Social Media

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17 March 2016

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Social Media

Discuss the four components of a legally astute social media marketing manager who utilizes social media outlets for consumer transactions and how each component can mitigate the risk involved in doing business in cyberspace.

The four characteristics of a legally astute manager are: an acceptance of how important the law is to the success of the organization, a proactive attitude toward legal issues and regulations, the ability to use informed judgment when faced with decisions involving legal implications, and having the knowledge of specific laws, regulations, tools and resources. Social media marketing manager should be well educated about these four components.

Today, more and more companies are using the social media for marketing purposes. Moreover, you might fall far behind, if you don’t. So, it’s important to be well informed about legal aspects of social media, since it’s a new way for building relationships with the customers. List and analyze methods of alternative dispute resolution and determine which would be most effective in resolving genuine disputes that arise with consumers who may make purchases from businesses that provide links via social media.

Cortes, P. (n/d) talks about online dispute resolutions: ODR in the consumer context refers to the use of ICT tools and methods (usually alternative to the court system) employed by businesses and consumers (B2C) to settle conflicts that arise out of economic transactions between the parties, particularly in e-commerce. It is often distinguished from other fields where ODR is used, such as in the commercial field (B2B), in the public sphere to resolve government and citizen (G2C) disputes, and in the resolution of disputes related to intellectual property. A consumer transaction (B2C), akin to a consumer dispute, will be one where an individual, acting on a personal capacity, buys goods or services for his or her personal use. Conversely, a business is an individual or an entity that acts on a professional capacity selling goods or services as part of their profession.

In a B2C dispute, the aggrieved party is frequently the consumer as they normally pay in advance for their purchased goods and services. Consequently, the consumer is the weaker party in a dispute where the business has the payment and the experience of dealing with similar disputes. Consumers will often get more involved in the dispute, taking it more personal, and thus requiring a more transformative solution, while the business is mostly interested in resolving the dispute as fast and inexpensively as possible. In certain cases, businesses will be keen in resolving the dispute in order to maintain their reputation. This is relevant when, as it happens in eBay, the buyer leaves feedback after a transaction. When ODR is effectively used in this way, it has an added value for the parties; it increases the consumers’ trust in those online sellers that provide ODR services. Greater trust means that reliable sellers would boost their trade and consumers will be protected from the potential abuse by the dominant party in the transaction.

ODR services may be employed to ensure that consumers’ rights are respected by the online vendor, hence enhancing consumers’ confidence in the online transaction.1 As a result, ODR would ultimately enhance the business’s ability to sell while at the same time protecting the consumer’s ability to participate safely in e-commerce. E-commerce is thought to be one of the areas where ODR will flourish as it seems logical for parties that enter into disputes online to use the same medium, the Internet, to resolve their disputes. The resolution of small value disputes that inevitably arise out of millions of transactions taking place every day between parties located far from each other require the use of cost-efficient methods of dispute resolution. Examples of ODR providers that resolve high volume of consumer disputes are eBay and PayPal, which act as third neutral parties encouraging first business and consumers to reach amicable agreements through automated negotiation, and when parties cannot reach consensual agreements, they adjudicate the disputes. Since consumer transactions on social media can occur across state lines, determine how the federal government can bet control these transactions. Selis; Ramasastry;

Kim; Smith (n/d) have noted that the Web have provided tremendous opportunities for both businesses and customers. Businesses can reach lots of customers across the globe in much easier and faster ways. Customers can complete their transactions a lot faster too. They can also find anything they want. However, online transactions also create possibilities for online crime too. Below are some laws that were created by the government for online transaction regulations: The United States does not have a comprehensive privacy statute that governs the collection and use of personally identifiable information, either online or through traditional business practices. There are, however, a number of sector-specific laws that govern the collection and use of data. 1. COPPA

Currently, no federal statutes require the placement of privacy policies on Internet web sites other than the Children’s Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA). COPPA is applicable only to web sites collecting information from children who are younger than 13 years old.53 The law became effective on April 1, 2000. The Act requires Internet operators, including ISPs and web site operators, to: (1) Provide parents with conspicuous notice of what information is collected, how the information will be used, and the websiteÕs disclosure practices; (2) Obtain prior, verifiable parental consent for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information from children (there are limited exceptions); (3) Provide parents the opportunity to view and prevent the further use of personal information that has been collected on the website; (4) Limit collection of personal information for a childÕs online participation in a game, prize offer, or other activity to information that is reasonably necessary for that activity; and (5) Establish and maintain reasonable procedures to protect the confidentiality, security, and integrity of the personal information that is collected. 2. Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Modernization Act (GLBA)

The GLBA was signed into law on November 12, 1999 by President Clinton. Title V of the GLBA governs the collection, use, and dissemination of non-public consumer financial information by financial institutions. Gramm-Leach-Bliley requires financial institutions to:

