Social media risk management issues

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Legal considerations for business engagement in Social Media

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Social media risk management issues

  1. 1. Risk Management Considerations By Andrew Bland November 2010 The information in this presentation is general in nature and does not constitute formal legal advice. www.blandslaw.com.au
  2. 2. What’s Different About Social Media? It’s public – very, very public It’s amplified (one to many, many to many, possibly millions) It’s a continuous live conversation driven by the consumer. It’s permanent – e.g. Twitter is now archived in the U.S. Library of Congress It lacks much of the contextual information of traditional media. www.blandslaw.com.au
  3. 3. Reputation Management Brand Management Employee participation – implement a social media policy. One study: each negative social media comment costs 30 customers Another study: 34 percent of adults are using social media as an outlet to rant about brands and services (bad PR) www.blandslaw.com.au
  4. 4.  Privacy issues  Loss of and/or disclosure of confidential information  Discrimination  Defamation  Monitoring  Brand, reputation and IP protection  “Ownership” of social media accounts  Database “theft”  Contact / solicitation of customers post employment via social media www.blandslaw.com.au
  5. 5.  Who is going to manage social media in the organisation – consider a collaborative approach such as Deloittes  The nature of conduct that the employer seeks to protect itself against  Who should such a policy apply to for example, the entire business or levels within the business, suppliers, business partners contractors?  The nature of control over social media use for example, a total ban, limited use, total accessibility?  Authority limits or restrictions for use for example, is permission required, content pre-approval, who is responsible for such approvals ?  What can or cannot be discussed on social media forums ? www.blandslaw.com.au
  6. 6.  What logos, icons, ideas can or cannot be published on social media forums  What disclaimers or other information must be included when participating in a social media forum  The nature of behaviour that is acceptable or unacceptable  When it is and isn’t acceptable to use or participate in a social media forum  Reporting any breach  Consequences of breach  Integration into existing policies. www.blandslaw.com.au
  7. 7. Provide guidelines for using social media – you can define what you consider appropriate Provide recourse as an employer if something does go wrong If you don’t have a policy in place you may find it hard to discipline staff for what you consider to be inappropriate use of social media www.blandslaw.com.au
  8. 8.  How do you know what is being said about you, your business, your competitors or your employee’s online?  Under the Workplace Surveillance Act 2005 (NSW)you must notify employees in the appropriate form if you plan to monitor them.  You cannot monitor employees when they are ‘not at work’.  You cannot block internet access to particular websites unless you are acting in accordance with a policy already in place. www.blandslaw.com.au
  9. 9.  Think about language and etiquette – nothing beats good manners  Understand that every post is public; this is not a relationship between you and your computer!  Consider information you are posting; is it confidential or private in any way?  Think about consequences in terms of being “quoted out of context”.  Have systems in place for dealing with negative events. www.blandslaw.com.au
  10. 10.  Anything posted on social media should be considered public – ie front page of the newspaper  Know your privacy settings, especially on Facebook  Be careful of “linking” private social media accounts to company accounts  Share freely that which is public (and appropriate).  Think about location based social media networking ie do you want your competition to know when you’re visiting clients? www.blandslaw.com.au
  11. 11. Fake Stephen Conroy, Telstra Employee, March 2009. • Employee had fake Stephen Conroy twitter account, made satirical comments. • Also had a blog in which comments were made also. • Telstra started disciplinary proceedings, employee posted on twitter: “throw me under the f---king bus just to make Telstra look social-media savvy” • Bad PR for Telstra in the way it was handled. www.blandslaw.com.au
  12. 12.  April 2009, Article in SMH. • A 27-year-old Australian woman, who did not want to be named, said about six months ago her employer - a large online technology company - started disciplinary action against her over a "generic" comment she wrote on the Facebook wall of a friend. • She wrote something along the lines of "he's such an anally retentive asshole", without naming any individuals or the company. A manager at the company thought the comments were referring to him and refused to back down on giving her an official warning, so she quit her job. • "managed out" of the company. www.blandslaw.com.au
  13. 13. Coles Supermarket, Edwardston (SA), April 2010: • Employee was sacked after postings on Facebook about a fellow employee. • Posted on a friends ‘wall’, so visible to visitors to that page. Management alerted the same day. • Management found up to six months worth of older Facebook posts that amounted to ‘disparaging and untruthful remarks about another team member’. • Breach of company policy. www.blandslaw.com.au
  14. 14. Melbourne Haridresser, FWA Ruling September 2010. • Terminated for posting on her Facebook Page "Xmas bonus alongside a job warning, followed by no holiday pay!!! Whoooooo! The Hairdressing Industry rocks man!!! AWSOME!!!" • Unfair dismissal case brought by the hairdresser. • Hairdresser won, as the comments were not deemed to have adversely affected the business. • May have been different with a social media policy in place? www.blandslaw.com.au
  15. 15. Deloittes Australia – participation, communication, transformation – via a national social media council Coca-Cola – great social media participation managed via a policy www.blandslaw.com.au
  16. 16. Andrew Bland abland@blandslaw.com.au @irlawyeraus 9805 5600 www.blandslaw.com.au

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