The "new way of communication" which has been
spreading to a wide range since the last decade of 20th century
with digital transmission, Web sites, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram,
Wikipedia, news portal, blogs, dictionaries and forums; actually
indicates a new stage in human history. We're creating a
"virtual world" in which both individuals and commercial
firms can exist besides the physical world. We can even say that
the model and duration of living in this virtual world, changes and
affects the physical world. In the center of this "new model
of living" is the social media whose number of actors
increases every day.
Nowadays, the main channel for marketing and advertising
activities is the social media as both individuals and commercial
firms keep up with this model of living and take their place in the
virtual world. Traditional marketing approaches and methods are now
giving their place to social media marketing and digital
This new platform, which has a potential to create effective
results for internet users and clients, also holds the power to
destroy brand reputation and individual reputation of people in
less than no time. Since it is not possible for commercial
firms and individuals to track all content about them published on
the internet, to ensure continuity of this tracking process and
swiftly initiate required actions, we see that this process has now
become a new out-sourced service named as "Online
Reputation Management" ("ORM"). ORM,
consists of many administrative and legal phases such as separation
of positive and negative content, analysis, responding, removing
content and determining content which will be subject to legal
In the administrative phase of ORM, a wide content research is
made, from dialogues in social media networks to content found in
search engines, with regards to individuals, commercial firms and
brands. Afterwards the negative content is reviewed, analyzed,
sorted out according to importance, prioritized and the ones which
damage the firm/individual's reputation and requires legal
action are determined. Following this phase, the administrative or
legal steps are decided according to prioritization levels.
ORM aims to prevent and deal with unauthorized user names,
content of individual or corporate scandals, hate blogs,
information leakages, fake account attacks and misinformation on
ORM, draws interest not only from brands and corporates but also
from individuals like artists, doctors, politicians and business
people. In parallel with this considerable interest, both
advertising/media agencies and technology firms create new services
and products to meet the need. While software companies develop new
software for scanning internet platforms and apps talking with
particular web sites to determine negative content;
advertising/media agencies set the strategies and crisis scenarios
against negative content. Moreover an evaluation is carried out for
applying to legal remedies.
It is important to evaluate the nature and essence of a content
published on the internet before taking legal action and to see if
it falls within the limits of freedom of expression or may be
deemed as criticism/opinion. All legal actions shall be based on
strong legal arguments.
So what legal remedies does Turkish Law offer in case limits of
basic rights and freedoms like freedom of expression, freedom of
the press or right to information are being crossed?
In the legal evaluation the content is reviewed in terms of
Intellectual Property Law, Civil Law, Commercial Law and other
applicable legislation as well as Internet regulations. Turkish Law
has many legal instruments and procedures to be used against the
content infringing legal and real persons' rights.
In addition to correct legal evaluation, it is also important to
determine the right order of applicable procedures and to follow
procedural steps correctly. Otherwise the legal application may be
rejected because of statute of limitation, lack of evidence, lack
of preconditions or similar procedural deficiencies. It may be said
that ORM service cannot be provided effectively and completely
unless the above-mentioned software-administrative-legal support
aspects are provided jointly and managed from one hand.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Managing hotels and associated leisure facilities will inevitably give rise to a wide range of complex commercial and legal issues.
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