Friday, August 17, 2012

Has Facebook created a legal duty to monitor for illegal activity?

Does Facebook have a legal duty to monitor for illegal activity on its website? Facebook is an international company with its headquarters in California. However, Facebook must comply with the laws of every jurisdiction where it operates.

In Australia, Facebook was recently pressured to remove a page that was alleged racist. At first, it appeared that Facebook claimed that because it is based in California it did not have to comply with Australia's anti-discrimination laws. However, after more public and governmental pressure Facebook eventually removed the controversial page.

A series of Facebook chats in Canada recently caught the attention of Facebook's staff who reported it to Winnipeg law enforcement officials. Detectives arrested a suspect and he is now facing charges of sexual assault, sexual interference, and luring. It may have been noble of Facebook to report an alleged criminal act but what would have happened if Facebook knew about the chats but didn't report them?

To learn more about these issues you may contact me at

Copyright 2012 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC All rights reserved.

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