Tag archives: Twitter

Social media: what happens when you delete your account?

When you delete your Twitter account:

  • You need to deactivate your account using your account settings.
  • Your account should be deactivated within a few minutes, but some content may be viewable for a few days.
  • Data is only retained for 30 days from date of deactivation after which it is deleted. Twitter retains its licence to use any content you post (see discussion on the licence in this post).
  • If you want to use the same username or email address on another Twitter account later, you must remember to change both before deactivation.
  • Your profile may still show up
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A picture can be worth a thousand links

From giant billboards on the highway to tiny pictures that can go viral within seconds, the use of social media sites like Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr has revolutionized the advertising industry.

Companies can now reach their target audiences more quickly and more effectively by taking advantage of instantaneous posting of pictures and blogs. The use of social media apps that allow the quick exchange of photos to other users is rapidly growing.

Apps like Instagram are some of the top social media apps, bringing in more than 200 million active users around the world. See Twitter active users pass 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 marketing and advertising, the increasing use of a “like” option in social media outlets may have legal implications for businesses.

A “like” button or similar type of “like” option is a feature in social media outlets such as social networking services, Internet forums and blogs … 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 Airlines was quick to reply, tweeting back “Sarah, we take these threats very seriously. Your IP address and details will be forwarded to security and the FBI.”  This prompted a hurried retraction by the panicking girl in what turned out to be more of a … 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 “Company Information” section of a Facebook page must be comprehensive and must include the drug’s material facts and associated risks in order to avoid FDA charges of misbranding.

In the February 24th letter, the FDA alleged that the drug manufacturer … 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 L. & Tech. Rev. 65 (2013)). While it is well documented that social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, can affect the scope of discovery or have an evidentiary impact on a trial, social media use can also impact the fairness of the trial.  … 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 to third parties without restriction.
  • allow Twitter and any third party to share your content with the rest of the world.
  • agree that Twitter and third party sites can use your content (including information about you shared by other users) to provide you with targeted
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Canada’s new anti-spam legislation casts a wide net

From Facebook to Twitter to YouTube to LinkedIn, sending electronic communications to others through the use of social media is becoming a central tenet of doing business. At the same time, the increasing use of social media has also contributed to the ongoing problem of “spam.”

Spam has become the vehicle for a wide range of commercial online threats that affect individuals and businesses. In an attempt to address the problem, new anti-spam legislation will take effect in Canada on July 1, 2014, introducing one of the most onerous pieces of legislation surrounding the regulation of commercial electronic messaging. In … Continue Reading

IP enforcement via takedown notices

According to a January 22, 2014 ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, an incorrectly-chosen takedown notice may constitute a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

CrossFit and its DMCA takedown notice

In Crossfit, Inc. v. Alvies, plaintiff CrossFit, Inc. brought a trademark infringement action against Jenni Alvies for content posted on Alvies’ Facebook page and Blogspot blog. CrossFit, the company that created the very popular fitness training program and training certification program, currently owns multiple federal trademark registrations and applications for the mark CROSSFIT, including in connection with fitness training services, … Continue Reading

A Retrospective of Social Media Law Blog

It’s been a full year since we launched the Social Media Law blog, and we thought it was a good time to take a moment to review:

  • General Counsel use of social media continues to grow at an impressive rate
  • Our Social Media Law blog has had visitors from 15 countries around the world
  • The two most popular topics during 2013 for our postings?  Facebook and defamation

Thanks to Ian Mattingly, we have an infograph to show you a review of 2013 from the point of view of our Social Media Law blog:… Continue Reading

Agence France Presse v. Morel – 2nd update

We have written previously about a court opinion relating to photos posted on Twitter, in Agence France Presse v. Morel, the opinion of which was issued in January.

The relevant facts from the case are as follows: Agence France Presse (“AFP”) provided photographer Daniel Morel’s copyrighted images to Getty Images (US), Inc. (“Getty”), who then distributed the works to various infringing third parties. AFP later issued a “kill notice” on Morel’s photos, which was received by Getty, although Getty continued to distribute the photographs. Morel brought suit against AFP and Getty (as well as other news agencies), and … Continue Reading

Social media part 3: leveraging social media data analytics to improve M&A

Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+,Tumblr, Slideshare…

The catalogue of popular social networking sites continues to grow as more and more consumers – both individual and corporate – sign-up by the millions.

But how can social media be used to bolster M&A?

In addition to the fairly obvious answer that social media can be used as an effective promotional and marketing tool, as noted in Part 2 of our series on social media, technology-driven analytics are quickly becoming a hallmark of companies’ M&A deal-making processes insofar as they facilitate pattern recognition and trend analysis. While this benefit is not … Continue Reading

Social media part 2: the proof is in the data analytics

Part 1 of our series on social media looked at how new technologies have started infiltrating the M&A landscape. But the question we aim to answer here is: to what end?

