The Dark Side of Social Media: Legal Issues


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The Dark Side of Social Media: Legal Issues
Legal Aspects of Abuse and Misuse of Social Media
(Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
Final project of Legal Aspects of Information Systems courses
By mprabuw & Said Altinsik

Published in: Social Media, Technology, Business
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The Dark Side of Social Media: Legal Issues

  1. 1. The Dark Side of Social Media: Legal Issues 2012 Image taken from: Muhamad Prabu Wibowo Said Altınşık
  2. 2. CONTENTS Introduction: What is Social Media? How can it brings Legal Issues to the Society? Legal Issues in Social Media: What are the Legal Issues on Social Media? What Users, Developers, and Regulation Makers to minimize the risks? Conclusions CONTENTS
  3. 3. Social Media: Features, Users, Useful Use, and the Misuse INTRODUCTION
  4. 4. Social Media “A group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of User Generated Content.” (Kaplan and Heinlein (2008)). “Any online service or site that focuses on building social networks or relations among people who share interests.” (Venezia (2012))
  5. 5. Categorization of Social Media Kaplan and Heinlein (2008) classified Social Media in schemes: • • • • • • Collaborative Projects (e.g. Wikipedia®), Blogs (e.g. Blogger®), Content Communities (e.g. YouTube®), Social Networking Sites (e.g. Facebook®), Virtual Game Worlds (World of Warcraft®), Virtual Social Worlds (Second Life®). 6
  6. 6. Focused on Social Media Sites • Microblogging (Twitter®) • Social networking (LinkedIn®, Facebook®) • Social bookmarking (®, StumbleUpon®) • Social News (Digg®, Reddit®) • Multimedia (Flickr®, YouTube®) Image taken from:
  7. 7. Features of Social Media Tools/Services for: • Visible profile interface and its personal information. • List of connections/Contacts. • Content participation (sharing, commenting, and posting something). • Communication (Chat with other users/connections). • Finding information. • Privacy control. All the contents are generated by Users.
  8. 8. Characteristics of Users • Trust the services and its Users. • Peer pressure (people expect to get more by sharing). • Attitudes towards privacy (Relaxed and Narrow view to the privacy risks). • Signaling to others. • Encouraged by the design (user interface).
  9. 9. The Use of Social Media • Customer Relationship • Ease of Communication • Ease of Sharing • Collaboration Working Users + Abuse & Misuse Social Media + Features Useful Use • Privacy & Content Ownership and Control • Intellectual Property and Third Party Content • Criminal Activities • Defamation • Misconduct in Employment Practices and Professional Ethics • Users • Developers • Regulation Makers
  10. 10. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Privacy & Content Ownership and Control Intellectual Property and Third Party Content Criminal Activities Defamation Misconduct in Employment Practices and Professional Ethics 5 LEGAL ISSUES ON SOCIAL MEDIA
  12. 12. Privacy • Privacy is described as the condition of being private and secret • Basically privacy rights are protected by the laws, • but countries differ in their privacy policies, especially regarding our issue, for the collection and usage of private data by social network sites. • Companies must notify consumers before collecting their data, and people have the right to obtain and correct copies of their information. • And also you have to have ‘right to be forgotten’ option. • But do you know what Facebook knows about you?
  13. 13. What Facebook knows about you? • Thanks to Max Schrems, he managed to get a full copy of his personal information, • Schrems was surprised to discover, among the 1,222 pages of data covering three years of Facebook activity, – – – – deleted wall posts and messages, Very sensitive personal information, e-mail addresses he’d deleted names he’d removed from his friends list. • Additionaly Facebook also keeps information about – IP addresses andGeographic locations of your accesses – Your visits to any webpage that contains ‘like’ button, even if you do not have a facebook account. • “ government or corporation has ever managed to gather such a huge amount of personal and often highly sensitive data”
  14. 14. Are you aware of this tool?
  15. 15. Be Careful about What You Post • Your posts can appear in the public domain, though you think them of private. • Case: Sarah Baskerville sended a tweet to her 700 followers, but her tweet was published by two newspapers in the following day. • She complained that this information was private and intented to be sent only to friends. • Newspaper argue that her account was publicly accessible and she did not tweet anonymously • Press Compliant Commision decided that the message was public and there were no problem with publicizing it.
