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7 Legal Issues You Should Know About Social Media
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7 Legal Issues You Should Know About Social Media


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This presentation was given at the SM2Day conference in Rochester, New York ( Chris Brogan was the star of the show--great talk and a great guy.

This presentation was given at the SM2Day conference in Rochester, New York ( Chris Brogan was the star of the show--great talk and a great guy.

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  • 1. The Legal Aspects of Social Media 7 things you need to know Social Media Today Conference Rochester, New York November 11, 2009 Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 2. 1. Don’t ignore social media Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 3. Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 4. A fundamentalist is a person who considers whether a fact is acceptable to their faith before they explore it. As opposed to a curious person who explores first and then considers whether or not they want to accept the ramifications. --Seth Godin Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 5. 2. Be ethical Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 6. Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 7. 3. Do not defame Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 8. Source: NY Business Law Blog: Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 9. Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 10. 4. Do not offend Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 11. Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 12. Source: v=7SeL6i3sHM0&feature=PlayList&p=BEA63222CFE1FEA8&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=11 Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 13. Source: v=7SeL6i3sHM0&feature=PlayList&p=BEA63222CFE1FEA8&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=11 Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 14. 5. Don’t restrict employees’ access Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 15. Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 16. 6. Implement a reasonable social media policy Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 17. Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 18. Question: What options does an employer have if an employee makes negative comments about the company or criticizes the company via a blog, Web page, etc.? In New York - N.Y. Labor Law § 201-d(2)(c): Employers in New York can’t take adverse action against an employee due to the employee's engagement in legal recreational activities as long as the activities occur outside working hours, do not occur on employer's premises, and do not use employer's property. N.Y. Lab. Law § 201-d(2)(c). Recreational activities are defined as "any lawful - leisure time activity, for which the employee receives no compensation and which is generally engaged in for recreational purposes, included but not limited to sports, games, hobbies, exercise, reading and the viewing of television, movies, and similar material." § 201-d(1)(2). The law, however, does not protect "activity which ... creates a material conflict of interest related to the employer's trade secrets, proprietary information or other proprietary or business interest" and New York courts do not recognize employee dating as a recreational activity. N.Y. Lab. Law § 201-d(3)(a); State v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 207 A.D. 2d 150, 621 N.Y.S. 2d 158 (1995). Therefore, enacting a well- phrased anti-fraternization workplace policy will not violate this statute. Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 19. Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 20. A good social media policy should: • Tell employees to exercise good judgment and common sense in all electronic communications; • Emphasize potential reach and impact of information sent over the Internet; • Ensure employees understand that they have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding electronic communications in the workplace; • Notify employees that they must not use electronic communications in any manner that is unlawful or contrary to the company's interest; • Inform employees that they cannot use electronic communications to violate the company's anti- discrimination policy; • Require employees to sign consent forms regarding workplace and work equipment monitoring; • Specify the consequences if company policy is violated; and • Apply the policy equally to all employees within the company. Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 21. • Online Database of Social Media Policies: policies.php?f=0 ( • Social Media Policy Templates: http:// f=6 ( Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 22. 7. Be aware of applicable laws, rules and regulations Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 23. Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 24. Friday, November 13, 2009
  • 25. Thanks for listening! Nicole Black lawtechTalk Friday, November 13, 2009