Legal Problems of Social Networks

by Fred Abramson on February 12, 2009 · 3 comments

You are probably using social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Linked in for a variety of purposes, from updating your status, to networking with college friends that leads to new business.  Although the law on social networks is evolving, there are several issues that you need to be aware of to protect yourself legally.  Listed below are 5 issues that you need to be aware of regarding the legal problems of social networks.

1.    Privacy:

Some information that you provide on social networks are available to the general public, such as the name of your employer and photographs. As a result, any claim of a right to privacy to any material posted on social networking sites may be lost.

2.    Identity Theft:

Social networks contain a treasure trove of personal information.  For instance, my Blackberry was recently stolen and the thieves were able to hack into my Facebook account. The information gleaned from the site, such as date of birth, mother’s name and hometown could have been used by a thief to steal my identity.

3.    Potential use in litigation:

Such personal information can be obtained by legal adversaries and may be exploited if you are ever involved in a lawsuit. Before posting, think about how any information can be used against you

4.    Defamation:

Social Networking sites do not provide immunity from defamation laws. Expressing your views about Britney Spears may be fine, but watch out for any defamatory comments that you make regarding anyone else.

5.    Intellectual Property:

There are no special laws shielding users of social networks from trademark and copyright laws.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

gyi tsakalakis February 16, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Great article. The legal profession has been one of the fastest groups to dive into the social network scene. You have raised some true concerns about using social networks. In fairness, when used properly, these social networks are powerful tools for practice growth. Lawyers can certainly benefit from this cautionary wisdom.

Samfisher3260 November 11, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Sick of these. pages such as i hate teen moms they are picking on very young people who have children and so on can you please stop this page and ban it?

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