Long ago in internet time, way back in the 1990s, Congress passed the Communications Decency Act (CDA). A key feature of the CDA is Section 230 of the statute. In essence, Section 230 generally creates immunity for internet service providers (ISPs) with respect to third-party content posted on their sites. Congress desired a strong and robust commercial internet that would be good for the economy. Congress did not believe that the commercial internet would thrive if ISPs were saddled with the incredible cost and burden of monitoring the content on their sites and having the tremendous task of deciding content that could remain and content that should be removed from their sites. Continue reading Social Media Companies Seek Government Content Regulation?
Social media outlets now connect billions of people around the globe on a constant basis. Facebook, by headcount, has become the largest nation on the planet, with approximately two billion users. A tremendous number of these users communicate with others via their social media accounts many times a day. Of course, there are many positive aspects of social media communications; but, regrettably, there are palpable negatives as well. Continue reading What to Do About Social Media Bullying and Hate
Every single day, billions of people spend countless seconds, minutes, and hours on social media. Why?
This occurs in part because it is the business of social media companies to do their best to hold you captive. They want their sites to be “sticky,” so that you spend your time (and ultimately your money) there.
Thus, at bottom, as businesses that have as their appropriate mission the duty to maximize profits for shareholders, they compete fiercely for the attention of social media users.
Once upon a time, we received news in traditional formats from finite media sources by way of newspapers, television, and radio. And the news we received from those sources did not vary tremendously one from another. The news just seemed to be the news. As Walter Cronkite closed on his CBS nightly newscast, “And that’s the way it is” — in essence meaning, “Those are the facts.”
Times plainly have changed. There are many sources of news. People can choose a news outlet that suits their own political preferences. For example, for someone of a conservative, Republican persuasion, Fox News might be the news outlet of choice. Fox tends to present the news more in line with that end of the political spectrum. And, of course, there are other news outlets that favor the liberal, Democrat end of the political spectrum. So what are the “facts” when the reporting of the same events can be interpreted very differently?
We made it through 2016. So, what’s in store in 2017 when it comes to hot tech issues? There are many hot issues, such as big data, intellectual property disputes, the sharing economy, and drones. But this blog covers the three potential biggest issues. Drum roll please — here we go!
1. Security — Cybercrime & Cyberwarfare
Hacking, hacking, hacking …
Security on the internet is the first and foremost tech issue for 2017.
Hacking is penetrating all sorts of systems. For example, individuals are vulnerable to cybercrime, as their personally identifiable information is stolen when companies are hacked.
And cyberwarfare appears to be here and now, and not just some speculation about the future. Indeed, the Senate is preparing at this moment to hold hearings about the implications of apparent Russian hacking that meddled in our recent presidential election.
This year likely will be dominated by efforts to combat threats to internet security.
Upholding a student’s right to parody an adjunct professor by means of an imposter Twitter account, the Court of Appeals of Michigan last week affirmed a trial court’s order dismissing the professor’s lawsuit against the student. Continue reading Imposter Twitter Account Protected by First Amendment, Rules Michigan Court
A Magistrate Judge in a New York federal court recently had words of caution for social media-loving litigants and the lawyers who want to read their posts. In a decision refusing to penalize a plaintiff for supposedly deleting posts on her Facebook account, the Magistrate Judge in Thurmond v. Bowman, pending in the Western District of New York, discussed the relevance of social media accounts to claims for emotional distress and cautioned the plaintiff not to change her privacy settings.
Social media sites host many thousands of photos posted by people on a daily basis. An obvious issue arises as to whether and when these sites might be liable for copyright infringement with respect to any of the posted photos.
A recent case is worthy of consideration.
Kristen Pierson, a professional photographer who has won awards for her work, has filed legal action in California against Twitter, according to Wired, with respect to a copyrighted photo that was shared on Twitter. Continue reading Twitter Faces Copyright Infringement Allegations
The Internet provides an abundance of benefits in so many aspects of our lives. We have information at our fingertips. We are in touch with our family and friends in myriad new and different ways. We can make purchases from our computers and our phones, without the hassle of having to go to out to the store. And the list of benefits go on and on.
But that is not the end of our story. No, indeed. The Internet, unfortunately, also creates many risks and liabilities for us as well. Recent data suggest the following disturbing trends. Continue reading Cyber Risks Are Here and Now
We live in a world in which we are bombarded with information data from many sources, and so much around us on the tech landscape is transparent. How, then, do we keep our tech love alive? Read on.
Spoiling the Surprise?
Yes, it is wonderful that we have so many interesting and creative information technology outlets. But at times we are robbed of the magic and mystique of learning about the world with surprise and personal experience.
Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with and learn about our friends. However, it becomes tiring and redundant to be notified of posts from the same people over and over again with respect to the most mundane matters.
And sure, it is wonderful to be able read online reviews of restaurants and hotels, but then when we arrive we generally find what we were expecting based on advance notice.
Of course, online trailers for movies and television shows help us to select what to watch, but so much is shown in the trailers that we know beforehand where the movies and shows will go.
When it comes to music, we have access to so much from online outlets that we can know so many more bands and songs than ever before; but at the same time it can become rare to hear new and different musical works.