Let's O.D. on Social Media's Legal Issues!

As you may know, it’s a Pop O.D. also overdoses in Social Media, reason why we’re going to take a look at legal issues in the magical online world.

Social media has had so much impact in people’s lifestyles that posts in social networking sites are now commonly used as evidence in court cases (Casey Anthony MySpace photos!).

Aside from that, new issues arise every day that are interesting to look at because of their lack of legal precedents.

One major issue: Privacy 
Facebook has very strict privacy features that gives users an array of options to keep their accounts as private or as public as they wish. Zuckerberg’s social networking site has even agreed to submit reports to the FTC regarding their privacy practices.

On Twitter, however, privacy is pretty straightforward. Your tweets are either private or public. A case dealing with Twitter privacy is New York vs Harris, which raises issues like a person’s freedom of speech online. This case also gave light to the fact that one’s tweets belong to Twitter and that the government is able to get all the tweets (including IP addresses, e-mail addresses related to the account, etc.) with just a subpoena and not a search warrant. Twitter is currently in the process of appealing.  

We Hate Spam! 
(Not the Spam you eat, of course; we love that one) 

If you’re a Twitter user, you have probably encountered annoying spammers more than once. Who else thinks they’re annoying? Twitter!

Twitter sued many of the sources of spam including Skootle, a company that has developed the product ‘TweetAdder’. However, Skootle is fighting back, as opposed to the other companies that have settled with Twitter.

Twitter and Skootle haven’t reached an agreement yet –in or out of court.

Meshing personal accounts with work  
You’ve probably all heard about the infamous Red Cross tweet in which the Red Cross was ‘getting slizzered’ drinking beer. Of course, the Red Cross itself can’t drink, so it was obviously someone in their social media team. By the way, their comeback tweet was quite fantastic, so not only did they overcome the mishap but they also saw a spike in donations!

However, some haven’t been able to come out of work-related Twitter kerfuffles as successfully. That is the case of Noah Kravitz, a former PhoneDog employee. Mr. Kravitz (unrelated to Lenny) decided to keep the twitter account he had as an employee and change the handle from @PhoneDog_Noah to simply @noahkravitz.

PhoneDog reached out to Noah to stop using the account with followers that belonged to the company, and when Noah didn’t, the courts hit him with a restraining order, injunction and $340K in compensatory damages.

Treat social media with respect. An innocent status update can get you fired, an opinionated tweet can get you arrested and an inappropriate photo might follow you for the rest of your life. Think before oversharing!