Posts Tagged ‘minefield’

A rather hectic week has been and gone so I can finally post the final instalment of ‘Navigating the Social Media legal Minefield’.

In this final chapter we shall cover two topics that are close to my heart, being the legal issues around Information, as well as Statutory risks of engaging in social media. These two go hand in hand as the information that is distributed via social media takes on a life of its own, leading to situations that could be potential dangerous or even downright humiliating for either the poster or the person(s) involved both directly and indirectly.
Sounds like a mouthful yes? I use the term ‘legal minefield’ when describing social media for a reason! While some may delight in have a mental image of a suited up lawyer tiptoeing through an actual minefield, it’s about the most accurate description you could give for posting into the Enterprise 2.0 sphere.

Information

For a start, who owns what you post into the ether? You would think that because you typed the words posted onto your chosen platform that you and only you are accountable, and any actions taken would only be against the poster… right?

Well for the most part you would be correct, and as Social Rabbit points out there are a few things you should know when putting information onto FaceBook. Companies who have a social media vessel that allows users to submit comments, feedback, post images, thoughts, ideas etc are actually allowing this to be submitted to their companies public face, thus the information on their page is in fact representing them to the general public.

An example of brands that embarrassed themselves on social media is McDonalds, who ran a campaign designed to generate positive memories of the beloved golden arches. This was the (disastrous) result:


This goes to show that not everyone is your friend when it comes to social media. It also raises issues around what information is shared.

Take for example a new employee on the current American campaign trail who is given Facebook access for their party. They are given full access and can post on behalf of the entire campaign as it will appear to come from the page that is owned by the campaign.

Imagine the field day that would result if something unmoderated was
posted such as this?

For a start, someone would be getting fired! But it would also damage the campaign’s credibility due to the fact it was posted by their official social media mouthpiece. This has far reaching repercussions which need to be carefully assessed before releasing ANY form of information via social media.
Legal Issues

As we’ve explored above, what you post is yours, you own it, and that means if you said it online it’s the same as saying it to someone on the street. In Liam Stacey’s case, that meant taking to twitter and with the glorious mouthpiece that is social media, managed to enrage an entire nation. His trolling efforts on Twitter, where he drunkenly tweeted racists comments when Fabrice Muamba collapsed during an international soccer match, were so profoundly successful that a District Judge decided to throw him a 56 day private party… where he could celebrate by himself, in a jail cell.
This is only one example of many, however I feel I should cut to the chase and point out a few key points to ensure your companies venture into Enterprise 2.0 is regarded as a success by all.

– Only post information on behalf of the company if you are authorised to

– Information published should be considered ‘Public’ in nature, as such, NEVER release private or sensitive company information.

– Maintain a professional attitude and profile, no lolcats.

– Always respond promptly to customer feedback, ALL feedback, this included negative comments.

– Finally, READ THE FACEBOOK RULES OR LOOSE EVERYTHING!

On a final note, monitor you page 24/7, know your memes, know what’s hip and what’s not, find someone to vet images on your page as well as posts or you might end up making a gaff like Nestle did... is this the Kit Kat bear or something more sinister?