H2 2013 Quick Links, Part 4 (Social Media, Advertising, E-Commerce)

Photo credit: 3D Quick Link Crossword // ShutterStock

Photo credit: 3D Quick Link Crossword // ShutterStock


* MarketingLand’s coverage of Facebook’s increasingly complicated algorithm for ranking news feed stories.

People v. DeJesus, 2013 WL 6327657 (Cal. App. Ct. Dec. 4, 2013):

As for defendant’s claim about an Internet posting to a group as potentially violating the trial court’s prohibition on contacting the named victims, using an Internet messaging service to direct a communication to a victim would be a willful violation of the order, as would leaving a post on a victim’s virtual Facebook wall. On the other hand, defendant’s updates to his own status on Facebook, for example, assuming no element of targeting a message at a victim, would not qualify as “contacting” a victim, even if the victim were able to view the posting.

U.S. v. Green-Bowman2013 WL 6842807 (N.D. Iowa Dec. 27, 2013)

The court finds the Facebook post on Webster’s Facebook page to be inadmissible….In context, the Facebook post appears to be nothing more than lyrics; Webster does not state that he possesses firearms or even that he has anything to do with firearms.

* Italy may prosecute Facebook for not preventing a teen’s suicide. A preview of America’s future if Section 230 is amended as requested by the state AGs.

* Oh yay, Facebook wants to watch its users’ cursor movements.

Facebook, Inc. v. Power Ventures, Inc. 2013 WL 5372341 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 25, 2013). Court awards $3M+ of damages under CAN-SPAM and imposes personal liability against the CEO under CAN-SPAM, CFAA and CA Penal Code 502. Prior blog post.

In re Air Crash Near Clarence Center, N.Y., 2013 WL 6073635 (W.D.N.Y. Nov. 18, 2013):

Colgan argues that production of Kevin’s “friend list” here is relevant to assessing Kevin’s Asperger’s Disorder, particularly his ability to socialize and communicate with others. This Court is not convinced. Given the ease with which “friends” can be collected on Facebook—indeed, one can be “friends” with people known to them, with strangers, with celebrities, with animals, and even with inanimate objects—Colgan’s argument that Kevin’s “friend list” is relevant to assessing his ability to socialize and communicate is unpersuasive. There seems little likelihood of a correlation between the number of one’s virtual Facebook friends and one’s ability to socialize and communicate in the real world. To the extent Kevin’s Facebook presence contributes to an assessment of his Asperger’s Disorder, Plaintiff’s Facebook production thus far, which includes every post, picture, and message, is adequate. Kevin’s “friend list” adds nothing meaningful and Plaintiff is therefore not required to produce it. Plaintiff has not, however, demonstrated that supplementing her Facebook production is unduly burdensome under Rule 26(b)(2)(C).

Other Social Networks

Nobelbiz, Inc. v. Veracity Networks, LLC, 2013 WL 5425101 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 27, 2013) (cites omitted):

Veracity’s mere presence on social media sites does not, without more, support an inference that it seeks nationwide sales. Rather, the predominant feature of Veracity’s online presence is the single-mindedness with which it cultivates Veracity’s Utah-focused brand. Veracity’s YouTube page appears to show nothing but the trailers of movies available to subscribers to Veracity’s “on demand” movie service. It is undisputed that only Utah residents may subscribe to Veracity’s services. Veracity’s Facebook page evinces a similar focus on commerce within the state of Utah: the posts therein are principally comprised of Veracity-related news, announcements of job openings at Veracity (i.e., within Utah), and news items slanted toward a Utah audience, e.g., “10 Apps Utah locals should have,” and a link to an online news story headlined “Utah bans teen drivers from using cellphones.” As for Veracity’s Twitter page, it has 263 tweets–which are protected from view by anyone but Veracity’s “confirmed followers.” The exhibit indicates that Veracity has zero followers. Veracity’s Twitter account cannot be said to be aimed at any particular forum. Finally, Veracity has a Pinterest account. The banner on Veracity’s Pinterest page states: “Veracity Networks is a locally-owned, facilities-based telecommunications provider servicing commercial customers and residential customers in Utah.” NobelBiz has not satisfied the Court that Veracity’s presence on social media, or elsewhere on the Internet, amounts to express aiming at California or any broader market including California.

MyShingle: Why New York’s Recent Ethics Opinion on LinkedIn Shows the Folly of Regulating the Minutia of Social Media

NY Times: 5 Reasons That Innovation at Twitter Might Take a Hit

NY Times: Twitter Bios and What They Really Say

* #HasJustineLandedYet was a fascinating study of watching a train wreck in motion. See Kash Hill’s coverage here.

Wired: What Online Communities Can Learn From Twitter’s ‘Block’ Blunder

Yelp hires DC lobbyist to work on Section 230, anti-SLAPP laws, patent and copyright reform.

Rodriguez v. Instagram, the lawsuit over Instagram’s amended user agreement, was dismissed.

NY Times: Social Media as a Megaphone to Pressure the Food Industry. Related article.

Trading Secrets: Illinois Passes Social Media Legislation To Regulate Flash Mobs

* Zoe Argento, Whose Social Network Account? A Trade Secret Approach to Allocating Rights, 19 Mich. Telecomm. & Tech. L. Rev. 201 (2013).

State v. Packingham, 748 S.E.2d 146 (N.C.App. Aug. 20, 2013). North Carolina law banning sex offenders from social networking sites struck down as unconstitutional.

* Robert Brownstone, New Jersey 13th State to Protect Social Media Passwords. Prior blog post.

KNF&T Staffing v. Muller, No. 13-3676-BLS (Mass. Super. Ct. Oct. 24, 2013):

The same reasoning applies to the evidence that Muller currently has a Linkedln profile disclosing her current employer, title, and contact information, and counting among her “Skills & Expertise” such things as “Internet Recruiting,” “Temporary Staffing,” “Staffing Services,” and “Recruiting.” There is no more specific mention of any of KNF&T’s “Fields of Placement” than this. So long as Muller has not and does not, prior to April 12, 2014, solicit or accept business in the Fields of Placement for herself or others (including her new employer), she will not have violated the covenant not to compete.

Advertising & Marketing

* AdBlock only blocks ads selectively. Is it pay-to-play?

SOPA Redux: ad networks agree to notice-and-takedown to cut off ads to rogue sites. Prior blog post. Techdirt’s commentary.

NY Times: Here’s the Pitch. But First, One From Our Sponsor.

NY Times: Give Yourself 5 Stars? Online, It Might Cost You.

* A giant beach ball, intended as an ad, goes on rampage.

Forbes: “Kroger, the Cincinnati-based grocery store chain, calls the 11 million pieces of direct mail it sends to customers each quarter “snowflakes”  — because if any two are the same, it is a fluke. The redemption rate is over 70 percent within six weeks of the mailing.”

AP: Law enforcement effort to target sex ads hits surprising obstacle.

Reuters: What’s worse than sponsored content? The FTC regulating it.

LA Times: Lawmakers target prescription drug ads on Craigslist.


Reuters: New e-commerce strategies threaten UPS, FedEx.

Fraley v. Facebook, Inc., 2013 WL 4516819 (N.D. Cal. August 26, 2013). Final approval of settlement.

Frezza v. Google dismissed. Prior blog post.

* Illinois’ Amazon tax struck down. Prior blog post.

Catherine Tucker: Why do consumers hate paying by the mile or the minute so much?