Tag Archives: facebook

Legislation sets TN public policy in posthumous social media rights

Legislation setting rules for access to digital information after death or disability — declaring void as a matter of Tennessee “public policy” any conflicting provisions set by Facebook and other social media sites in their user contracts — has won initial approval in a House subcommittee.

The “Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act” has drawn opposition from representatives of Facebook, Google, Amazon.com and others, according to Rep. Martin Daniel, R-Knoxville, sponsor of House Bill 774. Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, is sponsor in the Senate, where the bill has not yet come up for a vote.

Drafted as model legislation by the Uniform Law Commission last year and thus similar to measures introduced in some other states, the bill includes provisions saying that the legal representative of a deceased or incapacitated person — a fiduciary — can decide disposition of pictures and postings on a site even if the deceased or incapacitated person has approved a contract giving the site rights to control such things.

Allan Ramsaur, executive director of the Tennessee Bar Association, said many social media sites include such rules in the fine print of their sign-up contracts and that has led to unfortunate situations — for example, the parents of a teenager who committed suicide being unable to block dissemination of emotionally distressing pictures or postings without filing a lawsuit to obtain a court order.

Daniel said he read an article about such situations and decided legislation was needed last year, then learned that Norris was also advocating the idea.

His take on the opposition from social media representatives: “They just don’t want to be bothered.”

Petition, Facebook Page Seek Ouster of Huffman

Opponents of a new Tennessee teacher pay plan are taking their fight to social media and asking for the ouster of Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman, reports The Tennessean.
Two Facebook pages created just after the State Board of Education approved pay plan changes last week call for Huffman’s firing, and a Change.org petition calling for the same action has more than 800 signatures. The petition appeared to be growing Friday afternoon.
No one stepped up to claim authorship of the Facebook pages after The Tennessean posted interview requests, but one page administrator sent an anonymous message saying he or she did not want to be known.
…The author of the petition is West Tennessee parent Jennifer Proseus, who said she belongs to a group of mothers, fathers and grandparents from across the state who call themselves “Momma Bears.” The petition is addressed to Gov. Bill Haslam and states that he might not get the votes of its signers for a next term.
Haslam, the Republican who appointed Huffman, defended him in a statement, though. It reads, “Kevin has brought an innovative approach to improving education in Tennessee, and we’re seeing results. When you tackle significant change, it isn’t usually easy, but our state has lagged behind in education for far too long. We have to do better than the status quo for our children and our state.”

Radio Personality Off Air After Inflammatory Facebook Comments

JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) — A popular Jackson radio personality is off the air for now after posting racially inflammatory comments on Facebook.
Bill Way, host of “It’s Your Turn” on WNWS-FM, posted the comments on his personal Facebook page over the weekend.
They were aimed at people who voted for President Obama.
Way apologized on air on Monday. Station president Carlton Veirs then read a statement saying the station does not condone Way’s remarks.
“We’re discussing his comments and apology,” Veirs said. “Considering the gravity of the situation, for now, by mutual agreement, Bill is taking a few days off.”
The Associated Press obtained Veirs’ statement from the station.
The president of the Jackson-Madison County of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People said it was irresponsible of someone in Way’s position to make such offensive comments.
“We’re asking for a change of direction and attitude from one of Jackson’s most famous and entertaining talk show hosts,” Harrell Carter said in a telephone interview. “It is unconscionable, the language he used for the president of the United States and the first lady.”
Carter said he used to work at WNWS and knows Guy personally.
“This was out of the clear blue sky,” he said. “I don’t know what the circumstances were, but this was surprising and disappointing.”
He said any discussion of the country’s problems needs to begin from a position of mutual respect.

Note: Way’s Facebook post, as reported by The Jackson Sun: “A short message to Obama voters. To vote for him with a 9.2 unemployment rate, a (expletive) of Benghazi lies, $16,000,000,000 in debt and an israeli war, (a derogatory reference to the sex scandal involving David Petraeus), a pimp walking prez married to cheetahs daughter…expect what you will most certainly get. bye bye medicare. hello homeless.. I love America except for the idiots.”

