Social Media

Social Media: A Legal Perspective and Analysis

Social media is a digital platform that allows its users to create and share content with others. Social media has control over a wide variety of websites and apps. It has gained prominence in our lives in a relatively short period. It has evolved into a necessary daily activity for people. Social media allows users to stay in touch by making communication more convenient. It only takes one click to share photos, videos, thoughts, ideas, and documents. Social media makes it simple to send messages and data from one part of the world to another.

The internet and social media have altered modern life. The impact of social media can be seen in a variety of fields, including communication, business, entertainment, food, lifestyle, and welfare.

Social media has evolved into an extremely useful business platform. Through online shopping, social media has advanced business. Many online businesses are making a lot of money. People now shop online due to changing shopping trends. People’s lives are so hectic that they don’t have time to go to shopping malls and spend hours shopping. Companies and brands have created online shopping sites and apps. Shopping is simple because everything is just one click away, and all dress sizes and lengths are listed. Online stores sell not only costumes but also a wide range of other products. Put the products and dresses in your online shopping cart and include the address. Your product will be delivered to the specified address and time.

Social media has gradually expanded its role beyond personal life. Social media has had a significant impact on employee recruitment and hiring. Managers have recently begun to use networking sites to examine the foundation of interviewees’ education and activities in which they are involved. They used to look at their LinkedIn profile to see where they stood in their professional lives and how much experience they had. Some companies will look through their Facebook profile to learn about their likes, dislikes, and travel history. This benefit is to meet the company’s actual person, so they can meet and interview the person in person. Social media has also aided in the organization of video calls, conferences, and meetings.

There was a time when people could not go to court and seek justice. However, social media has become a potent tool for sharing every injustice that occurs in society. It is a platform for disseminating all types of information and news. Ill-treatment cannot be concealed and kept under the control of other forces and people. It allows people to express all of the oppression, abuse, and injustice that has occurred to them. It encourages everyone to publicly advocate for their rights and speak out against violence. As a result, social media can also be used to advocate for human rights in society.

As a result of these advancements and how people are adapting to such technological changes, there is explosive growth in the use of internet facilities by unauthorized individuals. Actions such as hacking into a computer system, invasion of privacy, infringement of intellectual property rights, defamation, intellectual property fraud, and so on.

What Does Social Media Law Mean?

A growing topic of law, social media law covers both civil and criminal issues. It generally addresses legal concerns pertaining to user-generated content, internet platforms that host or transmit it, and related issues. Defamation, advertising law, intellectual property (IP) law, privacy, including the rights of social media users and third parties (for instance, when photos are posted and used online without the consent of the people depicted), and others are some of the unique legal concerns raised by social media. On occasion, content uploaded on social media may violate copyright, a trademark, or other intellectual property rights.

Who are The Social Media Attorneys?

The Communications Decency Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act are two laws related to social media litigation. Social media content can be the basis for defamation and privacy cases. Often, social networking platforms are afforded more legal protection than their users. Online users who are accused of crimes or defamation may be defended by social media attorneys, as may online services that be sued for the activities of their users. Those who fear their trademarks, logos, or copyrighted content are being unfairly utilized on social media can get assistance from attorneys who specialize in intellectual property law.

Various Forms of Social Media

Social Networking

Social networking is the most widely used platform, with the greatest number of users. It supports chat, which includes sending and receiving messages, and sharing photos and files. It includes Facebook, which has 800 million users, WhatsApp, Instagram, and others.

Blogs

Blogs are created and maintained by the user, who can also write descriptive content. The main feature of blogs is that readers can comment on the above description, and the comment trail can be followed. It is commonly used to form public opinion and solicit feedback from them.

Microblogs

Microblogs – This sort of blog is restricted to having content that does not exceed the word count of 140. The reader can read this and leave comments on it, for example, through Twitter and SMS messaging.

Vlogs And Youtube

YouTube and vlogs are two platforms where videos are shared among users. Additionally, viewers are able to remark on it. They can view the live videos as well. A video can serve as both a report on progress and a thousand-word speech.

Wikis

Wikis are online databases that enable users to create and edit pages relating to any information. These pages may also contain links to other sources, such as Wikipedia, which is the most frequently viewed website in the world.

