Law in Social Media (1/3). Information requirements, Competition Law, Advertising in Social Media, the example of Twitter.

7. December 2009 – 12:17

Social media is not above the law.

Although not all legal questions can be answered, there are recommendations of lawyers, that can protect against admonish. A final clarification, there will be probably only by appropriate court cases.

Twitter and Clauses

Information requirements on Twitter

We will discuss the issue, whether and how a Twitter page, according to a legal notice § 5 Tele Media Act (TMG) required.
In der Internet World Business (24/09) is Dr. Hajo Rauschhofer, Lawyer specializing in IT law, advance some tips for an imprint on the Twitter page:

Definition private and commercial

By criteria analysis of § 5 TMG need only "business-like deals"An imprint.
A distinction is, like eBay, not always easy: Encyclopedia of the CEO as an individual or as part of the marketing strategy.
I would assume it always, that a CEO's brand lives and, accordingly, a brand ambassador and representative of the company and thus more commercial and Encyclopedia.
Moderate business deals can usually already in the design of Hintergrundgrafik (Corporate Identity) and the Content of the tweets recognize.

Legal Notice where and how

Applying the law to BHG "two-click Imprint (At. I ZR 228/03) [Ease of recognition and immediate availability of two links] on Twitter, It is sufficient to give a clear indication. A clear indication One is to have the background image, on the other hand, the link in the Twitter homepage information in the fields:

1. Gestaltung der Hintergrundgrafik (Corporate Identity)
2. Verlinkung in den Twitter-Angaben zur Homepage im Feld „Web“.

Recommended placement: Contacts with Twitter

Because of the possibility still currently limited to the Twitter page (perhaps even these fields expanded), Imprint is the place to follow current:


User Friend on Twitter

3. Tip: Clear reference to the imprint from the "bio-box
(see ex = top right, unter Name-Location-Web)

Nevertheless, there can admonish, perhaps even consider changing a domain to be insufficient and may be of the opinion, dass die Felder „Web“ oder „ Bio“ auch nicht zwingend darüber aufklären , that is behind it and a legal notice.

Competition Law

Also in the manageable scope for rights violations (there are only 140 Characters) is precisely this lack of word choice misleading or comparative Claims lead. This turn to desist from competitors.
Also, who says the greatest, Best or fastest to be, has this unique position to prove.

Even if employees tweet on behalf of the company, should the company in its own social media guidelines (Twitter-Policy) have created, a guide to give, Who can say what in this area of the external corporate communication and what not. (See article in the blog Social Media Guidelines).
Because otherwise at Twitter and a quick little statement as. be made about competitors, by the law- and marketing department would not have been released.

Advertising on Twitter, probably ok

The legal position of advertising is still not secure.
However, a strong case for, that advertising is permitted by Tweet, if the commercial focus of readily apparent, and the follower chooses. (Opt-In)

E-mail submissions made unsolicited, that is, without intervention by the recipient. See the restrictive law on advertising emails.
” 1. Bereits die einmalige unverlangte Zusendung einer E-Mail mit Werbung kann einen rechtswidrigen Eingriff in das Recht am eingerichteten und ausgeübten Gewerbebetrieb darstellen. [BGH, Order of 20. Never 2009 – I ZR 218/07 – OLG Frankfurt / Main ]
2. Die unverlangte Zusendung von E-Mail-Werbung an Unternehmen beeinträchtigt regelmäßig deren Betriebsablauf…” (see more: Summary)

In a Twitter-Account the follower to make themselves known to the owner for his Tweets.
If it is a business-like provider, a company or self, the follower must expect, that more or less open advertisements delivered.

Transferring but here the Principles of the opt-in process strictly, müsste ein Twitterer gegenüber seinen Followern first to point, that advertising is. For Rechtswanwalt the question, to take place in which this cycle, given the "uncontrollability" of the steadily growing number of followers. Quite so uncontrollably I do not think it, as an e-mail received on each newly registered Follower. Each of these new followers to send a message, would then proceed only fully automated.

Advertising by Third concern

Analogous to recommendations is lt. dem Rechtsanwalt höchst bedenklich durch Dritte werben zu lassen. In any case,, when it is according to recent E-card case: (about OLG Nürnberg, Az 3U 1048/05) considered:
” Summary:
1. Providing a pure product recommendation (without advertising) E-mail is not anti-competitive.
2. Anti-competitive product recommendation, however, becomes, if the product recommendation (secretly) will be provided with other advertising.”

If permitted under German law, that senders, those who participate in a lottery or similar promise, their advertising message to distribute Follower, will be clarified.

Liability for Links
Es gelten die Grundsätze bezüglich der Haftung rechtswidriger Links ebenso bei dem Setzen von Links bei Twitter, Facebook etc. as part of the communication.

  • According liable positing the link, if a link to illegal content.

Opinions, are publications and practical enforcement of rights it, nutzerfreundlich, in den nächsten beiden Teilen.

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