UC Law SF Communications and Entertainment Journal


The increasing ubiquity of social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, has led to a growing concern regarding the right of privacy on the internet. The myriad of common law cases on the issue provide website operators (and their advertisers) with little or no clear direction as to what is and is not permitted. At the same time, as websites monetize using an advertising model, that monetization is colliding with privacy rights, specifically, the right of publicity. The right of publicity has been heavily litigated lately, in particular against Facebook as it attempts to monetize its massive user base. This Comment is the first of four covering each of the four privacy claims in relation to social media. It begins with a summary of the recent litigation on the right of privacy against social media websites, then explains right of publicity claims and defenses, and ends with a suggested framework for websites to obtain the "consent" of their users, so as to avoid right of publicity claims.