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What is my college or university’s definition of misuse of social media?

Use of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to harass, embarrass or otherwise abuse others may be considered misuse of social media. This misuse may result in student conduct code violations ranging from charges for: harassment, sexual harassment, abuse, threats, stalking, cyber-stalking and even assault. The misuse of social media may violate college or university regulations for computer use, student conduct, and residential life. Student conduct code violations for harassment, sexual harassment or abuse may also be prosecuted as criminal cases involving stalking and cyber-stalking.

Do I need an attorney if I am being accused of misuse of social media?

Cases involving allegations of harassment, abuse, stalking, or threats over social media are complicated due to lack of clarity in the perception and intent of an online message. Though the party sending the message may believe they are being harmless, the other party may feel the contact is harassing or threatening. If you are accused of using social media to harass someone to protect your education and future, it is crucial that you hire a defense attorney experienced in defending college students against criminal charges and conduct code violations.

Do I need an attorney if I accuse someone of misusing social media?

It may be necessary to pursue legal action to have someone else remove publicly shared information on their social media accounts if you feel it is inappropriate, abusive, embarrassing, or threatening. Remember that all posts over social media are public and can have repercussions and consequences in the future so you would be wise to ask someone to remove content that might affect your future. If they refuse, you may need to hire a lawyer experienced in dealing with social media and conduct code violations to defend your claim.

Regardless of whether you have been accused of misusing social media or need to get someone to remove social media posts about you, you need an attorney who understands the internet and current electronic forms of communication. To ensure the strongest legal argument possible, be sure to preserve records of these electronic messages and posts as well as any responses to the posts.

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