. Disclosure Public disclosure of a security … Continue reading

Corporate Governance: Cyber Security Issues (Part I)

The use of cloud computing, mobile devices and social media add significant corporate risks beyond the traditional security risks arising from networks, databases and e-mail.  A cyber security breach can cause serious operational disruptions, create financial costs and damage a company’s brand and reputation.  As part of risk management, a company’s board of directors should … Continue reading

Social media companies adopt alternative patent models

Social media companies are increasingly involved in patent lawsuits and frustration is setting in. Hoping to inspire change within the industry, a number of companies have adopted alternative patent policies. While these alternative models are based on the social good of sharing innovation with a promise to use patents only as a defensive shield and … Continue reading

Policies banning photos, videos and confidential information unlawful

On July 15, 2013, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) released a memorandum providing further guidance on whether a company’s social media policy could be construed to stifle protected, concerted activity.  Over the last two years, the NLRB Office of the General Counsel has issued several memoranda discussing the validity of employer social media policies … Continue reading

Gripes and rants on Facebook: Not protected concerted activity

On May 8, 2013, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) released a memorandum providing guidance on whether an employee’s Facebook comments with current and former co-workers constituted protected, concerted activity. The memorandum was prepared in response to an employer’s request for advice about whether it violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) … Continue reading

The NLRB and employer social media policies

The highly respected Pew Center recently released its demographic data on social media usage. The data shows that regardless of age, race, sex, education, or income, well over half of the adults in the United States who use the internet, use social media.  It is therefore reasonable that employers would formally address their expectations of … Continue reading

SEC approves social media for company announce- ments if investors are alerted

On April 2, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) issued a report (the “Report”) indicating that companies can use social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to announce key information in compliance with Regulation Fair Disclosure (“Regulation FD”), provided that investors have been informed of which social media outlet will be used to … Continue reading

Owning your social media: Drafting a social media use policy

As more companies recognize the brand value created and sustained through social media, there is greater interest in preserving social media accounts for company use and retaining the follower, member or “friend” base that has been built over time. Simultaneously, an increasing number of employees believe that the social media accounts are not company property … Continue reading

Amending Social Media Site User Agreements

Many companies are joining various social media sites, but how many sites’ user agreements conflict with companies’ policies and requirements? It may be simpler for a government agency to join a social media site than a corporation, thanks to the U.S. General Services Administration (“GSA”).  The GSA, representing federal government agencies, has negotiated amendments to … Continue reading
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