Social media posts have a huge impact on people. In fact, social media is revolutionizing the way humans communicate. On a daily basis, millions of people use social media for personal and business reasons. A countless number of businesses and individuals, including children around the world, belong to a variety of social networks where they communicate and share their personal thoughts, business opportunities, writings, photos, and videos.
However, the internet is full of social media posts considered defamatory, libelous, slanderous, harassing, and an invasion of privacy. Moreover, a number of people also violate intellectual property rights and share improper employment practices in their social media posts on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and MySpace.
To help protect people from being sued because of their social media posts, some insurance companies offer what is known as Social Media Liability insurance.
Casual users are subject to claims against them for invasion of privacy or defamation of character due to social media posts about a former or current lover, especially if a breakup occurs due to a sordid affair, or after a divorce.
Additionally, social media posts that accuse individuals of crimes, failure to pay child support, infidelity, disclosure of financial or personal information, and posting of videos or pictures of a person in compromising positions can result in a lawsuit.
Christopher Cook, owner of Alliance Insurance Services had this to say to TWCNews about how social media posts are covered by some homeowners’ insurance policies.
“If you’re trying to intentionally or maliciously hurt someone, that liability insurance is null and void. It’s kind of like committing a crime. We’re not going to pay for things that you knew were going to happen.”
Cook also recommends that parents obtain the personal injury liability endorsement for their children, as well.
“I especially encourage parents with young folks who may or may not understand that what they put out there in the world is there forever. There are several lawsuits that have been filed and won based on slander or libel claims from whether it be from YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook.”
Daniel Maldonado, an attorney at Kunz Plitt Hyland & Demlong, P.C., and associate author of the nationally renowned coverage reference Couch on Insurance, 3d, expressed his thoughts in a Rough Notes interview on how social media posts increase the likelihood of libel and slander lawsuits to internet users.
“Social media makes it easier to libel, slander, or invade a person’s privacy because off-the-cuff comments are now published nationwide or internationally, as compared to a comment made at the water cooler or in the privacy of one’s home. As a result, the damages sustained by a claim can be more substantial because there are more people aware of the comments as compared to the traditional situation.”
The cost for insurance protection is about $20 a year. People should contact their insurance agent to find out more about a personal injury liability endorsement if they believe they may need protection due to their social media posts.
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