Social Media

On December 14, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) voted along party lines to adopt a 210-page Declaratory Ruling, Report and Order, and Order (the “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” or “Order”) geared towards overhauling the net neutrality framework established during the Obama administration in 2015 (the “2015 Order”).  On February 22nd, the Order was officially published in the Federal Register — kicking off the period for filing of court challenges to the FCC’s decision and for efforts by Democrats in Congress to signal dissent through passing a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act.

Against the backdrop of these actions at the federal level, for the past few months several states have taken matters into their own hands and begun proposing their own ways to restore the 2015 Order’s net neutrality rules within their borders.  Such efforts, even if successful at the state level, will likely be met in the courts by the Restoring Internet Freedom Order’s explicit statement that the Order preempts all “inconsistent state and local regulations.” 
Continue Reading States Battle to Resurrect Net Neutrality Rules

On 20 November, Covington hosted its webinar looking at developments in Net Neutrality and Zero-rating from both a US and a European perspective. Our presenters included ex-FCC Bureau Chief, Partner Matt DelNero from our DC office, and ex-DG Competition Head of Unit, Partner Kevin Coates and Senior Associate Siobhan Kahmann from our Brussels office. The

Date: Monday, November 20, 2017
4 p.m. CET
3 p.m. GMT
10 a.m. EST

Please join us for a webinar dedicated to net neutrality and zero-rating. This presentation will be hosted by Covington lawyers Matt DelNero from our Washington office, and Kevin Coates and Siobhan Kahmann from our London/Brussels offices.

This introductory webinar will be

On Wednesday, May 7, Covington attorneys Stefanie Doebler and Saurabh Anand will be participating in a webinar that might be of interest to many of the readers of this blog.  The presentation, entitled “Advertising Drugs and Health Care Products via Social Media,” will provide attendees with an overview of a recent FDA draft guidance addressing

On March 12, FDA’s Office of Prescription Drug Promotion (“OPDP”) posted an untitled letter on its webpage alleging that Institut Biochimique SA’s (“IBSA”) Facebook page for the drug Tirosint® misbranded the drug.  The untitled letter is particularly noteworthy for its focus on one statement on a firm’s Facebook page.
Continue Reading FDA Issues Untitled Letter Focused On Promotional Claims On Facebook

On January 13, 2014, FDA issued a draft guidance document entitled “Fulfilling Regulatory Requirements for Postmarketing Submissions of Interactive Promotional Media for Prescription Human and Animal Drugs and Biologics.”  This draft guidance addresses the procedural topic of submitting Forms FDA 2253 and 2301 when firms use social media such as blogs, microblogs, social

A federal appellate court on Wednesday ruled that the First Amendment protects the act of “liking” on Facebook or other social media.

In Bland v. Roberts, a sheriff’s deputy “liked” the Facebook page of the candidate who was challenging the incumbent sheriff in the upcoming elections.  After the incumbent won re-election, the deputy was

The Federal Trade Commission will host a workshop on December 4, 2013 in Washington, DC to examine so-called “native advertising.”  This term refers to the practice of blending advertisements with news, entertainment, and other content in digital media and is sometimes also referred to as “sponsored content.”  As an FTC blog post explains, “[w]hatever the name, it’s for sure ads in digital media are starting to look a lot more like the surrounding content.  What are the consumer protection implications now that those lines appear to be blurring?”

According to the Commission, the workshop builds on previous Commission initiatives, such as the Dot Com Disclosures guidance and the Endorsements and Testimonials guidance, to “help ensure that consumers can identify advertisements as advertising wherever they appear.”  The FTC noted a number of questions and topics that may be covered at the workshop, including:

  • What is the origin and purpose of the wall between regular content and advertising, and what challenges do publishers face in maintaining that wall in digital media, including in the mobile environment?
  • In what ways are paid messages integrated into, or presented as, regular content and in what contexts does this integration occur?  How does it differ when paid messages are displayed within mobile apps and on smart phones and other mobile devices?
    Continue Reading FTC Announces Workshop To Examine Native Ads

New Jersey has enacted restrictions on the ability of employers to access employees’ social media accounts, becoming the twelfth state to enact such legislation. More than 30 state legislatures have considered bills on the topic in 2013, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

New Restrictions in New Jersey

New Jersey’s new law, signed by Governor Chris Christie on August 29 and effective December 1, generally prohibits employers from requiring or requesting that employees or prospective employees “provide or disclose any user name or password, or in any way provide the employer access to, a personal account through an electronic communications device.” Employers also may not require individuals to waive the law’s protections or retaliate against individuals who refuse prohibited requests or file complaints with the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development about violations of the law. An earlier version of the law, passed by the legislature but vetoed by Gov. Christie, also would have allowed aggrieved individuals to file civil suits for injunctions, damages, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and court costs.
Continue Reading New Jersey Restricts Employer Access to Employees’ Personal Online Accounts