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal considered just that, noting that new technologies – and specifically data analytic technologies – can be used at various stages throughout the M&A lifecycle as a means of bolstering deal analysis and business forecasting.

While their processes can take many forms, data analytics effectively afford companies an advanced means of aggregating, synthesizing and modeling complex information with a view to revealing … Continue Reading

Social media part 1: how technology is changing M&A

Earlier this year, the MIT Sloan Management Review published a research report summarizing the findings of its global executive study on social business. The study canvassed 2,545 respondents from 25 industries and 99 countries, all of whom were involved in corporate development decisions at their respective organizations. The aim of the study was to determine how new technologies have taken hold, where such technologies are going, and how such technologies may impact M&A in the coming years.

In an interview for the report, Gerald Kane, professor at the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, had the following to say … 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 resources and unhappy promotion contestants.

On August 27, 2013, Facebook changed the terms of its promotion and sweepstakes guidelines, making it easier for a business to manage and administer contests and promotions on its Facebook page.  In a large shift from its … 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 breach is not mandated by securities laws, although it may be required by other state or federal laws. The Securities and Exchange Commission said the following in 2011:

 Although no existing disclosure requirement explicitly refers to cybersecurity risks and cyber incidents, a number of disclosure … 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 proactively identify, delegate and monitor the security risks presented by networked businesses.  Numerous studies have concluded that directors are lagging in anticipating and preparing for cyber security risks. Boards Are Still Clueless About Cybersecurity, Jody Westby, Forbes.com, dated May 16, 2012.

While directors are … 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 not as an offensive weapon, they may raise a host of unanswered questions.

Many social media and computer technology companies, as well as so called “patent trolls” or non-practicing entities, have large patent portfolios covering core aspects of social media and online user interactions. Companies … Continue Reading

Shared Social Media Accounts

A court in the Eastern District of Texas recently held that two companies were “integrated employers” under the Family Medical Leave Act, in part, because the two companies shared a Facebook page. Dooling v. Bank of the West, No. 4:11-cv-00576 (E.D. Tex. July 17, 2013) (Bush, Mag. J.).

This conclusion allowed the plaintiff to establish her status as an eligible employee under the FMLA because both companies combined had more than 50 employees.

Our readers may be aware that the concepts of joint employer, integrated employer, co-employer or dual employer can arise in other areas. In the workers’ compensation … Continue Reading

Agence France Presse v. Morel – UPDATE

Earlier this year, we wrote about a court opinion relating to photos posted on Twitter, in Agence France Presse v. Morel, the opinion of which was issued in January. The case, it appears, has come back to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, this time to determine the precise meaning of § 504(c) of the Copyright Act, which deals with awards of statutory damages.

The relevant facts from the case are as follows: Agence France Presse (“AFP”) provided photographer Daniel Morel’s copyrighted images to Getty Images (US), Inc. (“Getty”), who then distributed … Continue Reading

The Rise of the #Hashtag

Every day, hundreds of millions of people use social media to share their thoughts about everything that is happening around them. The most popular social media sites do not have simple ways to search for and organize content, so users turned to the hashtag to solve the problem. Hashtags are words or phrases prefixed with the hash sign (#) and provide a means of grouping messages together. When you click on a hashtag (e.g. #socialmedia), you can see what other people are saying about that particular topic. When a hashtag becomes extremely popular, it can “trend” and attract more individual … Continue Reading

Copyright Safe Harbor for Third-Party Content

Title II of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides a safe harbor for online service providers that allow users to self-post content. For companies with Web 2.0 enabled sites, 17 U.S.C. § 512(c) limits liability “for infringement of copyright by reason of the storage at the direction of a user.”  But this safe harbor provision only applies where the provider acts to remove copyrighted material from its site upon being informed of it. This post discusses the DMCA and its implementation.

The DMCA limits liability to service providers even if they have actual knowledge of infringing activity.  But copyright … Continue Reading

Social Media Service, Minors, and Photos

On July 10, 2013, U.S. Representative John Duncan (R-Tenn.) and co-sponsor Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced H.R. 2645, the “Forbidding Advertisement Through Child Exploitation Act of 2013.”

The stated purpose of this short bill is to “prohibit providers of social media services from using self-images uploaded by minors for commercial purposes.”

Under the bill, a “social media service” is defined as “any online service that allows an individual to upload, store, and manage personal content in order to share the content with other individuals.”

Section 5 of the bill also defines the key term “self-image” as:  “with respect to … Continue Reading

Build-A-Bear website, social media and COPPA

Many brand owners use their websites to promote their goods and services, as well as to promote their brands. Brand owners also frequently use social media to promote their brands. Indeed, it’s common for a website to include links to social media platforms such as Twitter and Pinterest. But if your site is directed to children, linking your site to social media platforms could be problematic.

Any website directed to children is potentially subject to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), and the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) regulations. COPPA and its regulation impose restrictions on companies that operate … Continue Reading

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