Tag archives: Google

CDA § 230 Safe Harbor

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”), otherwise known as § 230 Safe Harbor, explains that “No 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.”  47 U.S.C.A. § 230(c)(1).  In addition, § 230 precludes liability for providers who take down offensive material in good faith.  Section 230(c)(2) states that:

No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of–

(A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that

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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 the user agreements with Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and a number of other social media sites.  Those 62 amendments contain many terms that would likely be of interest to your company:

Among the changes that GSA has negotiated with social media sites are:

  • Record retention
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Defamation in a Social Media World

Companies of every size are concerned with protecting the reputation of the company, which is often a company’s greatest source of referrals. Protecting the online reputation of a company has become increasingly difficult because the reputation of a company can be ruined very quickly if an unhappy customer, former employee, or competitor of the company decides to broadcast complaints and potentially defamatory information either anonymously or on personal pages.

It  has also become increasingly important for a company to monitor and protect its online reputation because consumers have become increasingly reliant on online review websites, such as Yelp, and social … Continue Reading

Anonymous Negative Reviews

Austin-based cleaning company Austin Gutter King Corporation, Inc. made headline news in Texas this week by filing a lawsuit against the poster of a negative review of its business on Google Places, the search engine’s business listing and review website.

The review originally came from a user named “Norma Lee,” but a court-ordered request from Google for the legal identity of the individual revealed that “Norma” was actually the husband of an employee of Austin Gutterman, a competitor of Austin Gutter King.

The review, in part, stated:

…they find it necessary to post fake customer reviews. While researching the source

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NLRB Still Scrutinizing Social Media Policies

On November 15, 2012, the National Labor Relations Board again rejected an employer’s social media policy because it could be construed to chill employees’ rights to join together for mutual aid and protection.

Dish Network’s employee handbook banned employees from making “disparaging or defamatory comments” about the company.

Relying on the NLRB’s  recent decision invalidating Costco Wholesale Corp.’s electronic posting policy , the Administrative Law Judge found that the limitation on negative commentary was analogous to the provision struck down in the Costco decision. See Costco Wholesale Corporation and United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 371, Case 34–CA–012421/… Continue Reading


OpenID is an third-party identification protocol that allows users to log on to multiple websites with only one username and password.  Users register with one OpenID website, called an Identity Provider.  The user can then log on to any website that accepts OpenID using the identity from the provider.  The “OpenID Acceptor,” as it is called, will send a request to the Identity Provider, which in turn authenticates the username and password and provides a certificate to the OpenID Acceptor.  This certificate, it is important to note, includes varying amounts of personal information, such as email or home addresses, phone … Continue Reading