Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Recently in Social Media / Networking Category

Court: Not so Fast, Snapchat

Christal McGee was driving over 100 miles an hour and thought it would be a good time to take a Snapchat photo.

She crashed, causing permanent brain damage to Wentworth Maynard. He was in the car she hit, and he sued -- Snapchat.

An appeals court said Maynard and his wife have a case because Snapchat created a filter that allows users to superimpose speed over photos. Basically, the company should have known better and so should everyone else who uses technology recklessly.

For lawyers across the country reading about all the successes that legal chatbot makers have found, the question seems only natural: Would your law practice benefit from a chatbot?

While the legal tech industry has only just scratched the surface of what a legal chatbot can do, they've already proven to be incredibly useful in more than a few different areas of law.

If you're considering getting, downloading, or creating, a chatbot for your law firm, Lawyerist's guide is a great place to start, as it can help walk you through the various different kinds of chatbot implementations. But before you even get started, you need to figure out what you want your chatbot's purpose to be. Below, you can see the three most common uses for legal chatbots.

Age Discrimination Claims for Facebook's Targeted Ads

If law firms are shamed for being "slick," then tech companies should be called out for their "tricks."

At least plaintiffs are complaining about it in ads posted on Facebook. They allege companies are discriminating by posting job advertisements on the social media platform that target younger workers.

Through computer tools and algorithms, older workers never even see the ads. In an age of targeted marketing, the lawsuit alleges, that is targeted discrimination.

Judge Fires Secretary Over Facebook Post?

Do you ever wonder what the judge is thinking in a case?

In this case, you may wonder what was the judge thinking. A former judicial secretary says the judge fired her because he disapproved of her Facebook posts.

It is far from a proven allegation in court, but everybody knows a Facebook post can go viral long before a court decision. In any case, the First Amendment usually wins.

In a lengthy, 75-page decision, judge Naomi Reice Buchwald of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York just ruled that the President's blocking of Twitter users from the @realdonaldtrump account violates those users' First Amendment rights.

The decision goes into painstaking detail about not just the legal merits, but also into the technical details of how the platform works. In short, the court found that a government official's Twitter page is in fact a public forum when used by the government official, officially for official purposes. Curiously though, the ruling of the court fell short of ordering the President to unblock those he has already blocked.

What Can Legal Tech Do About Its Diversity Problem?

Legal tech is complicated enough without a diversity problem, but there it is.

According to a new report, women and minorities are underrepresented in legal technology. Women fare the worst, making up 13.6 precent of legal tech founders.

It's a puzzle, especially when women and minorities are making gains in the law. Here are some pieces, and maybe some solutions, to the puzzle.

Google Stops Ads of Bail Bonds Companies

You have to applaud a company when it tries to do the right thing, like Google deciding to reject ads from bail bonds businesses.

In a blog post, Google said bail bonds services make most of their money from minorities and low-income communities when they are most vulnerable. Too often, the company said, they end up in long-term debt because they have no choice.

Of course, there is another choice. It's that windowless building near the bail-bond street signs.

How Genealogy Websites Helped Bring Down the Golden State Killer

Everybody has that relative they don't talk about because of some skeleton in the closet.

Or maybe the family tree digs up an awful ancestor everybody would just as soon forget. Go back far enough, and you're bound to find a killer or two.

In the Golden State Killer case, genealogy found a mass murderer. In criminal technology, it pretty much changes the meaning of "family reunion."

Unless you're advertising on it, using Facebook is like going to a restaurant for cannibals. You're not there for dinner, you're their dinner. Sure, there might be some pleasantries along the way, a nice fire, a warm bath, a massage maybe, but in the end, you're getting eaten.

As Ars Technica explains, when it comes to Facebook, users are the product, not the customer. Although there are some nice features that users get to take advantage of, at the end of the day, it's a user's data that is making the company money and being leveraged and sold for advertising, and other purposes.

Cryptocurrency Founders Charged With Fraud

Just when cryptocurrency was looking like a tech sector savior ...

Tech stocks have been taking on water recently, and plummeting Bitcoin shares have helped drag them down. Not to mention attacks from the President on Amazon and hackers on Facebook ...

It's almost like a conspiracy, like someone is after cryptocurrency. Oh wait, that would be the Securities and Exchange Commission.