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7.1.1 What is social media?
According to the Federal Council, “Social media or social networks are platforms which are more or less open, interactive and allow participation. They allow users to communicate, establish and maintain relationships.” (Federal Council, Cadre juridique pour les médias sociaux [Legal Basis for Social Media], Report of the Federal Council in Fulfilment of the Amherd Postulate 11.3912 of 29 September 2011, p. 2). These platforms allow users, individually or as a group, to publish content that can potentially be subject to copyright or share existing content with other users.
Social networks encourage people to exchange, research and broadcast information. The forms of communication can vary. With social media, users can communicate privately with each other in a group restricted to people they know or publicly subject to privacy settings.In the latter case, communication involves an unspecified number of people who may or may not be a part of the social network (Trudel P./Abran F., Gérer les enjeux et risques juridiques du Web 2.0 [Managing Legal Issues and Risks Associated with Web 2.0], CEFRIO, 2012, p. 32). Social media also allows users to simply produce and share content individually or collectively and at little cost ((Federal Council, Cadre juridique pour les médias sociaux [Legal Basis for Social Media], Report of the Federal Council in Fulfilment of the Amherd Postulate 11.3912 of 29 September 2011, p. 2).