social media and the law


The benefits in implementing enterprise 2.0 technologies into organisations are numerous, but one of the leading concerns is it’s goverence.  Social media law protects companies from employee involvement in social netowrking sites (sns) such as facebook and twitter, but this is a farely new law which can be critised itself.
It is important for companies to be aware of how these sites work and how they can be legally responsoible or they face the risk of brand defimation, repuation and numerous other issues associated with sns.
In one of my recent posts about nestle we can see how easily a companies repuation can be damaged while trying to use SNS.
Companies need to make sure they have attempted to protect themselves from such outcomes by creating the following agreements and contracts, organisational policies, enforement andlitigation. (rostroncarlyle)
Social media is still emerging and critisms of privacy have been doucmented well by the media.  This has lead to many companies adopting strict polices or blocking them all together.
Companies have been facing these kinds of legal ramifications for many years without the use of social media and there have been well documented cases of these without the aid of these emerging technologies for example the David Jones sex scandle.  These have been governed by various laws, polices and training provided to protect the company and help mitigate these issues when they arise.
Why is it then that the online social media cannot develop it’s own laws and governance to protect companies so that  a means of social media within organisationscan exist?
newlawyer points out
“Robert Beerworth, the managing director of web design and development company Willam, said firms need to develop a policy around social media in order to benefit from the full extent of its possibilities, as well as lessen risk.”
Des Walsh is a social media strategist and business mentor coach and he “…emphasises that a good social media policy should reflect the circumstances, culture and goals of the organisation using it.”

ABC and it’s social media use guidelines.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is a government founded public broadcaster founded in 1929.  It has a presence on television, radio and the internet.  I have noticed over the last 2 years that ABC has started to dive head first into social media and for once it has payed off.  Even programs like Q&A have taken full use of twitter for is questions on live TV, triple j for presenters to build reputation, radio shows to take requests and tv/radio shows to blog what is happen within their related field. In the article it outlines the guide lines set to ABC employee involved in social media.

In an email sent to ABC staff this morning, the new Use of Social Media policy gives four standards which staff and contractors must follow when using both work and personal social media interaction:

  • Do not mix the professional and the personal in ways likely to bring the ABC into disrepute.
  • Do not undermine your effectiveness at work.
  • Do not imply ABC endorsement of your personal views.
  • Do not disclose confidential information obtained through work.
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    About wheatand
    student, developer, gamer, soccer, fun, music and "wheatley sure" are words that best describe me

    One Response to social media and the law

    1. jrsketcher says:

      The dot point list of guidelines really captures some of the key restrictions that would make a social media policy effective – it prevents problems like decreased productivity, privacy and reputation. There are likely many more important guidelines/principles but this is a good start and should probably be included in most workplace social media policies.

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