Candidate Posts Pistol Picture With Presidential Welcome

A candidate who’s seeking to represent Nashville in Congress posted a photo of his gun and a pointed message for President Barack Obama on his campaign Facebook page, reports The Tennessean.
Brad Staats, the Republican nominee challenging U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper in the 5th Congressional District election, posted the picture of the silver and black Colt 911 semi-automatic pistol on Friday. (Note: Believe that should be Model 1911, not 911.) Under it he wrote:
“Many people in Tennessee keep asking me about my opinion on Second Amendment rights. Apparently Tennesseans are part of that crazy crowd that Obama says ‘cling to (their) religion and guns.’ Well, then I must be part of that crazy crowd. Here is something that I usually have with me. Welcome to Tennessee Mr. Obama.”
…Staats said he was not threatening Obama, who is seeking re-election this year.
“Good Lord, no,” he said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “Absolutely not. I’m not one of those that would ever threaten the president. He’s probably got enough of his own stuff to worry about without me.”
Max Milien, a spokesman for the United States Secret Service, which is responsible for the president’s security, had little to say about the post.
“We’re aware of it, and we will conduct any appropriate follow-up if necessary,” Milien said.

That Panda Was NOT Ryan Haynes (and the TBI is NOT investigating)

State Rep. Ryan Haynes’ Facebook identify was stolen last week and the imposter posted fake statements using “a lot of colorful language” under the lawmaker’s name for a while, the Knoxville Republican said Monday.
Haynes said he had visited a library on Wednesday and logged into Facebook while there. He speculated that someone may have seen him type in a password and used it to take over his page on the social media network later.
His listing of personal information was changed to say that he was homosexual and that he worked for the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft, a reference to the school attended by the fictional Harry Potter. His picture on the site was replaced by a photo of a panda.
The imposter also sent messages that were offensive to many, the legislator said, and when the missive brought a response, replied in a flippant and derogatory manner.
“I got about 150 phone calls in 30 minutes,” he said. “People thought I was committing political suicide and wanted to know what was going on.”
Haynes said he called Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Mark Gwyn, who advised him “there really wasn’t much they could do.”
Kristen Helm, spokeswoman for TBI, confirmed the conversation and said Gwyn had advised Haynes to get in touch with Facebook directly.
“Due to Facebook’s policies and procedures, law enforcement does not have a mechanism in place to investigate complaints about Facebook. So TBI is not investigating this incident,” Helm said in an email.
A law approved by the General Assembly earlier this year – with Haynes among the large majority voting for it – authorizes law enforcement to obtain identifying information on those who post statements or pictures intended to cause “emotional distress.”
Haynes agreed that the law should not apply in his case.
“I can’t say that I was emotionally distressed,” he said. “I just wanted to make sure people knew that wasn’t me doing all that.”
The legislator said he subsequently got in touch with Facebook overseers who deleted the imposter postings and “everything is straightened out now.”

Most TN Legislators on Facebook, Fewer Twitter

The folks over at TNReport have compiled a list of state legislators’ Facebook and Twitter accounts, providing the state’s social networking political junkies with an opportunity to be inundated with lawmakers’ self-promotion. Links are provided so you can check out them all.
In the Tennessee Senate, 29 of 33 lawmakers have an account on Facebook, and of those, 14 senators have an account on Twitter as well.
In the House, 60 of 99 total members have a Facebook account, but only 11 have Twitter accounts.
In other words, most state lawmakers have some presence on social networking sites, according to a TNReport survey of the statehouse pack.
Even the Legislature’s elder statesman, Sen. Douglas Henry, D-Nashville, has both a Twitter and Facebook account. Bear in mind, Henry first began serving as a state representative in the 79th General Assembly from 1955-1956, an era when color television was virtually unheard of and a full year before the Soviet Union launched Sputnik.