Former student of Fayette County School District, Chelsea Chaney, is currently suing the school system for 2 million dollars.
Chaney reports on WBSTV that she “didn’t give permission for her photo to be used.” Her attorney, Peter Wellborn stated “their idea that putting something on Facebook gives them a license to steal it and Carte blanche to do with it what they did is wrong ethically, it’s wrong morally and it’s absolutely wrong legally.”
When one signs up for social media networking sites like Facebook they are, according to Facebook Privacy Settings, granting them the permission to use any and all information posted publicly to the website. Though you will still own all of the photos and information posted it is suggested on Facebook that one must, “always think before you post. Just like anything else you post on the web or send in an email, information you share on Facebook can be copied or re-shared by anyone who can see it.”
One element of a Defamation claim in Georgia according to Digital Media Law Project is “a false statement about the plaintiff.” Chaney also reported that next to the photo was the title “Once it’s there, it’s there to stay” during a district wide seminar that was dedicated to informing people of the risks of social media. This was “embarrassing” to Chaney according to the report made on WSBTV this past June.
Another former Fayette County School District student, Justin M., feels that “it doesn’t matter, as soon as she put it on the Internet it became free game for anybody”; including employers. Mr. M. also mentioned that people should read the privacy settings of these social media settings, people can see your information whether you give them permission or not because “you put it out there for them to see.”
His advice to youth of today is to “Be informed. Understand what you are doing when you put that information, that picture or you’re putting that video or whatever post up. What ever you say can be used against you, not only in the court of law but for getting a job, losing a job, losing a friend, or even a family member; because it is in the free market, in the middle of the internet, anybody can access it.”
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