Social media has become indispensable for businesses of all kinds. While Facebook and Twitterattract a lot of social media marketing, the lesser known social media for business are also on the rise. The advent of the internet saw a number of legalities with it arriving along. How about with social media? Are businesses governed by laws associated with social networking sites?Well yes, as a business you are not exempted from the legally binding norms of the social media management. Although several issues have been resolved outside the court, they have purely been out of concerns of being shown in bad light. If you are a small business or an employee, these are some of the legalities you must be aware of and stay out of any litigation that can cost you a fortune:
Beware of Copyright
This is one area that many users barely pay any attention to. Users copy, share and use images and text that are copyrighted. What one may want to know is that the owner of a creative work automatically gets a copyright the moment it is created. Many even lift the textual content, the author of which is the sole proprietor. As per law if you produce a copyrighted content on the social networking sites or anywhere else, for each such usage you are liable to violation of $150,000. So although you may have seen the larger society just going easy on this, you don’t have to wait until the law comes hard on you.
Beware of the trademarks
As you copy the content, so you may copy a trademark of a company that is solely the proprietary of the company alone. By using the trademark in whatsoever way, producing it elsewhere or for personal use, you are liable to a huge infringement.
Advertising without Facebook approval
With Facebook advertising and marketing getting viral, a lot of small businesses alike have become attuned to social media advertising and marketing aimed at the targeted consumers. What they don’t however realise is that they are inviting major legal suits if they don’t follow the guidelines and the rules laid out by Facebook. Learn about the nitty-gritties of advertising on Facebook before you make an illegal move and get sacked. Remember to identify yourself and provide a full disclosure as per the requisites of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Even the details like payment made or received to write reviews about a certain product must be disclosed, otherwise the reviews could be blacklisted. It is always advisable to distinguish your personal and private sentiments on the Facebook or Twitter and safeguard the organizational prospects.
There is a plethora of details including your present location, entertainment details, application details, birthdays, addresses and phone numbers that are pulled from these social networking platforms. The storage and collection of these data on social media has its privacy norms. But pulling such content can have you invited legal issues.
It’s important that you educate yourself on social media policy – don’t ignore reading the policy outlines. Make sure your business does not infringe copyrights or trademarks, follow FTC guidelines and stay out of unauthorised data sharing to safeguard yourself from litigations.