Technology Law Blog

Showing 12 posts in Social Media.

Do You Need a Social Media Policy?

Chris Holman interviews attorney John Mashni on the Michigan Business Network discussing social media policies. Listen to the podcast here.

Categories: Social Media

Can Social Media Cost You $5 Million?

I know you've probably heard this before, but it's worth repeating: be careful what you post on social media.

It may be used against you.  For one NFL player, it cost $5 million.  

New Orleans Saints football player Jimmy Graham was recently in a contract dispute with the Saints over whether he should be designated as a "Tight End" or a "Wide Receiver."  While the distinction may seem trivial, it had huge repercussions in terms of salary.  Read More ›

Categories: Social Media

Cincinnati Who-Dey Ruling is Big Deal for Internet Commerce: Website immune from Ex-Bengals Cheerleader’s Defamation Lawsuit

The gossip website,, is immune from liability for online posts about an ex-Bengals Cheerleader’s sexual promiscuity and acquiring a sexually transmitted disease. In a closely followed decision from a case that has generated considerable media coverage because of its potential to chill online speech and hold internet websites such as Facebook, Twitter and newspaper sites liable, which allow third party users to post content, was reversed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently overturned a jury verdict of $338,000 against gossip website and its owner Nik Richie. Sarah Jones v. Dirty World Entertainment Recordings LLC arose after Sarah Jones, a former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader and teacher who was subsequently convicted of having sex with a high school student, sued the website after it posted unflattering information about her sexual promiscuity with football team players, she demanded the posts be removed, and the website refused. She filed state law tort claims for defamation and privacy torts and won at trial. The defendants appealed. Read More ›

Categories: First Amendment, Privacy, Social Media

YouTube Video Admitted as Character Evidence in Murder Case

Did you know that the YouTube video you just posted may be used in court to determine your character? In a Delaware case, Gallaway v. State, a video of a man using mouthwash as a decongestant may have been the difference for the jury, which found him guilty of murdering his daughter. The father claimed he was performing stretching exercises with his daughter when she slipped and fell on the floor. A few days after the fall, she died from suspected non-accidental trauma. Read More ›

Categories: Social Media

No Fury Like a Facebook Shareholder Scorned…

Technology IPOs used to be the norm in the IPO cycle, and when Facebook announced an IPO many investors could not contain the excitement. But less than expected stock results have caused investors to file suit against Facebook and the underwriters of the IPO.

Facebook stock chart
Source: Chart image from Yahoo! Finance

Facebook, along with Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs, are seeking the dismissal of claims made by investors in connection to the company's IPO. The claims allege misrepresentations by Facebook and its underwriting banks that violated the Securities Act of 1933 and the Exchange Act of 1934. Essentially, the investors claim that Facebook disclosed certain information to the underwriting banks that it did not disclose to investors. Read More ›

Categories: Regulatory, Social Media

Can the FTC Shut Down Your App?

FTC buildingYes, the FTC can shut down your app. But you could also face stiff penalties for lack of compliance.

COPPA is the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. The FTC has recently revised the rules regarding collecting personal information from children, and has set a date of July 1, 2013 as the deadline for compliance with the latest revised rule. The revision focuses on applications that collect personal information about children, such as photos, videos, and audio files containing the child's voice. Read More ›

Categories: Privacy, Regulatory, Social Media

Is There a Digital Afterlife?

Social media iconsWe currently live in an era where our grandchildren will have access to everything we are currently posting online. In many ways, we are defined by our emails, pictures, Facebook likes, and tweets.

Typically, we make serious plans on who will get our houses, cars, money, and property when we die. But have you ever considered who will own – or control – your emails, online pictures, Facebook account, or social media profiles? Read More ›

Categories: Privacy, Social Media

Are Websites Subject to The Accessibility Requirements of The Americans With Disabilities Act?

It is undeniable that the internet is here to stay, playing an increasingly critical role in our ability to obtain and disseminate information.  No matter the application – business, entertainment, politics, etc. – the internet has become a staple of everyday life.  For many individuals with disabilities, however, navigating the internet can be a less than satisfying endeavor. Read More ›

Categories: E-Commerce, Social Media

Facebook Penalized on Privacy

Facebook has reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission regarding charges that it violated users' privacy rights.

Why Facebook was under investigation?

In December 2009, privacy advocates filed a complaint with the FTC following certain changes to Facebook privacy policies.   Specifically, the FTC complaint alleged that Facebook made aspects of its users' profiles - such as name, picture, and friends list - public by default and without user consent. The FTC stated that such actions violated user expectations of privacy and threatened the "health and safety" of users by exposing "potentially sensitive affiliations" such as political views and sexual orientation.

The FTC complaint also alleged other situations where Facebook "made promises that it did not keep," such as promising that it would not share information with advertisers or retain data that it promised users was deleted. Read More ›

Categories: Privacy, Social Media

Juror's Undisclosed MySpace Friendship Secures New Trial for Convicted Felon

In West Virginia v. Dellinger, the West Virginia Supreme Court held that a juror's failure to disclose her MySpace "friendship" with the criminal defendant violated the defendant's constitutional right to a fair and impartial jury.  In Dellinger, the defendant, a sheriff, was convicted of multiple felonies relating to the fraudulent administration of a grant program.  The juror in question was a MySpace "friend" of the defendant and posted a message on the defendant's MySpace page one week before trial.  During voir dire, the juror was asked whether she had any social relationship with the defendant. However, the juror did not acknowledge her MySpace "friendship," and the defendant did not realize that the juror and his MySpace "friend" were one in the same until after the trial.  Read More ›

Categories: Social Media