How Free Speech and Social Media Fit Together

social media viewpointsYou’ve heard it or have seen it posted…

Someone saying they can say whatever they want, post whatever they want and no-one can do anything to them.

As if the First Amendment is their sword and shield. And you can’t do anything about it.

Freedom of speech. Three words that get thrown around and written about so often that what the expression means is more about misinformation than truth.

And misinformation can be detrimental to online professionals as they try to separate the wheat from the chaff and understand a right so important to the foundation of the United States that the founding fathers made it the first amendment to the Constitution to better clarify what rights belong to its citizens.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Source: First Amendment, U.S. Constitution

This article will specifically focus on the portion relating to speech and how this applies to the online community.

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How to Craft a Privacy Policy for Your Website

social media how toDoes your website have a privacy policy?

This article will tell you what you need to know to create a privacy policy for your website.

Why a Privacy Policy?

As online professionals and entrepreneurs, you know that collecting information on visitors to your (or your client’s) website can help tailor goods and services. It offers insight that previously could only be gathered through expensive research. Today, though, data collection can be easy and inexpensive.

But with this type of information, businesses face a daunting task of protecting the data and telling visitors and/or consumers what will be done with the information. Regardless of whether site visitors read the terms and conditions, companies can’t overlook the creation of policies that set out how such information will be used.

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Are You Disclosing? What You Need to Know about FTC Rules and Social Media

social media how toHave you wondered about U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) disclosure regulations? Wondering whether you’ve been compliant?

Keep reading for a detailed understanding of FTC rules and regulations on endorsements and testimonials in social media.

Some background…

Any time the US Government implements new regulations, there is discussion, debate, information and plenty of misinformation.

Nearly 2 years ago, in December 2009, the FTC revised, for the first time in 3 decades, its rules and regulations about endorsements and testimonials in advertising.

The prior rules were made long before the Internet and needed to be updated to account for this new type of media. Since implementing the new FTC Disclosure Guidelines PDF for endorsements and testimonials in advertising, bloggers have been given a multitude of interpretations, rules, best practices and how-to’s. Sadly, most of the information has been more scare tactics than useful.

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The Dark Side of Blogging Fame (a Wendy Piersall Interview)

social media expert interviewIn this video I interview Wendy Piersall of WendyPiersall.com.  Wendy’s had a lot of exposure from her blogging and provides some interesting insights into the dark side of being popular online.

Health issues forced Wendy to re-evaluate her pursuit of fame. And when she focused on paying the bills these activities were the first things she dropped.

Wendy also gives some great information for both businesses and bloggers concerning the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s ruling on blogging financial disclosures.  Listen to hear the whole story.

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