The Litigation Risks of Social Media

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The Litigation Risks of Social Media

Social media has revolutionized not only the way people communicate but also how businesses connect with their customers. Most companies today engage in social media marketing online in order to promote their brand and products or services. However, this should be done with an understanding of potential legal risks that can come with social media engagement, which may include:


The prevalence of social media makes it easier than ever for people to make defamatory statements, and a company may be sued for publishing a false statement online if it harms someone’s reputation. Companies need to remain vigilant about monitoring their social media pages for potentially defamatory comments and act promptly to remove the content to avoid liability for continued exposure.

IP infringement.

Posting or sharing copyrighted content — photos, graphics, or text — online without permission can make you vulnerable to an infringement claim. Just because it has been posted somewhere else does not mean you are entitled to share it. Giving credit to the copyright holder does not excuse infringement — you must have express written permission for reuse.

Spoliation of evidence.

If you are a party to litigation, you have a legal duty to preserve electronically stored information (ESI). This includes social media posts, messages, profiles, images, and other information. If a party fails to preserve ESI, the court may order additional discovery to recover or replace it. If the information cannot be recovered or replaced, then the court may impose sanctions on the offending party. If the court deems the failure to produce ESI was intentional and meant to deprive the other party of the use of the ESI in litigation, it may dismiss the action or enter a default judgment.

When you are facing any type of business dispute, you need an experienced Arizona trial attorney to obtain the best possible result. Contact Williams Commercial Law Group, L.L.P., at (602) 256-9400 to speak with us about your case.


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