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Wetcoaster

Legal Perils for the Digitally Illiterate on Social Media

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Of course, but as TOM pointed out this arrest only occurred because of her outspoken position against police, and likely as her involvement in politically oriented demonstrations. I think she has every right to have distaste for police given the constant occurrences of potential brutality, abuse of power, and disregard for the laws they are supposed to be upholding. Not to mention the treatment of people involved in large peaceful demonstrations.

Now the image she posted is indeed in poor taste, but I see this situation as no more than authority using outdated laws that are not fit to deal with social media, as a means to subjugate an anti-establishment activist.

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Nope.

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Really? Under no circumstance?

Let's say there could be a case (not saying just you, but just as an example) where you responded to someone's legal question with your usual cut and paste copy of a law or statute... and then helped the legally inept person interpret said law... which led them to do a particular action due to their understanding or... misunderstanding of your interpretation, which turned out to be illegal. The person tells the authorities (after getting caught for said legal action) the reason they did said action was because of CDC's resident Matlock, wetcoaster's advice.

An investigation ensues and its found that your interpretation while accurate may have been improperly construed to believe that a certain action was legal... and while believing you to be the obvious legal genius you are, only due to your interpretation, said person did perpetrate that illegal action.

Could you not then be legally on the hook for your postings? :lol:

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Nope.

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"Nope."

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Or TO is really Wetcoaster...hmmmmm....

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if that is the answer to my first question I guess everything I have speculated is right on.

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What speculation?

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There are all sorts of legal issues with social media and Facebook in particular. And as I noted they can have not only criminal implications but also in the realm of civil lawsuits.

In Oct. 2010, a Quebec man learned how costly it is to spam members of the social-networking site. He was ordered to pay Facebook $873 million US for the over 4.3 million messages he sent to Facebook users in 2008.

A Quebec man has been ordered to pay Facebook $873 million US after he bombarded its members with explicit spam messages.

The Quebec Superior Court has upheld a U.S. court ruling that ordered Adam Guerbuez and his company, Atlantis Blue Capital, to pay damages to the social networking giant.

In her Sept. 28 ruling, Quebec Judge Lucie Fournier ordered Guerbuez to pay $100 US in damages and $100 US in punitive damages for each of the 4,366,386 spam messages he sent to Facebook users in 2008.

Fournier also forbade Guerbuez from having a Facebook account or being involved in any way with the social-networking site ever again.

Guerbuez sent more than four million messages to Facebook users, praising the use of marijuana and drugs for erectile dysfunction.

Some of the messages contained sexually explicit material.

Facebook filed a civil case against him, and a California court ruled in 2008 that the Montreal man had violated U.S. electronic commerce laws. The court ordered him to pay $873 million US in damages.

The company then pursued Guerbuez to Quebec, where he lives, filing a motion in Quebec Superior Court asking it to recognize and enforce the U.S. ruling.

His lawyer, Éric Potvin, argued the damages were too excessive to fall under Quebec jurisdiction, but the judge disagreed.

http://www.cbc.ca/ne...mer-ruling.html

How about making a case against yourself for tax evasion? An Ottawa colouring artist who worked at a hair salon discovered that setting his Facebook status can have legal ramifications. The Canada Revenue Agency had launched a case against the man over his CPP and EI contributions, which hinged on whether he was an employee or a self-employed independent contractor.

Court heard that he had described himself as "self-employed" on his Facebook page but he claimed he had lied about his status to protect his privacy. He later admitted that everything else about himself on his profile page, including his age, likes, preferences, hometown, education and activities, were all factual.

The judge ruled in favour of the tax agency, in part, because "it is not that he lied on Facebook, it is that I do not believe he was telling the truth when he said he was lying on Facebook."

http://canlii.ca/en/...2010tcc542.html

In a case of threatening that shares some features with the Pawluk case, in July 2010, a Toronto man was cleared of threatening death for a posting he put on a Facebook page. Previously, he had been cautioned by police after he posted images of swastikas, a single reference to the Virginia Tech massacre and anti-Semitic comments on his Facebook page, court heard.

Although he claimed he would not continue, he subsequently posted a comment that included the passage "if you are a priest, judge, cop, lawyer, commoner, or teacher … I'm bringing death with me this time around."

But the judge said he was not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that his message intended a threat and acquitted him.

http://canlii.ca/en/...010oncj291.html

In Dec 2010, an Ontario court sided with officials at Western University, who had expelled a law student for threatening behaviour, including in particular his Facebook postings.

Court heard the student had referred to himself as "Dr. Frank N. Stein" on his Facebook page and had included references to "Dr. is eating babies," "Go on a killing spree," "Dr. is free to observe torture without criminal liability" and "Dr. is learning how to get away with murder in his criminal law class."

The court rejected the student's claims that he was exercising his right to freedom of speech and that the university had no jurisdiction over his off-campus activities.

http://canlii.ca/en/...10onsc6489.html

And insurance companies love social media where people share intimate details of their lives and are mining it for information to use in cases of persons making insurance claims. Sometimes the courts grant access, sometimes not. But if you are claiming that you are disabled and then you post photos of your recent ski trip as you wend your way down the slopes, that could prove problematical. :lol: And it is not just the public areas of Facebook that might come into play but also restricted areas as insurance companies can seek orders for production of that material.

In October 2009, an Ontario court denied Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Co. of Canada access to the Facebook account of a woman who had sued them to recover compensation for injuries she suffered in a car crash.

The insurance company wanted her password and user name to get into the private area of her account, which they believed might contain evidence that showed she was not as injured as she claimed.

