Social Networks

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Social Networks


The buzzing field of social networks analysis attempts to quantify how people know one another. In a recent article, Lior Strahilevitz suggests that social networks analysis can help judges presiding over privacy lawsuits decide what information should be considered private.

In the U.S., a plaintiff can sue someone who broadly and offensively distributes private information about him, provided it’s information in which the public has no legitimate interest (for example, by publishing details of a plaintiff’s sexual history). Strahilevitz notes, however, that the line between what’s public and what’s private is often hard to draw. Under many state laws, if a person discloses sensitive information in one social context, like a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, that doesn’t mean he has surrendered his right to keep the information private in other contexts, like the workplace. Strahilevitz believes that while courts often correctly decide what should be considered private, their answers “seem to rely on guesswork more than anything else.”

Strahilevitz suggests that courts could add rigor to their decisions by distinguishing between “weak” and “strong” ties in a plaintiff’s social network. Even if we share information with those we’re strongly tied to, like a sibling, it should still be considered private, Strahilevitz writes. Information we share with those we’re weakly tied to, like the person we meet on an airplane, should generally be considered public. In a 1994 case, an HIV-positive man spoke about AIDS for a local TV program in Georgia under the condition that the station hide his identity when it broadcast the story. The station failed to do so effectively, and the man sued. Though the man had shared his status in an HIV peer-support group, a Georgia court found that he had a reasonable expectation of privacy nonetheless.

Strahilevitz’s approach would allow judges in such cases to supplement their gut feelings with an analytic tool, though he acknowledges the practical difficulties of using it. “The world is a complicated place,” he cautions, and many of the “rules” of social networks theory cannot be mechanically applied. Classifying links as strong or weak isn’t a science. Social networks are constantly in flux, and often it’s the sharing of private information that transforms a weak link into a strong one.

Source: University of Chicago Law Review, Volume 72, Number 3.

Social Networks in Election Law

Web-based services that allow individuals to create public profiles and share connections with other users and interact with them. In recent years, social networks have played an important role in elections. They have become a preferred tool for some candidates. Also, Election Management Bodies (EMBs) use social networks for public outreach activities.

Social Networks and UGC Sites

Liability of Internet Sites and Services

Liability of Internet Sites and Services (including Social Networks and Blogs) in the Context of Internet Law and
Web 2.0 Applications (Social Networks, Blogs, Wikis and UGC Sites).

Agent-based Social Networks, the Law and other Social Sciences

Social networking sites have deeply changed the face of the web in the last years. Although the current approach to build social networking systems is to create huge centralized systems owned by a single company, such strategy has many drawbacks, e.g., lack of privacy, lack of anonymity, risks of censorship and operating costs. Therefore, a decentralized architecture may offer several advantages, but it may involve some security and design issues that are not present in traditional social networks. this topic has the goal of introducing social networks and how they can take advantages of a decentralized architecture and how the use of multi agent technologies help to cope with its security and design issues and, in addition, to support the creation of innovative services for its users.[1]

Classification of Traffic Events Notified in Social Networks' Texts, the Law and other Social Sciences

It is interesting to exploit the user generated content (UGC), and to use it with a view to infer new data; volunteered geographic information (VGI) is a concept derived from UGC, which main importance lies in its continuously updated data. The present approach tries to explode the use of VGI, by collecting data from a social network and a RSS service; the short texts collected from the social network are written in Spanish language; a text mining and a recovery information processes are applied over the data, in order to remove special characters on text, and to extract relevant information about the traffic events on the study area, then data are geocoded. The texts are classified by using a machine learning algorithm into five classes, each of them represents a specific traffic event or situation.[1]

From the Psychoanalyst's Couch to Social Networks, the Law and other Social Sciences

Given the important role that the psychoanalysis has played in the field of intervention on mental health for many years and the controversial debate that as therapeutical practice has been always originated and recently reactivated, it is of particular interest to discusses the actuality of the SRT fifty years later in the era of social networks. It does so by exploring the dynamics of the interchange between scientific and lay knowledge regarding psychoanalysis, psychiatry and mental health in light of a corpus of spontaneous conversations among Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo!Answers users from France and Italy compiled over a one-year period.The study enlarges psycho-social research on social networks, currently under the hegemony of sociometrics and computer science research.Briefly, in this new communicative scenario the results of our study show how different target groups act new practices, showing their positioning: users act as 'infomediaries' of expert knowledge, providing informal help and suggestions online; experts open the doors of their “physical rooms” to “cyber rooms”.[1]


Notes and References

  1. Annamaria de Rosa, Emanuele Fino, Elena Bocci, “From the Psychoanalyst's Couch to Social Networks” (Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, 4th Edition, Information Resources Management Association, 2018)


Notes and References

  1. ANA MARIA MAGDALENA SALDANA PEREZ, Marco Moreno-Ibarra, Miguel Torres, “Classification of traffic events notified in social networks' texts” (Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, 4th Edition, Information Resources Management Association, 2018)


Notes and References

  1. Federico Bergenti, Agostino Poggi, Michele Tomaiuolo, “Agent-Based Social Networks” (Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, 4th Edition, Information Resources Management Association, 2018)


See Also

  • Election Law
  • Electoral Laws
  • Electoral Legislation

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