It is important to be aware of international social media laws because all social media is connected. When you post something on social media, it travels around the world without regard to borders. What is legal in one country can be illegal in another. Did you know that if you travel to the People's Republic of China it is illegal to check your Facebook? The website, and many others, are banned there. In addition to China, social media websites are also regularly banned in Iran, Pakistan, Vietnam, North Korea, and Turkey. 

If you are a business and direct social media marketing to other countries, you must abide by all the individual laws of each country. You may be surprised to find out that the social media laws of Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union can be remarkably different than those of the United States. Any business hoping to expand their reach internationally must be aware of and compliant with social media laws around the world.

CAN-SPAM Act: Allows consumers and social networks to seek sanctions for social media spamming. This is always a good place to start when considering a social media marketing strategy.

Cross-Border Spam:

  • European Union Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive Article 13(1)
  • Canada Electronic Commerce Protection Act (Canada Anti-Spam Law CASL)
  • UK Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations of 2003

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC): Model for self-regulatory advertising and marketing frameworks around the world. 2011 update addressed digital ads. Many countries base their social media guidelines on the ICC, so it is wise to view them as minimum standards.

  • Chapter D: Advertising and Marketing Communications Using Digital Interactive Media.

Cross-Border Advertising:

  • China’s Responsible Marketing Code: Very similar to ICC guidelines.
  • European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA): International Council on Advertising Self-Regulation (ICAS).
  • UK: Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)

​​For more options, see the Your Options page of this website.   

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international social media Laws

All information on this website is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Ninomiya Law, PLLC and Kent Ninomiya only provide legal advice to clients when there is a valid engagement agreement signed by both attorney and clients. The principal office of Ninomiya Law, PLLC is located in Round Rock, Texas. Ninomiya Law, PLLC is responsible for the content of this website.