Social Networks and International Law


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International social networks are constantly changing and adapting to the responses and needs of various citizens through several countries. This means tighter control and rigid laws in place sometimes, but there may also be more freedom for users that could lead to complications and legal entanglements.

The same social media outlets available in the United States are often used and adapted for international use with numerous countries involved. This means multiple languages, language translators and software created and used to permit communication between nations. However, international laws implemented to keep these persons safe are violated constantly due to a lack of knowledge about these regulations. Intellectual property and possessions of these items becomes a violation of the law, and many persons may be harmed in the process. Confidential business data could be at risk of being exposed or shared through these outlets, and numerous companies may be economically damaged.

Without a knowledge of the regulations in place, it is easy to break international laws. Employees of companies may find themselves in trouble through sharing documents, secrets and information online with innumerable strangers. This could be through sharing intellectual property, posting private data online and other crimes. When the person working for the company has signed a nondisclosure contract, he or she may face severe consequences when this agreement has been broken. Even explaining certain aspects of the job to someone through a Facebook feed or message may constitute as breaking international law or a violation of the contract. This means keeping social media from being used at work or similar restrictions.

Social Media at Work

Nondisclosure agreements are the main contract that employees sign that may lead to termination, fines or legal action. If these persons violate the agreement, it is generally accomplished through use of social media. This means that the worker has provided some detail about what is occurring at work, processes of the employment or details of products or services. When this transpires, the individual may be posting the data through messages or posts online. This could be viewed by anyone in most cases, and then the person may find himself or herself out of work. However, this could lead to legal complications for the company.

This may mean that personal communication through social media is monitored strictly. One document that employees may need to sign is an additional file that has social media usernames or addresses supplied. The latest secrets of the company may remain so through this use. However, most businesses require workers to remain away from personal websites or logins so prevent these disasters. There are few laws that govern these procedures or legal policies in effect. This does typically provide a means to create new ways of avoidance while the employee is at work. Personal electronics could be banned, cell phones may be required to stay in lockers and similar procedures.

Other Aspects of Social Media

While most of the social media uses are considered negative, it is possible that there is a positive light shed on the company. However, this is often proven to be the exception. Some companies are ok with various intellectual property being used provided the person is not taking credit for it. Other online posters attempt to show how the song or excerpts are theirs. A small number of persons that had malicious intent has grown increasingly over the years. These are internet trolls. They intend to cause pain and suffering to others online through various tactics with seemingly no reason or motive behind their actions. International laws do not have a mechanism in place to ban such activity, but numerous online persons attempt to prevent these individuals from attacking others.

Defamation of character, theft of intellectual property and keeping confidential files out of prying hands is still enforced throughout the world. However, the role of social media websites may need to increase in order to police those that intend to harm others for the sole reason of hurting online persons. Even if this is just someone at work with an email account, it is important to prevent and avert potential complications through online trolling, injuries to character or emotional trauma and similar concerns.

International Legal Help

When either a company or individual has been harmed through social media use, it is important to hire a lawyer either in the country where the incident occurred or an international legal representative so that he or she is able to take the matter to other countries if necessary.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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