How Terms and Conditions Help Protect Social Media Companies

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Remember how you have to agree to that long list of terms and conditions when you sign up for websites such as Twitter and Facebook?

Well, those are designed to help protect the sites.

But what exactly does that mean?

Rebecca Rose Woodland, litigator and legal analyst joined TheStreet to weigh in. 

Watch the video above for more.

Video Transcript:

Katherine Ross:
Social media has always been a hot business, but now the popularity is rising as more people consume media and news on various platforms. And with more popularity, not only comes more responsibility, but both users and companies have also more questions about the terms and conditions you signed in order to access the platforms. So tackling this from a legal perspective today is Rebecca Rose Woodland, litigator and legal analyst. Rebecca, when they make a decision about your content, when a social media company makes a decision about your content, is there anything you can do since you already agreed to the terms and services?

Rebecca Rose Woodland:
Yeah, it's so important now to understand what those terms and services are. So briefly, the services are up to you as the user to comply with. And if not, you can get these takedown notices. And what the companies are doing, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, what they're doing is looking at any copyright infringement you may have made looking at inappropriate branding content that you didn't advise the public of. And it is the companies that are doing it within, they say within the legal perspective, but the companies themselves are the ones making these decisions. Now, they could either make it by an algorithm or they could have had a claim about something illegal happening on someone's platform.

Katherine Ross:
As a company, how are these terms and conditions protecting you from powerful users on your platform?

Rebecca Rose Woodland:
So companies now have other issues that we're seeing with President Trump and with some other conservatives claim that the company's algorithms or companies have people who are editing their content. And President Trump, others claim that their constitutional First Amendment rights are being infiltrated, are being abused. So what companies are saying is we're not, across the board, we're not being political. But of course, some users are claiming they are. So what the companies are trying to do now is have a very standard use of practice and apply it across the board.

Katherine Ross:
Rebecca, thank you for joining us today. And for more, head on over to thestreet.com.

You can follow Katherine Ross on Twitter at @byKatherineRoss.

Read more from Katherine Ross here.

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