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What You Should Know About Social Media Laws

Written by David Jones on June 25, 2017

Social media is the most widely used tool today for communication and marketing purposes. Used by both private individuals and companies, it has become a very convenient tool as it can be accessed via mobile devices and best of all, it’s free of charge. But while this is so, there are certain rules to follow to ensure that these social networking sites are used positively to accomplish one’s objectives and not attack the reputation of people and organizations.

Each social networking site has its own set of guidelines for its users the reason why people should find time to read and understand them. Any violation won’t go unnoticed as administrators are quick to send notifications to point out what users have done wrong. And if this violation continues, a member’s account can be removed from the site.

Facebook

Facebook is very helpful in terms of connecting people and promoting businesses. It has its community standards that serve as guidelines on how users should use the platform.

Users who feel they are attacked on the platform can report the issue to the administrators for proper action. If, however, one feels there is reason to file a legal action, he or she can always get the assistance of a criminal defense attorney. Make sure to save and print copies of Facebook posts that you consider derogatory as these can serve as evidences in court.

Twitter

Twitter is often used by people in sharing their real-time sentiments over any event in their lives. It’s the go-to platform of many people from the different parts of the world for that spur-of-the-moment feelings whether positive or negative. However, Twitter doe not allow any illegal activities and abusive behavior on the site. Although it recognizes freedom of expression, the platform does not tolerate tweets that harass and intimidate other people in an effort to silence them.

Specifically, Twitter is against “hateful conduct, violent threats made to people whether directly or indirectly, harassment of any kind. Those who violate the rules can have their accounts blocked.

Google Plus

Google Plus is also particular about what users are posting. Members can report to the administrators any post they think is violating the platform’s rules.

Members of communities, for their part, need to be careful of what they’re posting. To ensure they don’t get reported, they should find time to read the guidelines of the communities they want to join. There are certain communities, for example, that do not allow the sharing of commercial posts including articles even though the posts are those written by the members themselves such on their blogs. Once the creator of the community or any member reports this, the concerned member will receive a notification stating what he or she has done wrong and reminding the person to follow the guidelines to avoid being removed from the group. The notification will also direct the concerned member back to the guidelines.

Instagram

Instagram also wants to promote a positive community and is strongly against hate posts including those that support crimes and other forms of terrorism. Content that involves threats, hate speech and those that degrade, blackmail and harass people will be removed.

When it sex-related issues, Instagram clearly states that it has “zero tolerance to sharing sexual content” particularly those that involve minors and those that threaten to post intimate images of people.

With regards to business, although it encourages online sellers to do transactions using the platform, business owners are required to follow Instagram’s law. It is a big no to sell illicit items such as prescription drugs and firearms on the site.

All these social networking platforms value the privacy of their users but they are also committed to protect their rights when they are violated.