Image: Big Social Media
Image: Big Social Media

At Big Social Media, our Monday mornings are always filled with lots of coffee, clacking and clicking of keyboards with internal meetings but this week, Monday was full of Bacon, Social media and the law.

As part of our research team, we tried to find how social media and law intersect, As if you are a part of social media world, legal issues can affect you ranging from copyright infringement to what photos are ok to post and how to deal with negative comments.

Here are important tips on social media and the law

Expect to have the same consequences in real life as well as online. Freedom of speech is there but still you can be fired for anything i.e. Personal responsibility.

Pintrest is a copyright violating machine. It is going to be a matter if someone uses for evil in place of good. Still, make sure you are aware of copyrighted material. Although, you can be responsible for infringement.

If running sweepstakes in social media – Social channels, be sure you are aware of rules and regulations in terms of disclosures. There is a ton of gray area – it all comes in detail of each case, thus its best to use your common sense and judgement as well.

Using short statements in online messaging will keep your attribution/quotation vague and safer – if You use the whole heart of story, you are running at the risk of copyright infringement.

If you want to cover your base from photo of customers at an event, clearly post that they are implying consent by attending unless documented.

Facebook’s decision to take down the “Hate Pedal Pub” was more about judgement of its own site. Be careful about what you are post – checking the guidelines of site being aware of what is acceptable and what is not on every platform.

Taking photos of people and sharing on social media is at low risk. However, the more places you share i.e. in a blog, the high is the risk as more people view the image tending to more backlash if they are photos of children.

When running a contest on social media make the rules and regulations clear, short and sweet so that participants actually read and understand.

Always use short phrase and never forget to keep “link” to the content you pulled when using it in a social message. The clearer your attribution, the better.

If content is a social message is fodder for lawsuit, or you have been requested to cease and desist, taking down the content is an effective way to avoid litigation.

When it is about using any non-original content it is important to be clear and specific about the topic. Don’t forget “link” to necessary sources. Study guidelines and laws to make sure what you can and you can’t do as infringement travels, and you don’t want to get stuck with a bad outcome.

Don’t delete all negative comments as they give you an opportunity to address any bad vibes. If you allow all voices to be heard helps minimize the risk of false advertising. Plus it will look a little fishy if you a=have all rave reviews.

You can’t say anything just because you have the power to type it in. Be honest and truthful. Think your actions through–if it seems like a gray area, think it through even harder.

Essentially there are three things you can do to protect yourself online:


Attibute, Quote, Cite…however you have to identify your non-original material

Use common sense. If you don’t want someone posting that about you, don’t post it about someone else. If you’re worried about clicking “send” or “post” there’s probably a reason, so don’t do it

Know the rules. It’s easier to break them if you pretend they don’t exist, but doing so opens you up for litigation, and backlash in an arena where news travels fast.


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