Defending Your Rights & Protecting Your Interests

kent@ninomiyalaw.com
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Ninomiya Law, PLLC

focused on internet & social media law

Social media legal issues

Online Reviews

A fake review can ruin a business. We work to get them removed and can sue the poster for damages. We also help protect those unfairly sued for posting honest reviews.

Defamation

When online lies ruin reputations, we can help clear names and recover damages. We can also protect those unfairly accused of defamation who are actually exercising freedom of speech.

Revenge Porn

New laws protect victims who have their intimate images spread on the Internet regardless how the images were acquired. We work to get them removed and bring the culprits to justice.

Cyberbullying

The Internet has emboldened bullies to harass others while cowering behind their computer screens. We work to expose them and make them accountable for their misdeeds.

Hacking

Just about everything about us is now online. When accounts are hacked, entire lives can be exposed. We work to track down the hackers, recover lost accounts, and salvage stolen data.

Social Media Policies

Businesses and organizations can be held responsible for the social media actions of their employees and members. We can establish guidelines and help prevent problems.

free initial consultation

7 Step social media policy plan

Social media policies are essential in our Internet connected society. All businesses, schools, agencies, governments, clubs, and organizations need a social media policy to protect their brand, reputation, and money. 


Creating a social media policy does not need to be expensive nor time consuming, however it is a legal document so you should have a licensed attorney knowledgeable in the latest social media legal developments guide you. Social media policies must be well planned and carefully worded. Demanding too much in a social media policy can violate rights of those subject to it and could itself invite lawsuits.


Ninomiya Law, PLLC focuses on social media law. We developed the 7 Step Social Media Legal Strategy below to cover the entire process. Keep in mind that all social media legal strategies must be scaled and customized to the particular size and needs of the client. This process can be extremely simple or highly involved. If you would like us to set one up for you, we have reasonable service plans for clients of all sizes. Just click on the boxes to the right for more information.

  1. Plan: Identify your specific goals and risks for social media. Consider every aspect of your entity including crisis management, advertising, sales, customer service, employees/members, product development, expansion, and branding.
  2. Policy: Establish the rules you want your people to follow on social media keeping in mind what the law, regulations, and other authorities allow. Include employees/members as partners in the social media process. Empowering them in controlled ways will help you achieve your objectives.
  3. Handbook: Memorialize your policy in a written document that is shared with those subject to it. This establishes your due diligence. It is important to guard against creating a document that is itself illegal.
  4. Training: Provide notice to those subject to the policy, instruct them on social media expectations, and gather feedback. Training your people points them in the right direction with regard to your business/organization and is also an opportunity to learn from their collective social media experience.
  5. Acknowledgement: Gather signed documents from those subject to the policy acknowledging their understanding and acceptance. This makes enforcement of the policy must simpler if there is a violation. Again, it is important to guard against making the acknowledgment illegal.
  6. Monitoring: Set up a mechanism for keeping an eye on what is said about you on social media so you may enforce your policy and act proactively. Every employee, member, customer and client can help you monitor your brand if you establish a process. Responding to customer feedback is an excellent way to engage your client base.
  7. Adapt: Revisit these steps periodically to see if new developments require adjustments. Social media is a fast evolving medium and it is essential to keep up.​

If you are tempted to find a generic social media policy and the Internet and adopt it as your own, be warned that it would be a bad idea for several reasons:

  • Instead of protecting you from legal problems, a do-it-yourself social media policy that doesn’t address your unique needs could create new legal problems that you didn’t have before.
  • Varying business models, employees, and industries require different approaches. What works for one could expose you to legal problems in another.
  • Different industries are subject to different regulatory schemes that impact social media. A lawful social media policy in one industry can be unlawful in another.
  • Much of what you find on the Internet is outdated forms that do not consider new laws, regulations, and case precedent.
  • Laws impacting social media can vary significantly between jurisdictions
  • What works in the real world does not always work on social media. Your social media policy must specifically address social media.
  • If a lawyer creates your social media policy, they are responsible for their legal advice. If you do it by yourself, you are legally responsible for anything you miss legally.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

10 step social media strategy for families

Ninomiya Law, PLLC focuses on social media legal issues. We developed this 10 step social media strategy for social media users, children, and families. Keep in mind that all social media legal strategies must be scaled and customized to the particular size and needs of the client. This process can be extremely simple or highly involved. If you would like us to set one up for you, we have reasonable service plans for clients of all sizes.


  1. Familiarize yourself with your child’s social media use. Most parents have no idea what their children do on social media or which apps they frequent.
  2. Establish clear and nonnegotiable guidelines for social media use. Children must understand that social media is a privilege, not a right. It can and will be taken away at the first sign of abuse.
  3. Urge children to think about the consequences. Poor social media choices can get you kicked off a team or out of an organization, cost you an employment or educational opportunity, and humiliate your entire family. Warn children be suspicious whenever anyone pressures them to share personal information. This includes location, school, birthdates, and pictures. This is especially true of intimate photos. Predators roam social media looking for young and naïve victims. Ignore cyberbullies. Emotional retaliation usually invites more bullying and could turn a victim into a perpetrator.
  4. Remind children that they can't unsend an image or message. Once you hit send you have no control over where it goes or who sees it. It will not matter if you later delete it from your account. It still exists somewhere else. Help children gain perspective on social media virality. Anything and everything they post has the potential to be seen by everyone they know in an instant and remain on the Internet forever. Tell them not to post anything online that they would not want you and the rest of the world to see.
  5. Make children aware that they can be guilty just by possessing or forwarding something improper on social media. A naked picture of a minor friend is legally child pornography. This is a strict liability crime. It does not matter whether the possessor took or profited from the picture. Avoid gossip. Repeating it can lure you into a situation that you did not start but can be guilty of perpetuating.
  6. Require children to get parent permission before opening any new social media account or downloading an app. Parents must know all account usernames and passwords. Because they are not allowed to post anything they need to hide, they should not have a problem with this.
  7. Secure your child's social media accounts and smartphones with password protection. This will make it more difficult for an unauthorized person to access their personal information. Update to the latest operating system. New versions contain security fixes for recently discovered breaches.
  8. Disable geolocation on your child's smartphone. GPS can tag the exact location of your child when they post anything on social media.
  9. Befriend your children on social media. If they have an account on a website then so should you. Not only can you see what your children are doing, you can see what is being sent to them. If they know that you are watching they will think twice before doing something foolish.
  10. ​Open channels of communication about social media. Let your children know that they won’t be in trouble for bringing a suspicious situation to your attention. Seeking trusted advice can prevent you from making a costly and permanent mistake. Report all inappropriate social media activity with your child to the appropriate authority. This could be a school, police, or the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at cybertipline.com.

Keep in mind that even the brightest children from the most protective families are still just children. They lack the maturity to make all the decisions their parents would like. Because children tend to discount much of what their parents tell them, it is helpful for these messages to be reinforced by another authority figure. School social media education programs are effective ways to reinforce what parents are teaching children about social media.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.