Social Media Attorney + Social Media Law firm

Premier social media attorney and social media law firm with cutting-edge experience advising digital marketing clientele on the range of legal issues surrounding social media, including advertising and promotions, compliance, influencer agreements, platform guidelines, intellectual property, terms of use, dispute resolution, privacy and contract issues

Social media lawyer Richard B. Newman provides comprehensive counsel to advertising and marketing clientle that seek guidance regarding legal and regulatory aspects of their promotional campaigns and activities, including those involving the use of social media channels and the development of social media programs.

Social Media Attorney

Social media attorney Richard B. Newman of Hinch Newman LLP provides advice to marketers on virutally all aspects of social media, such as the inherent risks associated with customer engagement, how to optimize social media engagement and strategic social media promotional structuring considerations.

The social media law firm of Hinch Newman LLP is a recognized leader in digital marketing, advising clients on applicable legal regulatory regimes governing the use of social media, including, but not limited to, advertising compliance, regualtory defense, influencer regulations and related agreements, user generated content liability, privacy, defamation, intellectual property, platform policies and terms of use, licensing and enforcement; performance marketing, endorsements and testimonials and dispute resolution.

Incorporating social media into marketing campaigns come with inherent legal regulatory risks.  The law treats advertising and marketing via social media just as it does via other media.  As a leading social media lawyer, Mr. Newman aims to meet clients' business goals while simultaneously mininizing potential liability exposure.

Social Media Lawyer to Advise on Various Platform Guidelines

Socia meda platform have independent terms, guidelines and use restrictions.  These restrictions may also include legal regulatory obligations.  Consequently, advertising compliance, including, but not limited to, representations, intellectual property use, the use of celebrity name/likeness, and the use of user generated content are of paramount importance.  As a leading social media law firm, Hinch Newman LLP works alongside its clients to mitigate liability exposure and enhance the ability to meet business objectives.

Social media attorneys such as Richard Newman assist clients to properly structure social media campaigns across various popular platforms, including, without limitation, Meta, X, YouTube and LinkedIn.  Some platforms may prohibit the dissemination of advertising or promotional materials, while others may not.  Contact an experienced social media lawyer for counsel regarding social networking website rules that may restrict how marketers are able to use specific platforms.

Guidelines Concerning Endorsements and Testimonials on Social Media

The FTC recently amended its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (the “Guides”) with new and revised principles.

Various social media platforms permit users to share their interests with friends and followers by clicking a button or sharing a link to show that the user is a fan of a particular business, product, website or service.  According to the Guides, if a user writes about how much he/she likes something he/she purschased on his/her own and there is no relationship with the advertiser, no disclosure is necessary.  However, if it is part of a sponsored campaign, the user being compensated (e.g., getting a discount on a future purchase or being entered into a sweepstakes for a significant prize), or another "material connection" exists, a disclosure is appropriate.

Additionally, if a user is rewarded for participating in an online campaigns on behalf of brands (or another "material connection" exists) and clicks a “like” button, pins a picture or shares a link to show that he/she is a fan of a particular business, product, website or service, a disclosure is probably required.  What about platform features that do not permit users to make a disclosure?  Consult with an experienced social media law attorney to discuss important considerations.

Social media platforms that have built-in feature that allow users to disclose material connections, including paid endorsements, may not be sufficient, alone.  Experienced social media network legal counsel can assist marketers with assessing whether additional disclosure-related measures may be advisable.

The FTC offers guidance on Endorsements, Influencers and Reviews.

What are an Advertiser's and Intermediary's Responsibilities for Third-Party Conduct on Social Media?

Advertisers and intermediaries are responsible for substantiating product claims and "clear and conspicuous" disclosures, and should have reasonable monitoring, training, compliance and remedial action programs in place.  Without limitation, affiliate and network marketers are required to disclose material relationships with third-parties in a clear and conspicuous manner so that consumers are able to assess how much weight to give an endorsement.

Social media lawyers with experience working closely with adverters, affiliate networks, lead generators and other intermediaries are well-positioned to advise on such responsibilities, including the development and implementation of customized, liability limiting measures.

Influencer Lawyer Disclosures 101 on Social Media

If you work with brands to recommend or endorse products then you need to copmly with applicable legal regulations, including the Guides.  For example, if you endorse a product or service through social media, the endorsement message must make it obvious when there is a “material connection” with the brand. A “material connection” to the brand may include, without limitation, a personal, family or employment relationship or a financial (not limited to money) relationship – such as the brand paying you or giving you free or discounted products or services.  Consumers must be provided an opportunity to evaluate how much weight to give the endorsement.

Make sure that consumers will see and understand disclosures.  They must be difficule to miss and be placed with the the endorsement message itself.  Disclosures are likely to be missed if they appear only on an "About Me" or profile page, at the end of posts or videos, or anywhere that requires a person to click "More."  Do not mix disclosures into a group of hashtags or links.  Various social media platforms may require the superimposition of disclosure over pictures.  Endorsement in videos and live streams also have specific legal requirements in order to be considered compliant.