Indian Laws Regarding Social Media

Article 19 of the Indian Constitution guarantees certain freedoms that cannot be restricted by the government and are relevant to every Indian citizen. The right includes the freedom of speech and expression under clause (2), which is the most contentious right ever and is vigorously exercised by Indian citizens, although it is subject to a number of reasonable limitations as stated in Article 16 (2) because the right is not absolute.

Information Technology Act of 2000—Section 66 A of this law, which is also quite contentious, forbids and punishes any offensive behaviour that is committed by audio, video, or records that causes harm to others. One of the key cases that exemplifies the core of Section 66A and its effects on the general public is the case of Shreya Singhal. Despite the Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate the Act, people continue to face penalties under it. 11 courts are now hearing more than 745 cases that were tried under section 66A of the Act of 2000.

Indian Penal Code 1860 – The act stipulates corrective measures to be done in the instance when there is harm to oneself, such as Sections 124A, 153A, 295A, 499 with 505, 506 discuss the charges notably sedition, fostering enmity, wilfully insulting religion, defamation, public mischief, and insulting the modesty of women. Pornography is protected by Sections 3 and 4 of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act of 1988 and is punishable under Sections 292 and 293.

Global Laws Relating To Social Media

International social networks are continually evolving and adjusting to meet the demands and reactions of different citizens across several nations. There may occasionally be more regulations and rules in place, but there may also be more freedom for users, which could cause problems and get them into trouble with the law.

Numerous nations use and modify the same social media platforms that are accessible in the United States for use on an international scale. This refers to a variety of languages, translators, and software developed and utilised to enable international communication. However, due to ignorance of these rules and their implementation, international laws designed to protect vulnerable people are often broken. Many people may suffer as a result of the holding of intellectual property and other prohibited products. Through these channels, confidential corporate information may be disclosed or shared, putting many businesses at risk of financial loss.

Numerous nations use and modify the same social media platforms that are accessible in the United States for use on an international scale. This refers to a variety of languages, translators, and software developed and utilised to enable international communication. However, due to ignorance of these rules and their implementation, international laws designed to protect vulnerable people are often broken. Many people may suffer as a result of the holding of intellectual property and other prohibited products. Through these channels, confidential corporate information may be disclosed or shared, putting many businesses at risk of financial loss.

Legal Information Regarding Digital Media

There are a few well-established laws that help to define the landscape despite the fact that social media regulations are continually evolving and altering.

  1. Anti-SLAPP statutes provide defence for anyone facing baseless claims brought to restrict free speech.
  2. Discrimination based on a disability is illegal under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
  3. The Communications Decency Act regulates obscenity and indecency on the internet.
  4. The common law trespass tort is expanded to include the virtual world of computers under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
  5. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act places restrictions on service providers’ liability while the Copyright Act establishes exclusionary rights for works of authorship.
  6. The gathering of personal information about people under 13 is restricted by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”).
  7. Interception of “any wire, oral, or electronic communication” is prohibited by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA).
  8. The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) Act gives the FTC authority to look into deceptive business practises.
  9. The Lanham Act provides protection for both trademarks and service marks.
  10. The National Labour Relations Act protects workers’ rights to take part in and carry out coordinated action to improve working conditions.
  11. The Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) forbids entities from accessing and maintaining certain private information.

Conclusion

There are 3.725 billion active social media users, and they spend an average of 142 minutes per day on the network, according to social media data. Additionally, there is a sharp increase of 328 million users between 2018 and 20197. This proves that social media has taken over a significant portion of our lives. There are other social media movements as well. Take the well-known #Metoo movement, in which everyone—including celebrities—took part and shared their experiences. This movement grew to such a size that many participants were sentenced to prison under local laws. Another campaign is to #bringbackRolacola, a confection produced by the Parle Company. Social media is both a blessing and a curse, allowing people to connect with loved ones but also making them vulnerable to cyberbullying and other forms of abuse. Therefore, in addition to passing strict rules on the subject, the government should also establish an efficient law enforcement organisation to prevent misuse.

Written By- Vanshika Singh Sengar

Lovely Professional University

 

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