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The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech... more +
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech or the press, preventing citizens from peacefully assembling, or interfering with citizens' ability to petition the government for redress of their grievances. The First Amendment is one of the most sacred aspects of the American legal tradition and has spawned a vast body of jurisprudence and commentary. less -

Fake and Consequences: Weathering the Reputational Risks and Financial Fallout of “News” that Abuses

In today’s political climate, the phrase “fake news” gets bandied about quite a bit. In addition to its more traditional meaning—news that is false, purposefully misrepresented or outright propaganda—fake news is also...more

Federal Court rules that Elected Official Violated First Amendment when Banning Commenter on the Official’s Public Facebook Page

by Tucker Arensberg, P.C. on

The District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued a recent decision that that should remind public officials and employees that if they have social media websites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), the websites may be...more

Municipal Officials: Mind Your Social Media!

by Hodgson Russ LLP on

When can a municipal official violate a resident’s free speech? By blocking their comments on a social media page (i.e., Facebook), used at least in-part to carry out public duties. The false sense of freedom to control...more

Why Banning Criminals From The Web Doesn’t Work

by Ifrah PLLC on

A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in Packingham v. North Carolina, 137 S. Ct. 1730 (U.S. 2017) invalidating a state law outlawing registered sex offenders from accessing websites which could...more

Digital Disruptions: Handling Social Media Misuse By Students And Educators

by Fisher Phillips on

Beginning with the launch of Myspace and Facebook in the early part of the last decade, social media communication has taken the world by storm. Today, social media networking is the primary means of communicating about one’s...more

Social Links: SCOTUS strikes down law banning sex offenders from social media, denies cert in “dancing baby” case; Germany may...

The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that a North Carolina law that the state has used to prosecute more than 1,000 sex offenders for posting on social media is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment....more

SCOTUS Gets Social: Does the First Amendment Protect the Right to Post, Snap and Chat?

by Bryan Cave on

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued one of its first decisions addressing the relationship between the First Amendment and the Internet. In Packingham v. North Carolina, 582 U.S. ___ (June 19, 2017), the Court holds that a...more

Supreme Court Declares First Amendment Interest in Access to Social Networks

by Fenwick & West LLP on

The internet has become so essential to American public discourse that saying so is almost trite now. Members of Congress regularly use social media to engage with constituents. The President has turned Twitter into one of...more

Social Media and Student Discipline – Where Are We?

The United States Supreme Court stated nearly 50 years ago that public school students do not shed their rights to free speech at the schoolhouse gate. In Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist., the Court struck down...more

Social Links: Court disallows firing over Facebook page rant; Ether threatens Bitcoin’s reign as top digital currency; NBA slam...

One year since agreeing with the European Commission to remove hate speech within 24 hours of receiving a complaint about it, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube are removing flagged content an average of 59% of the...more

4th Circuit sets a match to battalion chief's First Amendment claims

by McNair Law Firm, P.A. on

Lately, we’ve been seeing more cases in which public-sector employees accuse their governmental employer of violating the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Such claims can arise in many ways, but with the...more

Policing Social Media Policies

by Sands Anderson PC on

Police officers in Petersburg had a First Amendment right to post to Facebook their complaints about their police department. A department policy limiting social media postings was unconstitutional. So held the U.S. Court...more

Who’s Responsible for Policing Fake News?

by Jackson Walker on

For many of us, gone are the days of reading the morning newspaper over a cup of coffee. Instead, the majority of U.S. adults now obtain their news via social media. We’ve grown accustomed to having information at our...more

Shock the Monkey: Police Officer Photo Post on Social Media Costs Him His Job

When is a “joke” so not funny that you lose your job? The Mississippi Court of Appeals gave some direction on that question, affirming the City of Meridian’s termination of a police officer for an inappropriate (arguably...more

Facebook Fake News Problem May Impact Businesses Operating Open Web Sites

by Butler Snow LLP on

Recent criticisms lobbed at Facebook for fake news stories on its platform that allegedly tipped the election in Donald Trump’s favor may spell trouble for businesses operating open websites where users can post content. ...more

Is There A Right To Facebook In The Constitution? North Carolina Cyberlaw Goes To The United States Supreme Court.

by Poyner Spruill LLP on

The Supreme Court of the United States has just agreed to the hear Packingham v. United States. The grant of certiorari reflects the increasing integration of cyberlaw with mainstream constitutional litigation. Packingham,...more

VR/AR in a Real World

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

In case you have been living under a rock, virtual reality (VR) and its first cousin, augmented reality (AR), have arrived. The highly publicized and long-awaited head-mounted displays (HMDs), the headsets through which the...more

Social Media Platforms and a Company’s Right to Free Expression

Political campaigns have increasingly turned to social media as a channel to reach voters. Social media not only has the power to reach audiences numbering in the billions, but it also has the power to change the behavior of...more

North Carolina Cyberbullying statute struck down as unconstitutional

On February 9, 2012, Robert Bishop was arrested and charged with one count of cyberbullying under the North Carolina Cyberbullying statute, which states that it is “unlawful for any person to use a computer or computer...more

North Carolina Supreme Court Strikes Down Cyberbullying Statute On Free Speech Grounds

by Poyner Spruill LLP on

In State v. Bishop (June 10, 2016), the Supreme Court of North Carolina reversed a unanimous panel of the Court of Appeals and struck down the state’s cyberbullying statute, N.C.G.S. § 14-458.1 as unconstitutional....more

Friday Links

We’re trying something new here at Socially Aware: In addition to our usual social-media and tech-law analyses and updates, we’re going to end each work week with a list of links to interesting social media stories around the...more

Entertainment and Media Litigation Update - October 2015

The "Dancing Baby" Case—Ninth Circuit Rules That "Fair Use" Must First Be Considered Before Sending Takedown Notices Under the DMCA - Why it matters: On September 14, 2015, the Ninth Circuit ruled in Lenz v. Universal...more

Jeepers, Creepers: The Launch of the New “Peeple” App and Privacy Concerns

by McGuireWoods LLP on

It’s 12:43 in the morning, and you have had a tough day at work. You are tired, thinking slowly, and feeling a little anxious that you should already be in bed to catch some rest before a 6 a.m. wake-up call. And then you get...more

FRANCHISOR 101: Franchise Systems Can Fight Online Negativity

by Lewitt Hackman on

One of today's challenges faced by franchisors and franchise systems is negative remarks posted online by a customer, ex-employee, or even a dissatisfied franchisee. Negative comments appear in sites created specifically to...more

Status Updates: Court nixes VPPA claim; lawyer suspended over blog posts; Facebook ‘unfriending’ cited in bullying decision

Tale of the tape. The Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), which requires video service providers to destroy personally identifiable information after a specified time, doesn’t provide a private right of action for plaintiffs...more

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