Social media has created incredible opportunities for influencers to make money doing what they love and for brands to market their goods and services worldwide. However, before you step into the influencer role, it is important that you stay aware of the laws and regulations regarding the use of social media and online platforms. Below we will go over some of the top social media legal issues influencers need to watch out for and provide tips on how to avoid them.
FTC Strict Regulations
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) places strict regulations on online advertising, including product endorsements. For instance, when running an online advertisement, according to the FTC, advertisers need to tell the truth and not be misleading to their customers. Furthermore, all advertising claims need to be substantiated.
As a result, influencers who endorse products must comply with FTC laws when making recommendations. They also need to fully disclose their relationships with a brand and make sure they comply with the regulations against deceptive advertising.
Consent From Followers
As an influencer, your reputation is essential to your overall success. That is why in this business, it is crucial to monitor what people are saying about you and, if needed, respond to any threats that pop up that could put you in legal jeopardy.
Additionally, client testimonials can lead to massive headaches, even positive ones. For example, as an influencer, if you reproduce feedback from someone else without their permission, it can be viewed as a privacy violation.
Violations of Trademark Rights, Intellectual Property, or Copyright
If you post content owned by somebody else, you may be in violation of another person’s trademark rights, intellectual property, or copyright. For instance, when an influencer creates a video and has music on in the background. Even if their actions were unintentional, this music could lead to the content being removed or muted, or other legal consequences can develop.
Publicity Rights Violations
If an influencer uses a picture of someone for commercial use without their approval, the person can sue the influencer for misappropriation of likeness. This issue often arises when posts are published with bystanders and the influencer does not have written consent in the form of a release to use the person’s name or image.
Another place this violation arises is when an influencer uses a photo of a well-known person or a celebrity. The person in the picture could raise a right of publicity claim. That is why as an influencer, before you use another person’s name, image, or likeness, make sure you have permission to do so, and you use it in the context in which the person believed it would be used.
Need Help with Social Media Legal Issues? Contact Ardent Guardian Today
If you want to avoid social media legal issues as an influencer, consider working with an experienced legal professional who can verify that you are not violating any social media laws.
At Ardent Guardian, our job titles include attorney, Certified Financial Planner, and CPA, meaning that if your business needs help with financial, tax, or legal problems, we are here for you.
For more information regarding social media legal issues and how our legal team can protect you and your business, contact Ardent Guardian today or call us at 703-592-6774.