Volume 90: Issue 5

Keynote: Privacy & Consumer Protection in Social Media

By Julie Brill

Keynote remarks by Julie Brill, Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, at the North Carolina Law Review’s 2011 Symposium “Social Networks and the Law”

90 N.C. L. Rev. 1295 (2012)

Remarks: Putting Consumers at the Heart of the Social Media Revolution: Toward a Personal Property Interest to Protect Privacy

By Timothy D. Sparapani

Remarks by Timothy D. Sparapani, former Public Policy Director for Facebook, Inc., at the North Carolina Law Review’s 2011 Symposium “Social Networks and the Law”

90 N.C. L. Rev. 1309 (2012)

Unpacking Privacy’s Price

By Jan Whittington & Chris Jay Hoofnagle

This Article introduces a transaction cost economic framework for interpreting the roles consumers play in social networking services (“SNSs”). It explains why the exchange between consumers and SNSs is not simple and discrete, but rather a continuous transaction with atypical attributes. These exchanges are difficult for consumers to understand and come with costs that are significant and unanticipated. Under current structures of governance, there is no exit for consumers who… READ MORE

90 N.C. L. Rev. 1327 (2012)

Social Networks, Privacy, and Freedom of Association: Data Protection vs. Data Empowerment

By Peter Swire

This Article examines the tension between social networks as enablers of political mobilization (sharing information is good) and as threats to privacy (sharing information is bad). A central theme is that social networks are platforms to create associations. Linguistically, “networks” and “associations” are close synonyms; they both depend on “links” and “relationships.” This Article introduces the idea that limits on such networks can deeply implicate the freedom of association. Part… READ MORE

90 N.C. L. Rev. 1371 (2012)

Differential Privacy as a Response to the Reidentification Threat: The Facebook Advertiser Case Study

By Andrew Chin & Anne Klinefelter

Recent computer science research on the reidentification of individuals from anonymized data has given some observers in the legal community the impression that the utilization of data is incompatible with strong privacy guarantees, leaving few options for balancing privacy and utility in various data-intensive settings. This bleak assessment is incomplete and somewhat misleading, however, because it fails to recognize the promise of technologies that support anonymity under a standard that… READ MORE

90 N.C. L. Rev. 1417 (2012)

Real Remedies for Virtual Injuries

By Anita Bernstein

Social networking, which offers enhancements to human lives at a low marginal cost, also contributes to dignitary and other nonpecuniary harms. Statements and images presented in electronic media can give rise to defamation, invasion of privacy, trademark infringement, and false advertising claims. Accurate enough as descriptions of harm, these doctrines do not do an adequate job of repair. An injurious communication preserved by electronic means and distributed through social networking… READ MORE

90 N.C. L. Rev. 1547 (2012)

Social Media Amplify Consumer Investment in Trademarks

By Deborah R. Gerhardt

New ways to use brands in social media are pressuring traditional conceptions of trademark law. Contrary to much trademark doctrine, every brand is built by a community, not by its proprietor alone. I previously described this phenomenon as consumer investment in trademarks. Internet technology amplified the effects of the consumer investment model, enabling consumers to gain more power over the marks of others. This Article shows that social media have… READ MORE

90 N.C. L. Rev. 1491 (2012)

Social Media and the Press

By Lilli Levi

The Internet and social media are transforming news as we knew it, yet the precise consequences of these changes are not yet clear. Journalists now rely on Twitter, crowdsourcing is available through social media, facts and stories are googled, traditional print newspapers have websites and reporter blogs, “open newsrooms” invite community participation in the editorial process itself, video from citizen journalists is commonly used in mainstream media storytelling, bloggers consider themselves journalists,… READ MORE

90 N.C. L. Rev. 1531 (2012)

Social Media, Public School Teachers, and the First Amendment

By Mary-Rose Papandrea

Education officials around the country are grappling with issues surrounding public school teachers’ use of social media. Typically concerned that social media makes it easier for teachers to engage in inappropriate communications with their students, officials have adopted guidelines that prohibit K-12 teachers from using social media to communicate with their students for noncurricular purposes. In addition, teachers are frequently punished for content they or others post on social media… READ MORE

90 N.C. L. Rev. 1597 (2012)

Facebook’s Afterlife

By Jason Mazzone

People spend an increasing part of their lives using Facebook and other online social networking sites. However, virtually no law regulates what happens to a person’s online existence after his or her death. This is true even though individuals have privacy interests in materials they post to social networking sites; such sites are repositories of intellectual property, as well as materials important to family members and friends; and historians of… READ MORE

90 N.C. L. Rev. 1643 (2012)

The Social Layer of Freedom of Information Law

By David S. Levine

requires transparency and accountability—information shared with the public that allows the public to know what its government is doing. It is equally uncontroversial to say that social media allow for an unprecedented amount of informal but structured dissemination and analysis of information. Despite these two basic points, U.S. freedom of information law has failed to harness the power of these new social media networks and, more importantly, formats in a… READ MORE

90 N.C. L. Rev. 1687 (2012)

Crowdfunding or Fraudfunding? Social Networks and the Securities Laws—Why the Specially Tailored Exemption Must Be Conditioned on Meaningful Disclosure

By Thomas Lee Hazen

Social networks have been used as a medium for financing films and other performing arts, as well as for charitable solicitations. Crowdfunding can also be used to finance small business enterprises, which, in contrast to other crowdfunding efforts, is a highly regulated activity by virtue of the securities laws. Securities laws are designed to provide investor protection. This Article provides an overview of the applicable securities laws and evaluates the… READ MORE

90 N.C. L. Rev. 1735 (2012)

Antitrust and Social Networking

By Spencer Weber Waller

IBM. AT&T. Microsoft. Intel. IBM (redux). Google. Twitter. Facebook. These firms all have been the subject of actual or rumored antitrust scrutiny over the past three decades. All are (or were) leaders in key high-tech sectors. All have been referred to as “monopolies” in the colloquial sense, and in the more technical antitrust sense, and each has been the target of public and private investigation and/or antitrust litigation relating to… READ MORE

90 N.C. L. Rev. 1771 (2012)

Facebookistan

By Anupam Chandler

Who rules Facebookistan? Who makes the rules that govern the way a tenth of humanity connects on the Internet? The United States, France, China, or Mark Zuckerberg? Facebook represents a type of multinational corporation new to the world stage—one that raises issues different than those raised by earlier generations of multinational corporations. A review of international controversies involving Facebook reveals that Facebook has changed some of its policies as a… READ MORE

90 N.C. L. Rev. 1807 (2012)