Influencer lawyer Richard Newman advises clients on responsibilties when it comes to making these disclosures, and how to comply with laws against deceptive advertisements.  For example, tags, likes, pins and similar ways of showing that you like a brand or product can be considered endorsements.

Social Media and Influencer Attorney on Soliciting and Paying for Online Reviews

Federal and state regulatory agencies actively police, investigate and initiate enforcement action against businesses that write or procure fake reviews, and paying supposedly independent websites for good rankings.

When soliciting reviews or paying others to improve your online reputation, consider the following in order to avoid violating the FTC Act:

  • Know platofrm and website rules
  • Do not seek reviews from those that have not used the products or service
  • Do not ask family, friends, employees or contractors to write reviews of your business (unless you ensure that proper and legal disclosures are made)
  • Avoid seeking only positive reviews
  • Ensure clear and conspicuous dislosures are made by review platforms that display consumer reviews of other companies' products and services
  • Do attempt to deceptively manipulate the existence of negative reviews

Consult with a social media lawyer about under what circumstances you might be liable for what third-parties do on your behalf, including, without limitation, SEO companies.

Intellectual Property Issues on Social Media Platforms

The protection of trademarks and copyrights on social media platforms is extremely important in order to prevent third-party abuse of your valuable intellectual property.  The failure to do so can result in severe reputational damage.  Experienced social media network counsel can advise on intellectual property registration and protection, including platform terms and conditions that may provide additional remedial options for the non-infringing party (e.g., account suspension and removal of infringing content).

Social Networking Site Terms and Conditions

Social networking websites generally have terms and conditions that govern the use of their platforms.  Additionally, marketers that operate their own social media platforms (including podcasts and blogs) require terms of use that set forth do's and dont's vis-a-vis platform use.  Professionally draft social media platform terms and conditions that attempt to prohibit unlawful conduct can minimize liability exposure for the operator, including, but not limited to, private parties and government regualtory agencies.

User-Generated Content (UGC)

User-generated content (UGC) is any content (e.g., text, videos, images, reviews, etc.)  that is created by third-parties, rather than brands.  Sometimes, marketing on social media networking platforms utlize user-generated content within advertising campaigns.  However, using UGC possesses some degree of risk, including, but not limited to, defamation, violation of privacy rights, violating of intellectual property rights and deceptive advertising.  An experienced social media lawyer can advise on how to minimize such liability exposure when UGC is disseminated in connection with a promotion or marketing campaign, such as broad prohibitions, obtaining written releases, monitoring, removal and disclaimer.

Social Media Platforms and Data Privacy

Data privacy legal regulatory issues are implicated when utilizing social media to promote a product or service.  Consulting  with qualified legal counsel can assist brands to minimize potential liaiblity exposure related to the collection, use and disclosure of personally identifiable information.  Social networking platforms often have their own privacy policies that govern data privacy issues.  Marketers should ensure that campaigns do not violate applicable legal regulations - including, but not limited to, protections regarding minors - or a platform's privacy policy, and ensure that promises made regarding privacy and data practices are complied with.

How Can a Social Media Platform Protect Itself?

Various laws provide website owners and operators, including social networking platforms, certain protection against legal liability for third-party content.  For example and without limitation, the Communications Decency Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act provide some immunity.

The Communication Decency Act provides Internet service providers and website operators broad protection from liability for content created by third-parties.  Section 230 of the CDA provides immunity to interactive computer service providers, which includes website operators.  Importantly, the CDA does not provide immunity from liability if an ISP or website operator plays a role in content creation, such as editing the content.

The DMCA generally protects Internet “service providers” and website owners from liability for copyright infringement if a third-party initiated the delivery of the allegedly infringing content and the service provider/owners did not edit or selectively disseminate the content.  The DMCA contains “take-down” procedures and are useful for marketers that wish to be proactive about copyright infringement.  In order to be eligible for the DMCA “safe harbors,” an Internet service provider/owner must establish a policy that provides for termination of a repeat infringer’s access to the Internet service; designate an agent registered with the U.S. Copyright Office to receive copyright infringement notices; and remove allegedly infringing content upon receiving notice of the alleged
infringement.

Contact a social media attorney that concentrates exclusively on social media network law and related  litigation matters to discuss your rights and obligations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • What is a Social Media Lawyer?

    A social media lawyer is an attorney that assists marketing clientele to structure promotions and advise on issues such as advertsiing law, Internet law, endorsements and influcencers, online intellectual property, user-generated content, website agreements, and data privacy.  Social media attorneys also defend marketers that are accused of deceptive advertising.

  • How Can a Social Media Law Firm Help Clients Optimize Social Media Campaigns?

    A social media law firm can assist clients to optimize social media campaigs by minimizing the risk of legal or regulatory consequences while counseling clients on legal regulations applicable to the use of social media platforms.