Telecommunications, Media and Technology > Social Media

Across industries and borders, the growth of social media presents companies with a rapidly evolving web of challenges and opportunities. Akin Gump helps clients proactively manage social media risk while intelligently capitalizing on its value. Our multidisciplinary team of lawyers and policy professionals advise clients on corporate, compliance, litigation, labor and employment, cybersecurity, privacy and data protection, reputation management and recovery, intellectual property and policy matters pertaining to social media.

Our clients include public and private companies and their boards, investment funds, financial institutions and exchanges, broker-dealers, hospitals and health industry participants, entertainment industry clients and a wide range of others. 

Our focus includes:

  • the development, implementation and enforcement of sound enterprise social media policy, including with respect to:
    • securities disclosures and the implications of the application of Regulation FD to social media channels FINRA compliance
    • monitoring of employee Internet and social media use
    • use of social media in connection with employee recruitment and retention matters
    • the National Labor Relations Act and the National Labor Relations Board’s position on social media issues
    • brand protection and management
    • federal and state initiatives regarding privacy issues and social media, including both existing laws and pending legislation
  • management of litigation risk, including:
    • discovery and document preservation issues as they apply to social media, and litigation of such issues in connection with pending cases
    • wage and hour issues attendant on employees’ use of social media
    • compliance issues with respect to Internet posts that may contain material, non-public or otherwise sensitive information
    • privacy rights and obligations
    • intellectual property rights and noninfringement
    • open-source licensing matters
  • protection of intellectual and reputational capital, including with respect to:
    • online piracy of trademarked goods
    • the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act
    • ownership and trademark rights
    • reputation recovery
  • representation of investors in their social media and emerging technology investments
  • legislative advocacy and policy guidance with respect to social media issues
  • advice to health industry clients on the unique needs of hospitals, clinics, health plans and other health sector participants with respect to social media issues.

Recent client matters have included:

  • obtaining the removal of infringing trademark use on a Google commercial blog site and Linkedin for a mortgage loan advisor client
  • advising a multinational stock market on corporate policy for “Web 2.0” internal and external social media usage
  • advising a start-up smartphone accessories company on trade secret preservation policy relative to social media
  • advising a leading retailer on Section 230 immunity issues relative to personal ad postings on company’s website
  • developing social media policies for various companies, including in heavily regulated industries
  • obtaining removal of defamatory video material from YouTube purportedly about a client
  • disabling a Twitter feed confusingly similar to the primary trademark of a financial services client
  • obtaining removal of fraudulent profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Myspace
  • advising a health care client with respect to sensitive patient health information posted to a social media site by a rogue employee
  • advising clients on recently announced SEC and FINRA guidance
  • providing compliance training for clients with respect to social media issues.