  16. 16. Important Remarks • Configure the privacy settings. – Almost 13 Million user did not even know the privacy tools of Facebook. – 28% of Facebook users shared all their posts to audiences wider than their friends. – Friends of Friends may reach thousands in numbers. • Pay attention to applications; even if you restrict access to your data, some applications might disclose them.
  17. 17. Who owns the content you provide? • You or the web Site, and what happens after you unsubscribe? • Sites differ in their terms, check their content ownership policies. – E.g. Linkedin claims full ownership, full right; twitter no ownership • Facebook removed one sentence from its terms, stating that its users’ license grant to Facebook for user content automatically expired when the user removed the content. • It caused great uproar, Facebook re-added the sentence.
  18. 18. Case Example • Posting photos or videos of people without their permission ends up with violation of privacy • In 2008, A paramedic in the UK working for North East Ambulance Service was fired after he posted the photo of a patient to Facebook. • The court decided that it was a breach of patient confidentiality and privacy, even he did not give the patient’s name Source: Social Media and Privacy, by John R. Clark
  20. 20. İNTERNET ORTAMINDA YAPILAN YAYINLARIN DÜZENLENMESİ VE BU YAYINLAR YOLUYLA İŞLENEN SUÇLARLA MÜCADELE EDİLMESİ HAKKINDA KANUN • • • • • • İÇERİK SAĞLAYICININ SORUMLULUĞU Madde 4 - (1) İçerik sağlayıcı, internet ortamında kullanıma sunduğu her türlü içerikten sorumludur. (2) İçerik sağlayıcı, bağlantı sağladığı başkasına ait içerikten sorumlu değildir. Ancak, sunuş biçiminden, bağlantı sağladığı içeriği benimsediği ve kullanıcının söz konusu içeriğe ulaşmasını amaçladığı açıkça belli ise genel hükümlere göre sorumludur. YER SAĞLAYICININ YÜKÜMLÜLÜKLERİ Madde 5 - (1) Yer sağlayıcı, yer sağladığı içeriği kontrol etmek veya hukuka aykırı bir faaliyetin söz konusu olup olmadığını araştırmakla yükümlü değildir. (2) Yer sağlayıcı, yer sağladığı hukuka aykırı içerikten, ceza sorumluluğu ile ilgili hükümler saklı kalmak kaydıyla, bu Kanunun 8 inci ve 9 uncu maddelerine göre haberdar edilmesi halinde ve teknik olarak imkân bulunduğu ölçüde hukuka aykırı içeriği yayından kaldırmakla yükümlüdür.
  21. 21. Copyright in Social Media • Copyright protection law applies also for your posts in social media • Everything published on the internet is copyrighted unless it is clearly stated against. – Even if it does not notify any copyright protection – This rule is in use after the Berne Copyright Convention, 1986 • Your use has to be a “Fair Use” • Think twice if your aim is commercial.
  22. 22. Copyright in Social Media • So any photos, sounds or videos you share, except the ones you give the link, must be a anonymous. • You have to also get the permission of the people if you post a photo which they appear in. • Each social media site has its own terms against the usage of copyrighted materials, be aware of them. • Patents, trade secrets and trademarks are also protected.
  24. 24. Criminal Activities • Criminal activities related with social media are not confined online crimes only, they can be studied under three subcategories: 1. Contribution to ‘standard’ crime 2. Contribution to existing e-crime 3. New Crimes • Social networks on the other hand provides evidences of crime for a legal investigation.
  25. 25. 1. Contribution to a ‘standard’ crime • Murder, theft, kidnapping are examples of crimes that needs no computing device. • However social media facilitates the crime – In finding the victim – Choosing the appropriate time – Gathering required intelligence
  26. 26. Consider the Case • You may post a photo of your brand new Mac to Facebook. • This information can be reached by many people, wider than your friend, depends on your privacy settings and your friends’ accounts security level. • And you again informed your friends about your trip abroad which would take two weeks. • You provide enough information for a potential thief.
