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Referring to social media by name

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Would someone get in trouble for specifically mentioning social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter in a fictional story. For example, the MC tweets something on Twitter. I don't know how to get around this other than inventing an imaginary social media platform. Or is this something you need to get permission to do?

Thank you in advance!
#1 - August 24, 2018, 10:03 AM

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I don't think you would get in trouble for mentioning it. I don't think you need permission.

The only thing to think about is the fact that things like this come and go, and it's possible that it could date your book.
#2 - August 24, 2018, 10:14 AM

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Characters in books do this all the time. You don't need permission, and if you did, this would be handled during the publication process. It's not something to worry about in manuscript. 

However, another question might be how much this will date your book/story, and how much that matters to that particular book/story. If a platform that's all the rage now becomes the next MySpace, your book will seem dated. Just the other day, I saw a discussion online about how "ancient" contemporary YA that was published in the '90s or early '00s is now. Technology changes are part (but not all) of the reason. A similar problem happens when there's a change in the demographic that a real platform appeals to. In general, as adults discover and use new platforms, the kids move on to something else.

I've seen made-up platforms, but those might work best in a comedy or spoof. (I remember a story where, if I recall, characters posted on "My Face.") A workable answer might be to just say your characters are "posting online" without specifying where.

x-posting
#3 - August 24, 2018, 10:27 AM
Adventures of Jenna V. Series
Caroline Grade Mysteries
The Journey of Emilie
Anne Bradstreet: America's Puritan Poet
www.marciahoehne.com

"posting online"---I really like that.
#4 - August 24, 2018, 10:30 AM

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"posting online"---I really like that.

I actually used this in a MG manuscript. It didn't sell, but my agent signed me with it, and she saw no problem with that at all.

#5 - August 24, 2018, 10:31 AM
Adventures of Jenna V. Series
Caroline Grade Mysteries
The Journey of Emilie
Anne Bradstreet: America's Puritan Poet
www.marciahoehne.com

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