A competition in social media - how to organize it legally?


Many entrepreneurs run company profiles on social media. This is a good way to promote - thanks to the presence on such portals, you can reach many people and build a loyal community around the brand. A competition in social media can support this process, but it should be ensured that it is organized and conducted in accordance with the law.

Competition in social media and the regulations of social networks

When organizing a competition in social media, you should first of all pay attention to the provisions of the regulations of social networks on which they are organized. They may contain provisions prohibiting the organization of competition in the form in which the entrepreneur planned it, especially if the competition in social media is to consist of

  • encouraging Internet users to share the organizer's posts,

  • encouraging Internet users to like the organizer's posts,

  • encouraging internet users to invite friends to like or share the organizer's posts.

Even if the regulations of social networking sites do not contain a clause directly prohibiting such practices, they can be treated as spam and removed.

Competition in social media and legal regulations

When preparing a competition in social media, one should remember not only about the regulations of social media, but also about the laws regulating this area of ​​business activity - in this context, the Act on Competition and Consumer Protection, the Act on the Protection of Personal Data, and the Copyright and Rights Agreement are particularly important. related, and above all the act on gambling.

It is the provisions of the latter legal act that should be given special attention. An extremely popular form of social media contests is based on the random selection of users of a social networking site who have submitted an application. The element of randomness is important in this context - the winner is selected not on the basis of specific criteria, but by chance - by drawing or using a special algorithm. This type of competition is indicated in the Gambling Act:

Art. 2. 1. Games of chance are games for cash or material winnings, the result of which depends in particular on the case, and the terms of the game are specified in the regulations (...)

If the competition in social media meets this condition, it should be reported to the appropriate customs chamber in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 5 of the Act - its director may grant permission to conduct it. Importantly, the organizer must guarantee the solvency of the prizes to the winners and other users, if it is stipulated in the competition regulations - it is a condition for giving consent. Carrying out the competition without the consent of the director of the customs chamber may result in a fine for the entrepreneur.

If, when entering the competition, it is necessary to provide personal data, the organizer, as the entity creating and administering the database, is obliged to obtain the consent of the competition participants for the processing of their personal data, and should immediately delete the database after the end of the competition.

If a competition in social media involves the creation of various types of works by the participating Internet users, the issue of copyright is extremely important. Usually, the works sent to the organizer as part of the competition are later used in the promotional activities of the brand. Therefore, it is extremely important to conclude a copyright transfer agreement with people taking part in the competition - it can be a ready contract with a checkbox (for example, with the text I have read the text of the contract and agree to its terms) or sent to the participant's e-mail account competition after he has submitted his application.

What to include in the competition regulations?

The rules of the competition in social media are also an issue that should be paid special attention by entrepreneurs. It is his records that indirectly decide whether the competition is lawful. It should define the following:

  • the organizer of the competition (most often it is the company that maintains an account on a given portal),

  • the date on which the competition is organized - the start and end date of submitting applications or competition works, the date of announcing the results and the final date on which the winner should collect the prize,

  • competition rules - a clear and precise indication of what the participants should do to win prizes, who can take part in the competition (the criterion may be, for example, age or place of residence), what features of the work will be taken into account when selecting the winner,

  • records regarding complaints,

  • indicating that people participating in the competition must have an account on a specific social network,

  • information on what data and for what purpose the competition organizer collects and how it will process it.

The regulations should be formulated clearly, without ambiguity and in an understandable way, so that the participants can read and understand them before entering the competition. The organizer should not in any way limit the rights of participants under the laws. If we are not sure whether a specific provision is lawful, we can check the register of prohibited clauses kept by UOKiK, which collects the wording that is included in the regulations and has been considered contrary to the law.