(1) Provide clear and conspicuous notice to consumers of their privacy policy upon establishing the customer relationship and at least annually thereafter; (2) Give consumers the opportunity to Òopt outÓ of having their non-public personal information disclosed to nonaffiliated third parties; and (3) Provide a reasonable method for consumers to Òopt outÓ of such disclosures to nonaffiliated third parties. 3. Other Statutes, Regulations, and Directives Containing Provisions Protecting Privacy of Consumer Information Include: a. Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 (47 USC ¤521 et seq., ¤611) This Act addresses concerns about the ability of interactive cable systems to track cable consumer viewing or buying habits. It prohibits the collection of personally identifiable information without the consumer’s prior consent except as needed to render service provided by the operator or to prevent interception. b. Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (47 USC ¤¤1001-1- 10; ¤1021; 18 USC ¤2522)

This Act establishes protection for cordless telephone conversations and establishes a warrant requirement for government access to e-mail addresses. c. Driver Privacy Protection Act of 1994, and as amended in 1999 This law protects state motor vehicle records and restricts their dissemination to only authorized parties and in many instances only for specified purposes. The 1999 amendments tie state compliance to the appropriation of federal transportation funds for states. d. Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (18 USC ¤1367, ¤ 2232, ¤2510 et seq., ¤2701 et seq., ¤3117, ¤3121 et seq.)

This Act protects all forms of electronic transmissions, including video, text, audio and data from unauthorized interception. e. Electronic Fund Transfer Act (15 USC ¤ 1693)
The Act requires financial institutions to include in an initial account disclosure the circumstances under which it will disclose information to third parties. f. Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 USC ¤1681 et seq.)

This Act regulates the disclosure of personal information by consumer credit reporting services. It requires such services to adopt reasonable procedures to ensure the accuracy of personal information contained in their credit reports. It also provides a process for consumers to review and correct inaccurate information on a credit report. Credit report information can be shared with affiliates when a consumer is told the information may be shared and is given the opportunity to opt out from information sharing with affiliates.

The FCRA does not restrict the amount or type of information to be released to third party inquirers when the reporting agency has reason to believe it will be used for credit, employment or insurance evaluations or other Òlegitimate business needsÓ affecting the individual consumer. It prohibits those who are no credit reporting agencies from disseminating or redistributing credit information. The law does not explicitly address the sharing of transactional, empirical information. This silence has been interpreted by the Office of the Comptroller to mean that the information can be shared freely with third parties. g. Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (20 USC ¤1232g) This Act protects the accuracy and confidentiality of student records. h. Federal Trade Commission Act (15 USC ¤41 et seq.)

This Act, which creates the Federal Trade Commission (ÒFTCÓ) establishes among other things consumer fair business practices and gives the FTC jurisdiction and authority to address unfair, deceptive or misleading business practices.

Examine the three branches of government and discuss which can effectuate the most significant impact on regulating significant impact on regulating consumer transactions via social media outlets. The government has three branches: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. · Executive:

Ruled by the president. The president transfers out federal laws and endorses new ones, leads national defense and foreign policy, and performs ceremonial duties. Authorities include guiding government, commanding the Armed Forces, dealing with international powers, acting as chief law enforcement officer, and rejecting laws. · Legislative:

Ruled by Congress, which includes the House of Representatives and the Senate. The main task of these two bodies is to make the laws. Its powers include passing laws, creating spending bills (House), impeaching officials (Senate), and approving treaties (Senate). · Judicial

Ruled by the Supreme Court. Its authorities include understanding the Constitution, revising laws, and determining cases involving states’ rights.

Explain the agency relationship that exists on social media sites between the social media provider and businesses that utilize the site for advertising.

Almost all organizations are trying to use social media in order to reach potential customers. However, it’s not so easy as it sounds. A company should have a certain strategy in order to promote itself on social media. Manage My Socials (2013) explains the social media agency: The social media agency actually works for building new bonds and making the existing bonds stronger among the company and its customers or followers. Once the company becomes famous and people get to know about its existence and start trusting it, half of the work of marketing department is done. Therefore, a few starting years are very crucial for any organization from marketing point of view. Once the company becomes renowned by the general public it becomes easier to make them follow.

The area of a social media management encompasses the social media as well as building the online public relationship between the company and its customers stronger and more trustworthy. In addition with the marketing department, the social media agency collaborates with the search, planning, development and customer services departments to fulfill the need and demands of the customers and earning their trust. This also brings about healthy exchange of information within the complete organization of the company. Marketing and communication within the company and outside the company becomes more effective with the involvement of these social media managers.

Thus, the overall productivity and efficiency of the other departments is enhanced and the business also flourishes. The scope of a social media agency has increased many folds these days in the modern business strategies. Some organizations seek the services of these managers for specific duration of time while others hire them permanently. Both approaches are equally beneficial for the business and you should assess which one of them is more suitable for your business. There are some specialized social media management agencies which provide professional and specialized managers to work on a specific project for a specific duration of time.

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StudyScroll. (2016). Social Media. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 3-Oct-2023]

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