Social media has become a meeting point for many, whether it is on Facebook, Twitter, or even Instagram.
People are meeting new faces and making new friends on a daily basis, and in most cases, these are people they’ve never seen and maybe will never see.
Social networks come with lots of goodies. You can express your feelings, share comments, photos, videos, locations and many others. While this might be entertaining, it seems some actions might land you in jail. As you keep meeting fresh faces each day, it becomes a lot easier to share some photos of people we even don’t know over these platforms.
It is more than easy for a stranger to get your photo and share it on social media without your consent. In the current high-tech world, this is increasingly becoming a risky action and it could easily land you a lawsuit. It has happened for big names in the entertainment world such as Shaquille O’Neal as well as giant companies such as Facebook, it could also happen to you.
In cases of social media publicity, the right of publicity comes into play. However, with this tech environment still finding its way into the system, it is only recognized in about 30 states, but still with varied parameters. While the most affected persons as far as social media publicity is concerned are socialites and celebrities, the right to publicity applies to all people as far as the 30 states are concerned.
Usually, the states will consider the case to be valid where one’s name, likeness, personal or identity is used without their consent and in a way that causes damage to the victim. Furthermore, in case the person responsible is gaining any benefits or advantage from the same makes it an eligible case. This is quite easy to tell on social media, especially where foul language is used; however, the issue of gaining benefits is still in huge debate, with some states requiring that the poster to receive some commercial benefits in return for the case to be seen as valid.
There are others that view it otherwise, claiming that the right of publicity should not just be limited to monetary benefits for the poster. Things like gaining more publicity through “likes” and “shares” could also land you in trouble. So, if you post someone else’s photo and as a result get massive traction with respect to things such as “likes, shares, favorites” and so on, you could easily be legally responsible.
However, as mentioned earlier, the tech industry is still finding its way into the law and at the moment, there is no any reference that can be used with respect to social media actions. So, if you post any unflattering photos of strangers to any social media platform, do so at your own risk.
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