But the judge found that Royal & Sun failed to offer any evidence that the Facebook account contained any relevant information.

http://canlii.ca/en/...anlii58971.html

On a similar application an Ontario court ruled differently . A man had claimed that a car accident, caused by a driver's negligence, had brought limitations to his lifestyle and that as a result of the crash he could no longer engage in certain sporting activities.

The driver wanted access to the man's Facebook account to see if there was any evidence that might counter those claims.

In that case, the Ontario court ruled that there were relevant materials on Facebook and that "a court can infer, from the nature of the Facebook service, the likely existence of relevant documents on a limited-access Facebook profile."

http://canlii.ca/en/...canlii6838.html

In Dec. 2009, a New Brunswick judge ordered a Miramichi woman to reveal how often she uses Facebook to a man she was suing following a car crash five years earlier. The woman had refused to disclose her Facebook activity, saying it would violate her privacy.

Also

In November, Nathalie Blanchard, 29, said her disability pay for depression was cancelled because of her Facebook profile.

Blanchard took sick leave from her job at IBM last year, after she was diagnosed with major depression. In that time, she took various approaches to treat her mood disorder, including prescription medication and therapy.

Blanchard also tried to have fun, which was also recommended by her physician.

However, photographs of that fun — a beach holiday last year, a night out on the town with friends — are part of the evidence Manulife used to stop payments this fall.

Blanchard said the insurance company told her that she looked well enough to work based on her Facebook photos.

Manulife stopped paying her sick-leave benefits, and her mortgage company, Desjardins, ended her insurance payments.

http://www.cbc.ca/ne...-judge-552.html

Moral of these stories. Be careful of what you put out there because there may well be legal consequences.

It is not as if this warning is anything new but people simply do not grasp what can happen. Back in 1997 Industry Canada through the Strategis section put out an in-depth study titled "THE CYBERSPACE IS NOT A “NO LAW LAND” - a study of the issues of liability for content then circulating on the Internet." Much of what the authors predicted has come to pass.

https://www.google.c...C7biZScuE7PyNAw

And a lawyer I know, David Potts, coined the term "cyberlibel" - and it has become a growth industry.

http://www.cyberlibel.com/

David has also written a book titled "Cyberlibel: Information Warfare in the 21st Century?"

Cyberlibel: Information Warfare in the 21st Century?

Cyberlibel: Information Warfare in the 21st Century? by David A. Potts brings years of research and experience in libel and slander law into focus on how individuals and organizations can gain the upper hand in safeguarding – or restoring – their reputation once it’s assaulted on the Internet.

The book examines caselaw from all common law jurisdictions including Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia and provides practical strategies that can be used in defamation actions related to the Internet.

Cyberlibel: Information Warfare in the 21st Century? includes the following topics in Canadian and international defamation law:

  • What makes cyberlibel issues unique from a legal perspective

  • How to remove a defamatory publication from the Internet

  • Defences available for those sued for cyberlibel

  • Whether rules of conduct apply to bloggers and Facebook users

  • What constitutes invasion of privacy and injurious falsehood online

  • The liability of search engines and other third parties

  • Emerging case-law defining cyberlibel

This book represents a vital reputation-management tool for organizations of all kinds – from corporations and professional associations to government agencies and not-for-profits.

http://www.irwinlaw..../675/cyberlibel

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The answer does not scan.

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There is more than just the one photo as reported:

Ms. Pawluck is a well-know activist and protester who has been arrested three times during the Quebec tuition demonstrations and has been an outspoken critic of police.

While the picture of the graffiti portraying Cdr. Lafrenière received most of the attention Thursday, Ms. Pawluck, an activist who was involved in many of Quebec’s protests over the past year, also posted photos of other messages. She distributed a photo of a bullet several weeks ago with the caption “we’re going to kill,” along with a photo of another piece of graffiti that said “one cop, one bullet.”

A photo posted on the eve of her arrest showed graffiti with the message “Death to cops.” Ms. Pawluck posted the photos on Instagram under her handle, anarcommie.

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The cops have lawyers to fight battles for them.

The activists do not.

Ergo the dilemma.

Anyone with access or the monetary power to employ lawyers to fight their battles has an overwhelming advantage over those that don't. A powerful upper class with it's soldiers to have more power than anyone and everyone else.

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The cops have lawyers to fight battles for them.

The activists do not.

Ergo the dilemma.

Anyone with access or the monetary power to employ lawyers to fight their battles has an overwhelming advantage over those that don't. A powerful upper class with it's soldiers to have more power than anyone and everyone else.

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The cops have lawyers to fight battles for them.

The activists do not.

Ergo the dilemma.

Anyone with access or the monetary power to employ lawyers to fight their battles has an overwhelming advantage over those that don't. A powerful upper class with it's soldiers to have more power than anyone and everyone else.

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Actually there are number of lawyers who handle such matters under public advocacy or legal aid.

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Agree, but they tend to be fresh out of law school, bottom of the ladder types. Let's face it, the best and the brightest law grads are brib, I mean recruited by high priced firms, who then represent the wealthy only, be they corrupt, guilty or not. Funny how you failed to mention that.

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Posting pictures online should not be considered "publishing" unless you are say, a media organization or accredited individual. Whoever's responsible for the law developing to that point screwed up bad, if you ask me. If you put up a photo on your fridge and someone saw it, could you be hit with a lawsuit if someone didn't like it? (On second thought, don't answer that). There's too much liability going around these days.

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