$50,000 for a tweet: The rise of 'social media prenups'
Lawyers are starting to write social media clauses into legal agreements
Friday 06 June 2014
Anyone who has been the victim of “revenge porn”, malicious tweets or even an embarrassing photo posted online by a partner can get up to $50,000 (£30,000) compensation per post in a new wave of “social media prenups”.
The legal arrangements, gaining popularity in the US, are allowing couples to lay down the boundaries for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other networks and seek huge financial rewards if they are violated.
Banning posts of nude photos, embarrassing pictures or anything likely to harm a partner’s professional reputation are popular clauses.
Ann-Margaret Carrozza, a New York-based lawyer who specialises in pre-nuptial arrangements, said social media has started to crop up in contracts in recent months.
“We want to be able to contractually limit the damage,” she told ABC News. “The damage is psychological, in the case of humiliating posts and tweets and pictures out there, and it’s economic because my career prospects are harmed.”
The financial penalty set depends on a person’s wealth, but Ms Carrozza said someone living in New York City who makes below $5 million (£3 million) could pay $50,000 (£30,000) “per episode”, meaning per post or per tweet.
Sheri Meyers, relationship and family therapist from Los Angeles, has drawn up a social media prenup with her partner Jonathon Aslay.
Ms Meyers is writing a book on the importance of social media and relationships and believes all couples should talk about boundaries.
She acknowledged that people resent the idea of not trusting each other and find it hard to believe anyone would post something hurtful online at the start of a relationship.
“This social media prenup is about how to have a better relationship,” she told ABC News.
Pre-nuptial arrangements usually cover the division of property and income before marriages.
They are not legally binding in the UK, although the Law Commission found earlier this year that they should be considered in divorce settlements after the needs of the couple and their children have been accounted for.
Test cases in Britain have recognised prenups since 2010, when German heir Katrin Radmacher who sought to protect her £106 million fortune.
They are more widely used in the US, where they are recognised in all states but may not be enforced.
Life & Style blogs
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 3 Father of 12 accused of raping, beating, starving and abusing his own children in US 'cult'
- 4 Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...
£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...
£30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will work as part of a smal...