Social Media Lawsuits: Your Posts and Pics Can Screw You

February 5th, 2010 |

Without a doubt, social media is the biggest thing to hit the advertising industry since television, the huge difference between the two mediums being that TV was a one-way conversation, advertisers hawking their wares. Social media, on the other hand, has brought two words into the relationship not previously uttered – conversation and content. Social media has also given the consumer a voice – a powerful voice – and a means to use that voice. The conventional advertiser/consumer relationship is dead, never to be resurrected.

This is not to say that traditional advertising is dead. Rather, television, radio, magazines, and newspapers have transformed their businesses to take advantage of the synergies available between the various platforms. But, you already know all of this…

However, this new space has also opened up deep legal issues in the areas of privacy, intellectual property, identity theft, defamation, and self-incrimination. While privacy has long been the online community’s main watch word, identity theft is surpassing privacy due to the fact that it stems from a users lack of privacy online. Most online users are aware of the trade-offs brought about by online shopping, social media sites, and the costs associated with free content; it’s pay to play, and your privacy is the currency of choice. Buy a book from Amazon? Name, address, telephone number, email address, and a record of your purchases are all stored. Facebook account? Whatever you write in your profile will be utilized by marketers to target you with advertising; it’s the cost of admission. So, if you list one of your interests as “playing guitar,” you’ll see ads for local and national guitar retailers, music vendors, recording studios, and the like. Additionally, they know your demographic, geographic, and psychographic information, and probably the web-surfing habits associated with your IP address. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jeff Louis