Tag Archives: Social Media

Ninth Circuit Upholds CDA Immunity Against Plaintiff’s Attempt to “Push[] the Envelope of Creative Pleading”

On Monday, a panel of the Ninth Circuit unanimously ruled that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) protected Yelp from liability relating to an allegedly defamatory user-generated review.  In doing so, the Court rejected several attempts by the Plaintiff to plead around the CDA’s broad immunity provisions by accusing Yelp of playing a … Continue Reading

Senators Introduce Online Terrorist Activity Reporting Bill

Senators Feinstein (D-CA) and Burr (R-NC) introduced legislation today that would impose reporting duties on entities that “obtain[] actual knowledge of any terrorist activity.”  The bill applies to entities “engaged in providing an electronic communication service or a remote computing service to the public,” which includes social media companies.  Those entities are required to report … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Limits Criminal Law’s Reach to Social Media Posts; Avoids First Amendment Issue

In the U.S. Supreme Court’s first opinion involving social media, the majority held that posting a threat is not a federal crime without proof of the defendant’s mental state. Anthony Douglas Elonis posted rap lyrics on Facebook that contained violent statements about his wife, co-workers, a kindergarten class, and law enforcement.  He was charged with … Continue Reading

Video: A Conversation with Covington about the Latest NLRB Facebook Case

Meena Harris, a member of Covington’s Global Privacy and Data Security Practice Group, spoke with LXBN TV about the National Labor Relations Board’s recent ruling that two employees of a sports bar and restaurant were unlawfully discharged for their participation in a Facebook discussion criticizing their employer.  You can view the interview here.… Continue Reading

NLRB Finds Employee’s Facebook “Like” and Comment Protected By Labor Law

Last Friday, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) ruled that two employees of a sports bar and restaurant were unlawfully discharged for their participation in a Facebook discussion criticizing their employer.  In the Facebook discussion that prompted the firings, a former employee complained in a status update that she owed more taxes than expected because … Continue Reading

FTC Cole Haan Closing Letter: Encouraging Pinterest “Pins” in a Contest Can Trigger Endorsement Guidelines

In a closing letter declining to bring enforcement action against shoemaker Cole Haan, FTC staff stated that it believes “Pins” on Pinterest featuring a company’s products can constitute an endorsement of those products, and that if the pins are incentivized by the opportunity to win a significant prize in a contest, contestants should be instructed to label … Continue Reading

FDA Issues Untitled Letter Focused On Promotional Claims On Facebook

FDA has previously included claims made on Facebook or other social media platforms along with broader allegations of misbranding using a variety of sources in its enforcement letters . . . [b]y contrast, the present untitled letter focuses solely on a single statement on a Facebook page, and does not take issue with any statements outside the Facebook page.… Continue Reading

FDA Issues Draft Guidance on Postmarketing Requirements for Promotion on Social Media

On January 13, 2014, FDA issued a draft guidance document entitled “Fulfilling Regulatory Requirements for Postmarketing Submissions of Interactive Promotional Media for Prescription Human and Animal Drugs and Biologics.” This draft guidance addresses the procedural topic of submitting Forms FDA 2253 and 2301 when firms use social media such as blogs, microblogs, social networking sites, … Continue Reading

Key Takeaways from Last Week’s FTC Workshop on Native Advertising: Many Questions and Few Answers

By Katharine Goodloe and Morgan Kennedy Last week, the FTC hosted a public workshop on native advertising to examine how best to address occasions in which certain media outlets blur the traditional line between advertisements and editorial content.  The workshop brought together a collection of brand-name companies that use native advertising, content-placement companies that help … Continue Reading

CA Governor Signs Bill Providing Online Protections For Minors

Earlier this month, we blogged about the California Senate’s passage of the bill titled “Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World”, which prohibits certain targeted advertising to California minors and requires that minors be allowed to delete materials they have posted online.  Yesterday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the legislation, and it will … Continue Reading

First Amendment Protects ‘Liking’ on Social Media

A federal appellate court on Wednesday ruled that the First Amendment protects the act of “liking” on Facebook or other social media. In Bland v. Roberts, a sheriff’s deputy “liked” the Facebook page of the candidate who was challenging the incumbent sheriff in the upcoming elections. After the incumbent won re-election, the deputy was fired. … Continue Reading

Courts Recognize First Amendment Right to Social Media Use

A North Carolina appellate court recently held that a statewide ban on sex offenders’ access to social media violates the First Amendment.  The opinion is the latest in a string of recent federal and state court decisions to recognize a First Amendment right to access social media.  In 2008, North Carolina’s General Assembly enacted the … Continue Reading

New Jersey Restricts Employer Access to Employees’ Personal Online Accounts

New Jersey has enacted restrictions on the ability of employers to access employees’ social media accounts, becoming the twelfth state to enact such legislation. More than 30 state legislatures have considered bills on the topic in 2013, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. New Restrictions in New Jersey New Jersey’s new law, signed … Continue Reading

CA Legislature Passes Bill Establishing Online Protections for Minors

Last Friday the California Senate unanimously passed legislation titled, “Privacy Rights for California Minors in the Digital World,” which prohibits certain types of marketing to minors (defined as a natural person under the age of 18 residing in California) and allows minors to delete materials they have posted online.  The bill, which already cleared the … Continue Reading

The NLRB Strikes Down Employer Policies on Social Media and the Confidentiality of Complaint Investigations

Many employers have been surprised by recent rulings that two common employment policies run afoul of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) even if their employees are not union members.  Based on a legitimate interest in preserving confidentiality and privacy, many employers have adopted social media policies limiting what employees may post on Facebook or … Continue Reading

Utah, New Mexico, Arkansas are Latest States to Restrict Access by Employers or Schools to Personal Social Media Accounts

After gaining prominence in 2012, state legislation restricting access to personal social media accounts by employers and schools has remained active.  Three more states have enacted their own restrictions thus far in 2013, and bills are pending in more than two dozen other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In 2012, Illinois … Continue Reading

Covington Event: Insurance Coverage for Employment-Related Liabilities

Employees’ use of social media and other online services in their professional and personal lives has increased the risk of an employee bringing claims against a current or former employer.  In the past three years, for example, employers have had to defend against claims related to ownership of social media accounts used by former employees … Continue Reading

5 Privacy and Data Security Measures That Can Protect Your Company Against Trade Secret Theft

At a recent forum in New York, a team of Covington lawyers addressed the growing concern among companies that their most valuable assets could leave the building on a thumb drive in an employee’s pocket or be disclosed through an employee’s use of a social media site.  Addressing this threat involves many disciplines beyond trade … Continue Reading

Bill Would Set Federal Restrictions on Employer, School Access to Personal Online Accounts

A bill reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday would prohibit employers and schools from requesting or demanding access to employees’ or students’ personal social-media accounts. The bill, titled the “Social Networking Online Protection Act,” would bar employers from requesting or requiring that employees or job applicants provide the employer access to personal … Continue Reading
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