Social Media

I had mentioned a while ago in my very first ATL post that some of my work involves marketing. Well, some of that marketing involves social media. As the main social media lawyer for my business unit, I work with our strategic teams to figure out how to make the best use of social media technologies (e.g., Facebook, Youtube, blogs, smartphone apps, etc.). All within 140 characters at a time.

What’s it like? As lawyerly work goes, it’s fast-paced and feels kind of risky and cutting-edge. Kind of like Mission Impossible. You know, like if the movie had a lawyer character whose job it was to make sure that the Tom Cruise character signed a waiver every time he got a pack of explosive chewing gum. Really, even non-lawyers think this social media lawyering work is cool. Granted, the non-lawyers I’m talking about are sixty-year-old gamers who live at home with their mothers. But still!

There isn’t really a standalone body of “social media law,” so a lawyer who covers this area ends up being a sort of jack of few trades. Instead, law in social media involves work which falls into the following basic categories….

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Facebook went public less than a week ago. But, not unexpectedly, a lot has happened in the few days since. As with many highly anticipated events (e.g., the Star Wars reboot and Barack Obama’s presidency) a lot of the reaction to Facebook’s IPO has been negative and filled with disappointment.

We’ve already got shareholder lawsuits against Facebook and the NASDAQ stock exchange, a privacy lawsuit settlement, and questions about how the IPO may have revealed broader problems about the way the system works. On the upside, the company’s GC, Ted Ullyot, has been making headlines in a more positive way, which is to say the dude is making mad bank for someone working in-house.

Let’s dig in….

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Over the weekend, Twitter users received a lengthy email from the social media company providing details on significant changes to the company’s privacy policy and terms of service.

While Mark Zuckerberg was going public and getting married, the folks at Twitter made an unexpected endorsement of increasingly popular privacy protection technology

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If anyone still actually used MySpace, I think it would be news to a lot of people. That notwithstanding, the OG social networking site made headlines yesterday for settling with the FTC over some major alleged privacy problems.

It’s just more proof that by going on the internet, you are basically getting naked and showing everyone your family jewels. No one should be surprised by stuff like this anymore, but let’s see the details of the allegations, as well as what MySpace has to do now….

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About a month ago, we wrote about an interesting lawsuit that Twitter filed against the allegedly “most aggressive” Twitter spammers. The social media giant took action against companies with goofy names, such as TweetAttacks, TweetAdder, and TweetBuddy.

At least one of the defendants, Skootle, the company that developed TweetAdder, is fighting back against Twitter’s allegations. The company filed a response brief on Friday and is represented by none other than one of Above the Law’s own regular columnists.

Keep reading to see Skootle’s brief and learn which ATL columnist is helming the defense…

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Spirit Airlines is a cheap airline. They advertise a “$9 fare club.” They advertise a lot. Their goal appears to be to let everyone know, to create the reputation, that they are the low cost alternative to other airlines – just like you want everyone to know you are the “aggressive” alternative to all other “aggressive” lawyers out there that will “fight” for their clients (free consultations and payment plans available of course as well.). In fact, when you Google “Spirit Airlines,” you get this:

“Spirit Airlines – cheap tickets, cheap flights, discount airfare, cheap … ”

I’ve never flown Spirit, and I don’t know if anyone has actually flown anywhere for $9, but I do know that I’ve never heard anything good about this airline. They call themselves “cheap,” while others say they’re “bad.” They do make a ton of money, which should bring a smile to the growing number of cheap and bad lawyers out there….

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Recently, we’ve seen an increasing amount of discussion and controversy about businesses that force people to give up access to private social media information for things like job interviews, and courts that make litigants hand over login info to the opposition.

Now, according to a recent story from across the pond, certain British drinking establishments are asking prospective patrons to pony up their smartphones so bouncers can cross-check their IDs with their Facebook pages. Putting aside the real news here — the fact that apparently 6-year-olds can no longer drink alcohol in English pubs — let’s take a look at the interesting privacy implications this raises…

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Nancy 'Newsworthy' Benoit

* With the SNR Denton merger talks dead, partners waiting only to be paid before they leave, and sad, empty tables at events, LeBoeuf seems to be cooked. [DealBook / New York Times; Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)]

* A gem from the Eleventh Circuit: if you believe it’s newsworthy, it is. Even naked pictures of dead girls. Now stop hoping a hot girl dies, sickos. [CNN]

* If there’s one thing judges are good at, it’s keeping their law clerks white. They’ve made no progress in increasing diversity. [National Law Journal]

* Some law school grads bitch and moan about the “student loan scam,” but others just do what they went to school for, and sue about it. [ABC News]

* The social media machine that is Mark O’Mara can’t be stopped — judge’s orders. And George Zimmerman is going to like and retweet that until the cows come home. [Boston Herald]

* Here’s infringing on you, kid. British fashion house Burberry insists that a California company stop Bogarting its rights to Humphrey’s trademark and likeness, all for the sake of promotional materials. [Bloomberg]

* The Am Law numbers are out. PPP is up 3 percent. Dollar, dollar bill y’all. [American Lawyer]

* Hasbro — the makers of Nerf guns, a.k.a. the best toys ever — apparently hired some Baker & McKenzie attorneys to intimidate a guy who runs an Australian Nerf fan site. I hope they “intimidated” him with Nerf guns, because it would be funny, and no one would actually get hurt. [Crikey]

* At 85 years old, Congressman (and Georgetown Law grad) John Dingell learned that “teabagging” doesn’t mean what he thinks it means. Better late than never! [The Daily Dolt]

* I’m surprised that there are enough businesses horrible brave enough to ask for potential employees’ personal electronic information that it necessitates legislation. But I’m not complaining. [RedTape / MSNBC]

* Finding out that repeated concussions and head injuries may cause long-term brain damage is only surprising to people who have suffered repeated concussions and head injuries. [LexisNexis]

* A 14-year-old Georgia girl and her parents have sued some of her classmates because they acted like bitches on Facebook. Are these girls bullies? Yep. Is it the proper solution to turn the situation into 90210: Courtroom Edition? I still don’t think so. [Threat Level / Wired]

* Support local businesses, like your high-end neighborhood brothel. The Manhattan Madam is now accepting donations… to help her make bail by Mother’s Day. [Dealbreaker]

* Vote for Lat as the most likeable lawyer of 2012! [Likeable U]

I really, really hate being the one to defend stupid teenagers who get expelled from school. The ones who are kicked out for cursing online or for other forms of bullying.

Because I was a teenager once — not even that long ago — and I still clearly remember what it feels like to be on the receiving end of horrid teenage evilness. But somehow, I can’t help myself.

So here you go. Keep reading to see why the ACLU is doing the right thing by defending three eighth-grade girls who were expelled for talking about killing people on Facebook

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