May 23, 2016
5 Things You Should Know About Social Media & the Law
These days, social media is used for everything from getting in touch with old classmates to promoting a new product or business. Unfortunately, it’s really easy to run afoul of the law while using social media. Here are five things that everyone should be aware of.
1. Beware of Consequences
Social media exists in the digital world, but it can have real world consequences. People have been fired and sued for things they posted online. If you feel any doubt about posting something or are considering posting something that you wouldn’t want your boss to see, just don’t do it.
2. Understand Disclosures
Every social media site publishes their terms of service. It’s always advisable to have a reasonable grasp about what is considered appropriate use of that social media platform. This is especially true for companies that are sponsoring promotions or contests online. Before you launch that project, make certain that you’re acting within the terms of service.
3. Ask Permission
Copyright infringement is one of the most frequent legal problems that comes up on social media. Users need to understand that there is a copyright on photographs and text that are posted online. It’s never all right to copy and use those items for your own blog, website or social media channel. Ask for permission, and if it’s not given, don’t use the item.
4. Make Attribution Clear
Whenever you make use of someone else’s content, make certain to provide proper attribution. Note that the quote or photograph came from someone else’s work. Also, include a link to the creator’s website.
If a company asks you to review their products or services, it is very important that you disclose that you received consideration from that company in exchange for your endorsement. The Federal Trade Commission has actually revised its endorsement guidelines to include social media, so disclosure is key.