Social media and its rise to popularity has arguable been the biggest change in technology over the past 10 years.
And while now many people canÂt live without it and it has completely consumed their lives, many are unaware of how harmful it can be to their business.
Taking Facebook as an example, as a very user driven platform and with over 2 billion users, it is near on impossible to monitor each personÂs activity and ensure they are acting on the right side of the law.
Criminal activity is monitored as a priority as it will have the most impact on others, however there are other areas of law which will also have a substantial impact on its users, both individuals and businesses.
And that is intellectual property.
A business puts hard work, time and money in to building their brand and ensuring that customers recognise their brand as being one of quality.
However, this reputation can be ruined in minutes through social media as others impersonate a quality brand to divert customers and piggyback of their success.
Not only trade marks but many copyrights works are exploited on social media as well as a growing presence of counterfeit goods.
The social platform is swamped in IP infringing posts, and figures released by Facebook themselves, highlight this further.
In the first half of 2017, Facebook have announced that they removed nearly 3 million IP infringing posts following complaints.
Outlined in their transparency report published on 18th December, which covered January to July 2017, Facebook detailed the breakdown of infringing posts they have removed from Facebook and Instagram.
In regards to copyright infringement, 1,818,794 posts were removed from Facebook and 685,996 posts from Instagram.
Approximately 111,000 posts were removed from Facebook because of trademark infringement, and 37,478 from Instagram.
Focusing on counterfeit goods, they took down 217,265 posts from Facebook and 108,094 from Instagram. This figure is likely to rise dramatically in the other half of 2017 due to the rise in demand around Christmas.
In total, Facebook removed 2,978,604 infringing posts, which included individual posts, photos, videos or advertisements to profiles on Facebook, and photos, videos, advertisements or accounts on Instagram.
This is a frighteningly high number and highlights the real need for a widespread education in the importance of IP protection and signs to look for to ensure you are getting the real deal.
If you would like more information in relation to IP and how it can impact your business, please contact Lawdit today.