Inaccurate or misleading information on the Internet is nothing new, but the number of “fake news” sites and false or misleading articles being shared on social media has skyrocketed in recent months. Last week, an article that President Obama issued an executive order banning fake news sites was itself a fake news story.
Facebook started using third party fact checkers. Google News now employs labels indicating that posts have been “fact checked”. This fact checking must be harmonized with First Amendment rights, including criticism and parody. There is also an individual responsibility for both professional and personal accounts. For example, Assistant Professor of Communications and Media at Merrimack College Melissa Zimdars has provided her students with a guide to help detect fake news sites.
The proliferation of fake news requires diligence. Organizational risks resulting from the surge in fake news include:
reliance on false or misleading information in making business or operational decisions becoming an actual subject of a fake news story and having your online advertisements appear on fake news sites.
Read the Snopes article on the false fake news ban story here. Professor Zimdars’ guide for detecting fake news sites is available here. Contact us at Ossian Law regarding any information technology law question.
UPCOMING PRESENTATIONS & WORKSHOPS
“2017’s Hot Topics in Information Technology Law”
Ossian Law P.C., Wednesday, January 25th, 5:30- 7:00 p.m.
701 Woodward Heights, Suite 117
Ferndale, MI 48220
Medical device hacking, fake news sites and the law, benefits and risks of artificial intelligence, fiduciary access to digital assets and drone regulation are just a few of the topics that Information Technology attorney and Ossian Law P.C. Founder and CEO Kathy Ossian will cover in this annual informative and interesting session. Hear how new technologies may impact your organization and gain insight toward minimizing risk and liabilities. Complimentary admission includes heavy hors d’oeuvres. Networking from 5:30-6:00 with presentation at 6:00. Space is limited. Register here today!
“Social Media 2017: Addressing Corporate Risks”
Practicing Law Institute, Wednesday, February 15, 2017
1177 6th Ave.
New York, NY 10036
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter, Yelp, YouTube and other social media sites are transforming not only the daily lives of consumers, but also how companies interact with consumers. Indeed, even the largest, most conservative blue-chip corporations have embraced social media; one study revealed that, of the Fortune Global 500, 93% were on LinkedIn; 85% had Twitter accounts; 74% had a presence on Facebook; and 64% had a YouTube channel; these numbers will only increase over time.
However, along with the exciting new marketing opportunities presented by social media comes challenging new legal issues. In seeking to capitalize on the social media gold rush, is your company taking the time to identify and address the attendant legal risks? The good news is that, merely by undertaking simple, low-cost precautions, companies seeking to use social media can significantly reduce their potential liability exposure.
Full day event culminates with an in-house panel addresses hot issues and emerging trends, and provides creative solutions (moderated by Kathy Ossian of Ossian Law P.C.) More information available here.
Source: Ossian Law