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Prohibition against fraudulent accounts, C2S39 CPRA

Section 39, Canon II

SECTION 39. Prohibition against fraudulent accounts. -A lawyer shall not create, maintain or operate accounts in social media to hide his or her identity for the purpose of circumventing the law or the provisions of the CPRA. (2023 Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability or CPRA)

1. Prohibition against fraudulent accounts

Under this section, lawyers are prohibited from creating, maintaining, or operating accounts in social media “to hide his or her identity for the purpose of circumventing the law or the provisions of the CPRA.”

Lawyers should be mindful in the responsible use of the Internet, particularly with social media. That they are using pseudonyms or anonymous accounts do not excuse them from liability if they do so to circumvent CPRA provisions.

a. Identifying as a lawyer

Often, those who use pseudonyms preface their content with “I’m a lawyer” or “Lawyer here” and goes to speak about a subject. If their content violates the CPRA, then they are liable under this section.

b. Not identifying as a lawyer

On the other hand, there are those who use anonymous accounts without identifying themselves as lawyers and proceeds to give their two cents on a topic. Similarly, even if they did not identify themselves as a lawyer, but their content violates the CPRA, then they may be held liable under this section.

References

Canon II, 2023 Code of Professional Responsibility

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