Disclaimers matter in a world of social media influencers

Sep 07, 2023
Disclaimers matter in a world of social media influencers

Disclaimers will protect content creators and their clients in a diverse cyber-active society

With the presence of Chat GPT, content creation has become simple and easy. At the same time, content is no longer a text form as was known conventionally. Nowadays, content is available in the form of pictures/images, audio/podcasts, videos/reels, short films, movies, blogs, advertisements, articles, research papers, case studies, presentations, logos, symbols, art, etc...

Creative individuals spend their precious time developing innovative thoughts and shaping them into content. It becomes popular/viral if that content is accepted by a broader audience in a short period. Further, content creators own intellectual property rights such as copyrights, patents, and trademarks. It means content creators own that content legally and can use it to make money.

Such creative content clients include corporations, educational institutions, OTT Platforms, social media firms, print and electronic media, blogs, etc. Social media and content-sharing platforms benefited largely from such creative content.

Content creators aim to become social media influencers to promote/endorse products, services, brands, fitness, health, education & training apps, etc... Of course, such content comes with symbols like * ##. These symbols signify there exists a disclaimer. In simple language, a disclaimer means content creators and their clients are not legally responsible for any damage or loss while using their endorsed products, brands, and services.

We often see statutory warnings like “Cigarette smoking is injurious to health” on cigarette packets. Further, “Smoking is injurious to health” is a disclaimer issued on a screen while watching a movie in a cinema hall or on an OTT platform. Such disclaimers prevent people from smoking, saving lives from dangerous diseases as a precaution.

Nowadays, we see disclaimers more frequently in our daily routine. The usage of disclaimers keeps growing, and the same appearsi on influencers’ pages, email content, online or offline advertisements, blogs, podcasts, articles, and opinion pieces. Such disclaimers are often ignored. With such successful/reliable content, clients will take advantage in the form of complementary/positive reviews, ratings, rankings, accreditations, rewards, and awards.

The moment a content creator deviates from the being prudent or diplomatic and starts taking sides, i.e., right or left view, such content becomes viral and results in many problems for the content creators and their clients. Subsequently, content clients will stop owning such controversial content and stay away from the legal course of action through disclaimers. Hence, content creators try to safeguard themselves by using disclaimers more often than usual. Recently, the government has made disclaimers mandatory for influencers endorsing health-related products and brands.

Companies, trainers/coaches, advertisement agencies, educational institutions, and influencers spend more time seeking legal opinions and following disclaimer guidelines while drafting disclaimer statements, to tackle adverse situations.

Disclaimers will protect content creators and their clients in a diverse cyber-active society.

Shekar is with Institute of Public Enterprise, Hyderabad; Chaturvedula is with IMT Hyderabad

Source: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/