Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Who Owns Your Tweets, Yourself or the Social Media Site? - Hillgrove PR

News analysis about social media and the ownership of your posts, brought to by Hillgrove PR, London.

“Twitter’s terms of service make absolutely clear that its users ‘own’ their own content. Our filing with the court reaffirms our steadfast commitment to defending those rights for our users,” Twitter’s lawyer, Ben Lee, said during court hearings in a case involving a user arrested during an Occupy Wall Street protest in New York.

Supporting the stand taken by Twitter, the American Civil Liberties Union commended Twitter for defending free speech rights of its users. But a US court has ordered Twitter to release old messages and details about the user, saying defendant’s privacy would not be violated if the tweets were handed over. “If you post a tweet, just like if you scream it out the window, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy,” Judge Matthew Sciarrino wrote in his decision, according to a news report by BBC on 2nd July 2012.

The Twitter company was disappointed with the court ruling. The social networking site tried to convince the court that it misunderstood how the Twitter service worked. The BBC news service reported that Twitter said the Stored Communications Act gave its members the right to challenge requests for information on their user history, and that it did not want to take on legal battles that its users could pursue independently. But the court seemed not impressed with the arguments made by Twitter and this latest ruling is sure to become an important law point concerning such cases in the future.

Recently another social networking site, the Facebook, encountered legal suits against the way it uses its ‘Like’ button where its users were automatically becoming unpaid sponsors or promoters when they click Like on a product or service advertised by Facebook. The Facebook has then agreed to give a chance or option to its users to decline the opportunity to be unpaid endorsers.

Taking into account the large-scale popularity the social media enjoys today, Hillgrove PR stands firm with the point that the governments around the world will have to formulate clear-cut rules and regulations on issues like privacy of individual users, exploitation of the users by advertising giants and also illegal utilization of this media by antisocial elements.

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