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Social Media Law in the Global 21st Century: An International and Comparative Perspective

Sat, June 11, 14:00 to 15:15, Fukuoka Hilton, Kaede

Session Submission Type: Panel


Billions of people around the world use social media (SM), including the “social networking services” such as Facebook (United States), Qzone (China) and VKontakte (Russia). Not surprisingly, abuse and misuse of SM presents many Internet-related legal problems including “revenge porn” and cyber-bullying. In his book of 2012, Blogging & Tweeting Without Getting Sued, Professor Mark Pearson (Griffith University in Australia) observed that “[t]he countless bloggers and social media users … realise they now have the same legal obligations as large media organisations, but lack their experience, knowledge, and muscle.”
This explains in part why an increasing number of communication scholars pay critical attention to SM law and regulations globally in their teaching and research. Recent scholarly books focusing on SM include Social Media and the Law: A Guide for Communication Students and Professionals (2012); Social Media and the Law (2015); and International Handbook of Social Media Laws (2014). These and other books identify a range of emerging SM law issues and provoke readers to think about these concerns.
The international nature of SM makes both international and comparative law compellingly relevant. Hence, our proposed panel for the Communication Law & Policy Division aims to serve as an international and comparative forum on SM law in countries around the world. Four speakers from the U.S., U.K., Australia, and South Korea are invited. They would each discuss SM law in his or her country (or region) using “functional equivalence,” i.e., identifying how SM law problems are handled in a similar or dissimilar way.
The panel would be valuable to international communication scholars with interest in SM, and the legal issues that arise regarding this new global media phenomenon.

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