  27. 27. Real Case • 50 burglaries in New Hampshire and Nashusa, were claimed to be carried out based on the intelligence gained from the status updates of the victims’ profiles. source: ry_gang/
  28. 28. 2. Contribution to Existing E-Crimes • Social media facilitates or provides tools for e crimes, mainly – On-line scams – Social Engineering – Hacking – Malware distribution – Cyberstalking – Cyberbullying
  29. 29. Consider the Case • If one of your friends account is compromised, you are under risk of an online scam. • You know that your friend has a vacation plan in Spain. • You received a message from your friend through Facebook, stating that his/her wallet was stolen and asks you to lend some money immediately. • The message is sent by the hacker but you would not question the credibility of the message since it is based on some truth.
  30. 30. 3. New Crimes • There are some new crimes that are brought by the social media tools. – Fake personal profiles – Identity thefts • Real Case: An overpretoctive mother created a fictitious identity in MySpace in order to bully her daughter’s rivals. When the daughter realizes the deception she committed suicide. Source:
  31. 31. a false statement about something 4. DEFAMATION
  32. 32. Defamation: Can we post anything on Social Media? • False claim, expressly stated with no prove that may give an individual, business, product, group, government or nation a negative image. • Defamation v. Freedom of Speech. • Slander involves the making of defamatory statements by a transitory (non-fixed) representation, usually an oral (spoken) representation. • Libel involves the making of defamatory statements in a printed or fixed medium, such as a magazine or newspaper. • Existing Law is Clear. (it is illegal to “grossly offend” or “cause distress”). (
  33. 33. Defamation: Insult v. Criticism • 2006. The case of Sean W. Conway, an Attorney insulted the judge, Cheryl Aleman, on JAABlog, a Discussion Forum. Result: a public reprimand (disapproval) and was fined $1,250. ( appeal_of_social_media_is_obvious_dangerous) • 2009. Duane Brady v. Daniella Cox. Duane Brady insulted Daniella Cox through Facebook that makes him arrested. ( • Badmouth on Social Media? Think twice.
  34. 34. Defamation: Accusing based on Facts? • 2010. Chris Cairns v. Lalit Modi, the former Indian Premier League commissioner. Lalit Modi, accused Chris Cairns about match-fixing on Twitter, which is proven not right. Result: in 2012, Chris Cairns won the case and awarded £90,000 ($142,000) & Modi has to pay the costs amounted £1.5 million ($2.4 million). ( • So, be careful of what you post! • As a developer minimize the risk by Attribution disclaimers and Terms of Service.
  35. 35. Wrongly actions in works and business practices and regarding professional ethics. 5. MISCONDUCT IN EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES AND PROFESSIONAL ETHICS
  36. 36. Recruiting and Firing • Many employers check the applicants through Social Media accounts for recruiting employees. • Forrester Research report that 14% of companies disciplined employees and 5% fired them for offenses involving social networking sites. • 2012. Sukhoi Flight Attendant, Ekaterina Solovyeva, fired after tweeted “Hahaha” (laughing) regarding to the Plane crash. ( eople_after_tweeting_5WjHzDNGSrks6AmwSoUlwI) • Watch your manners on Social Media as publicly Posts might be notified by anyone.
  37. 37. Maintaining Employees • Many Employees become Unproductive and addicted to Social Media. (spend time too much on Social Media services). • Many corporations in the US, including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, UBS, etc., restrict access to Facebook. ( 9) • Organizations should have a clear Policy regarding the Use of Social Media.
  38. 38. Professional Ethics Violation • Can I post and disclose anything regarding my job? • Previous Conway case. 2006. Ethical attorney violation, false statements or reckless statements about the qualifications or integrity of a judge and engaging in professional conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. • Previous paramedic case. Disclosing patient’s data. • Behave Correctly about which actions permitted and not, according to policy and professional ethics on Social Media!
  39. 39. That’s all.. So? CONCLUSIONS
  40. 40. Conclusions • Social Media services are not only creating benefits, but it also creating some Legal Issues to the society. • These Issues must be taken in the consideration for Users, Developers, and Regulation Makers to minimize the risks of it. • Cautious is Needed. Not too low or too high. Medium level is fine.
  41. 41. Is there any questions? THANK YOU