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Terms & Conditions

| Jon Montagna |

kitty-lawyerBy now, you’ve likely accepted that social media is here to stay. You probably even spend at least a few minutes each day posting, pinning, tweeting or just scrolling through your news feed. But what happens when your account becomes entangled in some very public legal drama?

If you’ve heard the hype about Amazon’s alleged false reviews, you know that even a shopping account can land you in hot water. The online global marketplace is suing over 1,000 “John Does” for supposedly accepting money in exchange for posting fake reviews on products. These John Does are real Amazon users, breaking the terms and conditions of their Amazon accounts.

If you thought you were safe from legal consequences behind your web handle, you were wrong.

Your legal professionals at Montagna Klein Camden are here if you get caught up in a social media or eCommerce lawsuit. We’re not saying you need a lawyer to read the fine print before creating an Instagram account, but at least be aware that you are effectively signing a contract of conduct, and it’s binding.

Read the fine print. When signing up for an account like Amazon, you probably scrolled right that little tiny text box labeled Terms & Conditions, and clicked “I Accept.” When you did that, you agreed to, among other things, not post false reviews. Funny how that works, huh?

All reviews can go the same way – in the past, businesses have tried adding a clause to consumer contracts that prevent them from leaving a negative review. In some states, this has now been banned. Endorsements have their caveats, too. If you’ve been paid to endorse a product, you legally must also add a disclaimer to that effect.

If you own a business, you probably have a social account or two dedicated to promoting it. If you’re sharing contests, promotions or sweepstakes on social media, make sure it’s from a designated business account. Doing so from a personal account would violate the contract you agreed to when signing up, and could get you deleted.

Think before you tweet…and post, pin, like or share. There are consequences in the digital universe, too, and anonymity is an illusion. Call a legal professional at Montagna Klein Camden in Norfolk if you need a free legal consultation, and we’ll help you build your case today.

 

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