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Monthly Archives: December 2016

Making News: Balancing Newsworthiness and Privacy in the Age of Algorithms

Erin C. Carroll


Making News: Balancing Newsworthiness and Privacy in the Age of Algorithms


In deciding privacy lawsuits against media defendants, courts have for decades deferred to the media. They have given it wide berth to determine what is newsworthy and so, what is protected under the First Amendment. And in doing so, they have often spoken reverently of the editorial process and journalistic decision-making.

Yet, in just the last several years, news production and consumption has changed dramatically. As we get more of our news from digital and social media sites, the role of information gatekeeper is shifting from journalists to computer engineers, programmers, and app designers. The algorithms that the latter write and that underlie Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms are not only influencing what we read but are prompting journalists to approach their craft differently.

While the Restatement (Second) of Torts says that a glance at any morning newspaper can confirm what qualifies as newsworthy, this article argues that the modern-day corollary (which might involve a glance at a Facebook News Feed) is not true. If we want to meaningfully balance privacy and First Amendment rights, then courts should not be so quick to defer to the press in privacy tort cases, especially given that courts’ assumptions about how the press makes newsworthiness decisions may no longer be accurate. This article offers several suggestions for making better-reasoned decisions in privacy cases against the press.


Merry Christmas: Kamala Harris Files Brand New Criminal Charges Against Backpage Execs After Last Ones Were Tossed Out


Techdirt: Merry Christmas: Kamala Harris Files Brand New Criminal Charges Against Backpage Execs After Last Ones Were Tossed Out

Never let it be said that Kamala Harris gives up after being told her totally bogus legal crusade is totally bogus. She’s now filed brand new charges against the execs who run Backpage.com — despite having the very same lawsuit thrown out a few weeks ago.


Twitter cuts law enforcement access to social media search tool over surveillance fears


Twitter cuts law enforcement access to social media search tool over surveillance fear

– Twitter has restricted law enforcement access to a breaking news tool designed to prevent crimes and assist first responders, addressing concerns from civil rights groups that say its surveillance.

German law would fine social media sites “publishing” fake news

Arstechnica.com: German law would fine social media sites “publishing” fake news

Germany’s coalition government is threatening to bring in legislation early next year that would see Facebook and other social media firms fined up to €500,000 (£420,000) for “publishing” fake news.

“Market dominating platforms like Facebook will be legally required to build a legal protection office in Germany that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” parliamentary chair of the Social Democratic Party Thomas Oppermann told Der Spiegel, which was translated on Deutsche Welle

IBM Watson: Taking on the Cybercriminals

Wired.co.uk IBM Watson: Taking on the Cybercriminals

Airbnb Seeks an Attorney


Airbnb Seeks an Attorney

Job description

Founded in August of 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique travel experiences around the world. Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb allows people to Belong Anywhere through unique travel experiences at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and over 190 countries. We promote a culture of curiosity, humanity, and creativity through our product, brand, and, most importantly, our people.

Airbnb is seeking an exceptional Marketing & Advertising Counsel to join our growing legal team. This is a truly unique opportunity to assist in globally supporting Airbnb’s award-winning Superbrand Marketing and PR/Communications organizations in developing, producing and distributing some of the most cutting-edge marketing campaigns, promotional contests and first-in-class content. The Marketing & Advertising Counsel will report to Airbnb’s Senior IP & Marketing Counsel in San Francisco.

Primary Responsibilities

    • Review marketing and advertising campaigns/content from concept to execution and provide legal assessments relative to applicable laws and regulations and risk assessment and real-time or near real-time problem solving
    • Partner with Superbrand Marketing, PR/Comms, Public Policy and legal teams across the globe to drive, develop and ensure compliance with applicable global and regional legal requirements and controls related to IP and marketing/advertising laws as well as short-term rental regulations
    • Create and deliver marketing and advertising law compliance training for teams worldwide
    • Stay apprised of developments in legal and regulatory developments affecting Airbnb’s marketing, advertising and PR/comms activities
    • Partner with members of the legal and customer experience teams to protect Airbnb’s IP rights and platform integrity through evolving Marketing & IP guidelines and cross-functional processes
    • Assist with litigation, disputes and regulatory investigations that may arise in connection with Airbnb’s marketing, advertising, and PR/comms activities
    • Assist with trademark prosecution and IP enforcement, as necessary

Candidates should have a strong attention to detail, be execution oriented, thrive in fast-paced, high-intensity environments, have strong business acumen, superior analytical and writing skills, and should be enthusiastic, well organized and team focused. Strong interpersonal and communication skills and a good sense of humor are essential.


  • JD and a minimum of five (5) years of marketing/advertising counseling (with a strong preference for relevant in-house experience with a leading global technology company)
  • Member of the California Bar (in good standing) or eligible to register as California Registered In-House Counsel
  • Knowledge of and experience applying regulations and industry guidelines (including FTC, CAN-SPAM, COPPA, TCPA) and self-regulatory standards to mobile, native and social media marketing as well as to more conventional marketing and advertising methods, including television, offers, promotions, sweepstakes and promotion, claims, sponsorships, press releases and other press activities.
  • Demonstrated ability to deliver timely, effective and strategic legal advice that is current with the evolving legal and regulatory expectations
  • Established ability to independently manage medium to high complexity matters, including issues of first impression
  • Experience advising clients on claim substantiation, direct marketing, trademark, copyright and other IP protections in advertising
  • Experience with celebrity and influencer endorsements on social media and internet advertising strongly preferred.
  • Skilled at contributing to strategic business conversations, key business priorities and revenue goals and integrating these into ongoing issue spotting and risk assessments on marketing, advertising and PR/comms initiatives
  • Able to create and deliver engaging educational programs related to marketing and advertising compliance
  • Demonstrated ability to perform beyond expectations in a fast-paced high growth environment, including the ability to multi-task and effectively prioritize.
  • Familiarity with CDA 230, DMCA, E-Commerce Directive strongly preferred
  • Experience with international trademark clearance, trademark prosecution and/or IP litigation/enforcement strongly preferred
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • High level of integrity and professionalism and willingness to grow.
  • Highly developed sense of humor.

D.C. Bar Issues Lengthy, Restrictive Opinion On Social Media For Lawyers


Article by Nicole Black critiquing the social media ethics opinion by the D.C. Bar.

D.C. Bar Issues Lengthy, Restrictive Opinion On Social Media For Lawyers

In November, the District of Columbia Bar issued an opinion that was over 7,000 words long. In Opinion 370, the Committee provided a rather in depth analysis on the ethics of lawyers using social media for both marketing and personal use.

This lengthy opinion is unnecessarily restrictive and and is a perfect example of a knee jerk reaction to technology that only serves to stifle lawyers’ use of online tools. Rather than issue a measured response to social media based on analogies to similar offline conduct, the Committee instead treated online interaction and communication by attorneys as suspect and something to be discouraged…