Today you hear endless stories about mishaps on social media from bullying, to harassment, to sexist remarks. Even though most of us know such actions are harmful it seems they slip out so much easier when being typed by a person lurking behind a screen.
But, looking past the amount of obscene word transactions that take place online looms issues that have effected written and spoken language for some time. If you took a government and/or politics class in school you may be familiar with the terms libel and slander. Libel is defamation through written word while slander is defamation through spoken word. These aren’t simple laws, as you have to prove harm and malicious intent and also that the statement is false, and so on. In addition, the rules are different for those that are considered public figures. I would encourage you to look at the thorough descriptions of many relevant legal terms on The Legal Guide For Bloggers.
So – how does social media and its users abide by such laws. For some, this may come to a surprise but there have been many lawsuits stemming from content someone decided to post to social media. To read the full article on the lawsuits visit Is That Legal.
The moral of the story is that what you write on social media and any internet platforms has repercussions. And I am not insinuating that you are bullying people, but the issue has arose that certain entities are looking to sue for what individuals wrote on social media. This seems to go against the review fad where we encourage users to write a review making sites more transparent. Also there are blurred lines between what is legal free speech. Here are some situations where speaking your mind didn’t work out for some folks:
1. Minor student sues a school district after they use an image pulled from her social media site to feature in a ‘what not to wear’ presentation.
2. Sam’s Club supervisor fired for posts made calling out employees dishonesty about sick days.
3. Airline agent sues passenger for rant of social media posts describing the agent as having the worse customer service.
4. Sheriff fired workers for liking his election opponent.
5. Nurse was suspended for private posts that were screen shotted by one of here followers and then sent to her manager.
To read the full stories click here.