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Can I post whatever I want on social media?

In the rapidly evolving digital world, it is essential for individuals with a strong online presence to seek legal advice. A lawyer can provide crucial guidance regarding online publicity, privacy protection and avoiding defamation, defamation or electronic stalking.

Transparency in advertising and publicity

When you receive compensation for sharing information on the internet, you must clearly indicate that it is advertising or publicity. An example is when you are an influencer promoting a product in exchange for payment or other benefits. Failure to comply with this rule can lead to fines and reputational damage.

Example: Once an influencer receives any kind of benefit from a brand and mentions it on social media, this is considered 'commercial communication'. A benefit goes beyond financial compensation - it also includes free services, trips abroad or invitations to events. The existence (or not) of a contract or expectations of the brand does not matter.

To avoid getting into trouble, influencers should explicitly type the terms "publicity" or "advertisement" as the first word in the caption (or caption) and also include the name of the brand there. So be sure to pay attention, and consult a lawyer if you are in doubt whether your post could be "commercial communication". You wouldn't be the first to be fined for violating these rules.

Protection of privacy and avoidance of defamation

Belgian law protects the privacy of individuals. Therefore, it is very important to be careful when sharing personal information about others without their consent. Spreading incorrect or harmful information about someone else can lead to defamation, defamation of honour or electronic stalking, which is punishable by law.

Example: Suppose you express strong opinions on social media about a current issue, making accusations that have no factual basis. This could lead to legal action for defamation. If you have a large platform and want to expose someone , it might be best to consult a lawyer beforehand.

Nuanced right to free speech

The right to free speech is obviously protected, but it is important to understand that this right is not absolute. It must be balanced against the law and the rights of others. The expression of opinions must take place within the legal frameworks and must not lead to hate speech, discrimination or violation of the rights of others.

Example: Although you have the right to free speech, hate speech can have legal consequences under the anti-racism law if it incites hatred, violence, or discrimination based on race, ethnicity, or nationality. When spread publicly, especially on social media, and if the utterances contain concrete actions or threats, the risk of legal consequences increases.

Do I need a lawyer?

In essence, it is crucial to understand that online sharing comes with responsibilities. Respecting the law and protecting the rights of others will ensure that your online presence remains positive and does not carry legal consequences. So be sure to consult a lawyer if you are unsure about the content you want to post on social media. With increasing warnings and fines for online personalities, legal advice can help them operate within legal frameworks, avoid reputational damage and maintain the integrity of their online presence!

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