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Social Media and The Law

Written By: Mark Rowbottom

President of ROW [Recruiters of Wisconsin]


I recently attended a seminar on Social Media and the Law.

I wanted to share what I thought was interesting:

  • 6 degrees of separation is now down to 3 and getting smaller as you read this!
  • LinkedIn has 467 Million subscribers.
  • Facebook has over 2 Billion and the largest blend in Demographics.
  • YouTube is growing rapidly and has 1.5 Billion subscribers.
  • We now average 5 hours a day on our phones!

Terms of Use

All social media platforms have Terms of Use. The failure to comply has consequences. The mere use of these platforms also has consequences.

If you are one of the 2 Billion on Facebook, you have agreed to the following:

Sharing your Content and Information

  • For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application setting: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post, on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.
  • You give us permission to use your name, profile picture, content, and information in connection with commercial, sponsored, or related content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us. This means, for example, that you permit a business or other entity to pay us to display your name and/or profile picture with your content or information, without any compensation to you.

This article is a condensed version of what we learned, here are some tidbit bullets:

When Posting, Texting and Emailing consider the following tips:

(link to article Dangers and pitfalls of emailing & texting)

  • Offer something of interest to your audience.
  • Do not over share information or overreact to others.
  • Your messaging should be objective and factual.
  • Consumers dislike negative or “Trash Talk” advertising.
  • Be consistent, interesting, and provocative.
  • Do not attack others, or try to settle any disagreements and arguments.

Endorsements and Recommendations

LinkedIn encourages you to “recommend” your contacts. Do some forward thinking before offering a recommendation. An ex-employee who you recommended can be let go tomorrow and your recommendation can be used against the firm to dispute the basis for the discharge.

There are a plethora of other legal issues from cyber bullying and stalking to wrongful termination claims. In conclusion, stay mindful of your social media posts and non-verbal communication.

As always, I hope this article is interesting, provocative and educational to you.

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