Social Media and the Law: What Everybody Needs to Understand

Social media has become part of everybody’s lives. Even children are used to social media that it became a necessity for people. Based on the statistics of Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans used different social media platforms every day. Other countries like the Philippines have an average of 89 million social media users alone. The influence of social media has become widespread. It has become huge that there should be laws to put in place for social media.

There are laws associated with using social media. It is not just about logging in to a specific platform and do whatever you want. The things you see on social media platforms, like promos, etc., also follow special rules. These rules are laws provided on social media platforms whenever somebody signs up.

But there are still laws taken for granted by social media. Some countries have freedom of expression that social media tend to overuse. One good example is women would dance on some social media platforms half-naked. This act could be a ground for cyber-prostitution. But some social media platforms allow these acts and would say that it is just freedom of expression.

The law applies to all and needs implementation.  V K Rajah SC emphasized fidelity to the constitution. He said in a speech, organized by the National University of Singapore. “Fidelity to the idea of a written constitution means fidelity to its text,” he said. Thus, even social media should also practice the correct implementation of the law. The law must be exercised at all costs even online.

Overall, social media was able to implement most of the laws. These laws protect the people who signed up on social media platforms. Here are some social media laws you need to know.

Privacy laws

It is good to know that social media privacy laws are present for users. Lawmakers introduced legislation in 2012. It is prohibiting employers from asking employees, applicants for access to their accounts. This kind of law protects users from personal accounts breaches. This law also has some adjustments if the person is involved in crimes. The court of law can request access to accounts if there are ongoing hearing procedures.

Privacy laws protect people from identity theft and stalkers who could potentially hurt them. Imagine if social media platforms do not exercise such laws. It could be trouble for people using the platform.

Laws for photographs and videos.

Platforms such as Pinterest have a law about photos posted on their page. Copyright law is implemented for their users to protect them from stolen photos. They need to ask permission from the owner before they can use their photographs. Otherwise, the owners can request to have it deleted on the platform.

Videos are also a common trend on social media. If you are an aspiring vlogger, make sure that you are not using any videos that have a watermark. It means that these videos have copyright, and permission to use, even video clips, are required.

Some content creators who do not have original videos are the usual people who used other videos for their niche. Some videos are open for use but make sure to ask the owners to avoid trouble.

taking a photo of food

Laws about freedom of expression.

Social media has become the world’s commonplace for people who wanted to vent out. Many people expressed their feelings of frustration, excitement, and opinions on social media. These acts are allowed by social media to have its users say what they wanted to say.

But some users are terminated from work due to freedom of their expression. These people have posted racist comments on social media that are just unacceptable.

Firing employees because of their online behavior are somewhat too much. But some posts do not have a basis, and their only purpose is to attack another party. Though some social media platforms allow these behaviors, they could still be an issue for private companies. It will all depend on how it was said.

Social media also has filtering laws that protect viewers from gruesome or sexual content. Facebook has filters for content or photos that promote brutality and sexual abuse. It is a type of policy that Facebook implements. It is to prevent the promotion of negative behaviors in its platform.

Laws about endorsements.

Some users are getting paid to endorse products on their home page. Those who are famous influencers are the usual people who do these promotions. They get a hefty amount of money by placing ads on their videos or taking photos of products.

But a disclosure policy is associated with these endorsements. These policies include that proper promotion of the product is required. It should not affect the integrity of the product or the company that creates the brand.

Social media can be good or bad, depending on how a person sees it. It could promote positively or negatively from a person’s point of view. It could show violence or gentleness, anger, or calmness.

But regardless of the content, it is the people’s responsibility to know what they should be posting on social media. Everybody should know its effects on other people and also on their families and friends. Exercising responsibility could lessen the worries about the laws of social media. It is always best to be on the right side of things.

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