Social media has changed the world in many ways. It has connected people who have often lost touch with each other, it has helped businesses reach markets on a larger scale, and it has helped people have a laugh as they watch the world from an outside view. One thing many of us don’t understand is the blurred lines that social media is causing in legislation and other forms of regulations. There is no doubt that social media has changed the business landscape of today. Many business owners think that the web is open to everyone and general business guidelines don’t apply. The fact is it isn’t the final user that is the benchmark for guidelines, but where you are located in the country.
Recently there was a story about a Quebec business owner that was asked to translate her Facebook page into French after a customer complained she had violated Bill 101 that states all promotional material for commercial businesses must be in the language of French if they are located in Quebec. The case is currently before the courts, but the fact is that this business owner has many English speaking customers. The courts are now investigating how the Internet applies to this Bill that was created before the Internet was born. The argument is not that the social media site has to be in French, but the content put on that page by the business must meet the regulations set out by the locality in which the business resides.
There is a good lesson here as we move into the age of technology it will start to impact our daily lives as far as regulations are concerned. It may be worthwhile to review any laws in your area that may affect your business in the areas of advertising or marketing to make sure you are not putting your business in jeopardy in some way. The Internet is new to everyone and it is certainly changing the business of today, and possibly the regulations of yesterday!
About the Author
Carmen Outridge has been translating for the Quebec market for over 30 years. She is the owner of Outridge Translation Services offering translation services for the Province of Quebec. To learn more about Outridge Translation Services and their services please visit their website at www.outridgetranslation.com