Social Media and the Law of Contract

Have fun, be creative, network, but know that your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn contact e-mail addresses are governed by the Law of Contract.

When you send, invite or accept an invite on social media networking sites, an unequivocal offer and acceptance has taken place. The Latin term, Animus Contrahendi the express and implied intention to be bound by one’s offer and acceptance – has occurred.

You have agreed that your e-mail address may be used to send you mail, including unsolicited commercial mail. Of course you can THEN express a preference to OPT OUT. This Opt Out constitutes a revocation of your offer.
An agreement is made when an offer is accepted. By issuing an invite, you tender an offer. By accepting the invite the recipient has accepted your offer. This means you have both consented to the use of each other’s e-mail addresses.

For more on this and on the emergence of South African Case Law in regard to social media and social media platforms, and its intersection with international law, “Evolution of Social Media Case Law” offers insight into this new and fascinating trajectory: South Africa, Business Law & Tax Review 8 July 2013.