Stay On The Legally Safe Side Of Social Media

safeAll social media managers and marketers want to ensure their promotions on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social networks are compliant with the latest laws and regulations. Being on the legally Safe Side Of Social media is difficult to control, which for many is precisely its allure.

This will be an ongoing and growing list.

The terms you need to know:

Endorsement. In 2009 the US FTC published changes regarding testimonials and advertisements from celebrities and bloggers.  From there on, all such endorsements via conventional, online or social media must contain a clear disclosure. The practice of endorsing brands on micro-blogging service Twitter is common in the US, where celebrities including rapper Snoop Dogg, actress Lindsey Lohan and Kim Kardashian earn thousands of dollars for posting tweets featuring endorsements. However, now the US Federal Trade Commission insists such tweets include the wards ‘ad’ or ‘spon’ to indicate the endorsement has been paid for, even if only in exchange for product.

Libel. In the 2010 case of the cricketer Chris Cairns vs Lalit Modi, the liability for the spread of publication was under debate.  Modi was accused of defaming Cairns in a tweet which was subsequently deleted from his stream, and Modi’s lawyers argued that the damage from the case would be so small as to be a waste of court time.  But having been received by Modi’s followers, it was retweeted, and also screenshot and published in sports blogs, so the end readership would have been far in excess of Modi’s small number of followers.   The judge in the case ruled that the case could go to court, and so allowed that a tweeter could be held responsible for the spread of their tweets beyond their immediately published realm. Update: Cairns v Modi: Chris Cairns wins libel case against Lalit Modi

Responsibility for use. Include a provision requiring the end-user to acknowledge that the association is not responsible for third-party conduct.

End-user conduct. Include a provision requiring the end-user to abide by applicable laws and any online terms or conditions and to take responsibility for the end user’s own actions.

License grant. Include a pre-emptive license grant given to end users for any use of the content, materials, or other intellectual property. Specifically, when you encourages other users to use a name, connect to its page/site, post supporting information, or generate communications in line with the poster’s objectives, such use should be dictated by permission or guidelines for permissible use.

Protect intellectual property and use proprietary notices. Include a provision to reserve rights in the poster’s intellectual property used or displayed online and add a proprietary notice to copyright works and trademarks.

Take-down policy. With interactive forum functionality, associations should have a take-down policy for removal of any defamatory, infringing, or incorrect content.

Linking policy. Include a specific disclaimer for interaction with third-party sites.

Be careful with sweepstakes. Yes, you can do a sweepstakes on Facebook! But, stay with an approved app. Try http://woobox.com/sweepstakes or other approved apps. For any promotion involving a sweepstakes or contest, the you should also include a provision(s) setting forth the scope of permissible participants (by state) and terms and conditions for any contest or sweepstakes.

Governing law. Claim a governing law for enforcement of the poster’s rights.

Mobile social media. When social media is used in combination with mobile devices it is called mobile social media. Social media is a group of mobile marketing applications that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content. Due to the fact that mobile social media runs on mobile devices, it differentiates from traditional social media as it incorporates new factors such as the current location of the user (location-sensitivity) or the time delay between sending and receiving messages(time-sensitivity).

This will be a growing list with new items added as needed. What items have I missed so far?

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