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Monthly Archives: May 2015

Crafting a Social Media Policy for the Work Place

JD Supra has a interesting article about the challenges employers have in drafting a social media policy for employees that does not run afoul of their rights.

JD Supra: Is Your Social Media Policy Overbroad?

Profiting from a Stranger’s Instagram Photos


Profiting from a Stranger’s Instagram Photos

The Washington Post has an interesting article about Instagram photos and how they can be used by others for profit. The article highlights the efforts of one artist, Richard Prince who created giant screen shots of photos that had been posted on Instagram by other people.  His collection is now on display at the Frieze Art Fair in New York.  According to one source, nearly every piece has been sold for $90,000.  Apparently, Prince made slight modifications to every one of his artistic works

Washington Post: You Instagram Photos Aren’t Really Yours

CA’s Online Eraser Law for Minors


Here is an interesting article, albeit brief, discussing California’s Eraser Law.  For those who are unfamiliar with this law, it allows minors to remove certain online information.  While the exact contours of the law are not known (the law only came into existence at the beginning of the year), it appears to provide anyone under 18 with: (i) the ability to remove or request removal of content that the minor posted on the website or mobile app; (ii) notice and clear instruction on how to do so; and (iii) notice that such removal may not remove all traces of such posting.

JDSupra: Eraser Laws: Forgetting a Minor’s Past to Save His Future

Media And Technology Associate

Media And Technology Associate 

The growing Chicago office (under 50 attorneys) of our national law firm client is seeking a media and technology associate with 3-5 years of experience in mobile, social and/or emerging media, advertising, technology and trademark law. Any transactional, regulatory and/or privacy experience is a plus. This is a great opportunity to be part of dynamic and expanding core practice group of an entrepreneurial firm.

Digital Detox for Lawyers: 5 Steps to Help You Switch Off

Digital Detox for Lawyers: 5 Steps to Help You Switch Off

Gabrielle Golding



Nowadays, too many lawyers allow for their working lives to infiltrate their leisure time, causing their opportunities to truly relax to be cut short, or to become almost non-existent. In the legal profession, there are obvious benefits of technology in their daily lives. However, mobile phones, eternal Internet access and scores of social media accounts mean that they are always ‘on call’ and forever accessible to clients, the other side, their workmates, friends…the list goes on. Taking on a digital detox does not mean they need to resort to ignoring their emails altogether, or exchanging their iPhone for a carrier pigeon – rather, there are simple changes they can make to more effectively manage your interactions with technology. This article compiles a list of 5 simple steps that lawyers can trial to help them to ‘switch off.’

The Law and Ethics of Experiments on Social Media Users

James Grimmelmann


The Law and Ethics of Experiments on Social Media Users

If you were on Facebook in January 2012, there is a chance that it tried to make you sad. If you were on OkCupid, there is a chance that it tried to match you up with someone incompatible. These were social psychology experiments: Facebook and OkCupid systematically manipulated people’s environments to test their reactions. Academics doing similar experiments in a university setting would typically need to obtain informed consent from participants and approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB). But Facebook and OkCupid, and the academics working with Facebook, had neither. This, I believe, is a problem.

These experiments offer us a moment for reflection, a chance to discuss the law and ethics of experiments on social media users. In this essay, I will consider social media research through the prism of the Facebook and OkCupid experiments. I will focus on three questions: (1) When do social media experiments constitute research involving people? (2) What does it take to obtain the informed consent of users? (3) What institutions are responsible for reviewing such experiments?

Part I offers an initial review of the Facebook and OkCupid research projects. Part II — the bulk of the essay — takes up these questions under current law. Part III considers the broader question of what the rules for regulating social media research ought to be. The most immediately pressing priority is to prevent the unraveling of the existing ethical framework through IRB laundering, in which a regulated institution outsources enough work to an unregulated one to evade IRB review and informed consent. Looking further ahead, I offer some tentative thoughts on the scope of coverage, informed consent, and oversight for social media experiments. Finally, the conclusion reflects on how we should think about “consent” in this setting.

Digital Scarlet Letters: Social Media Stigmatization of the Poor and What Can Be Done

Thomas H. Koenig


Michael Rustad


Digital Scarlet Letters: Social Media Stigmatization of the Poor and What Can Be Done


The Internet has created a permanent and pervasive treasure trove of digital fingerprints beyond any scale created by prior information technologies such as television, radio, or the telephone. Internet users increasingly live their private lives in public through the self-immolation of their own privacy. Blogging, photo sharing, texting, instant messaging, and other postings on social media sites obliterate the division between the public and the private spheres. Facebook is where a less educated person can share with friends but this also means sharing how inept they are in managing privacy settings. Wearing gang styles such as a baseball cap worn backwards, colored bandanas, and baggy pants are considered to be cool styles by minority youth but create misleading stereotypes when viewed by mainstream Americans. A minority youth wearing a six-point star, a crescent moon, or a Playboy Bunny symbol to be cool is, in effect, sporting a self-inflicted digital scarlet letter, as these are also styles associated with gang membership. These stigmatizing images are posted on a 24/7 worldwide bulletin board, creating a virtual Scarlet Letter that negatively impacts educational, employment, and other opportunities. We provide a sociological overview of how social media amplifies stereotypic images of the poor that undermine their economic and educational opportunities. We explore the ways that increased Internet and social media usage is a catalyst for advancing equality but also can devalue the uneducated and the poor. The Internet has lifted the veil of individual privacy, so that information about factors like race, class, gender, sexual orientation, obesity, physical handicaps, unpopular opinions, and nonmainstream clothing styles become easily visible to employers, potential employers, college admissions personnel, law enforcement officials, welfare providers, loan companies, landlords, merchants, and many other societal decision makers.Youthful hijinks should not stigmatize an individual forever. We argue for a limited right to be forgotten especially “relevant, when the data subject has given their consent as a child, when not being fully aware of the risks involved by the processing, and later wants to remove such personal data especially on the Internet.” The EU’s “right to erasure” provision would be particularly useful to America’s poor and less educated who seek to remove evidence of their spoiled identity.