Why social media is legally risky?

Social media is a huge change in people’s lives, you can see this statistics about Facebook that explains it:

companies found their customers as well as employees evolving in this new communication heap. What if our employees said anything in their social profiles, is it considered the corporates opinion?  Is the risk comes from joining the crowd and has, for example, a Facebook page or ignoring the change to prevent offending.

If a company paid for an employee 8 hours a day, is anything they contribute to social media at this time belongs to them?

If a company is interviewing someone for a job, can they consider his personal appearance and posts on social media as criteria?

Could I as a customer jump in a company’s Facebook page and type or tweet all offends that I can?

To answer these endless-looking questions, ask them again with removing the social media element, so, if an employee said anything in her/his paid time is it belongs to the company? Of course not, simple! Can I go to a company’s branch and shout to the reception about their bad services, they will work it out! It always happens. If a company wants to hire someone, they will notice his personality as much as they can; they also can ask anyone about him or her.

The biggest problem with social media, is everything is documented, and that what makes most of the struggle, the second thing is, it’s hard to find the boundaries that control what you’ve published about yourself or not, and . Since I was using the internet before the Web 2.0 boom, I was able to control my appearance on the web, and by the time passes, I was losing control until finally, Googling my name will have many things that I didn’t know that they’re there, hoping there is nothing bad buried in my memory but not in Google’s memory.

In courts, single evidence is enough to make all the difference, and we are leaving everything possible behind us.

It is very important that lawyers –or anybody works in the justice sector- understand the importance of the data on social media, not only to avoid the risk for their clients but also for themselves. This is clear in Stoam Holding case 2 years ago when Stoam lawyer Drew Ledbetter used a juror’s tweet as an evidence, and these tweets were seriously taken as evidence with their tweeting time.

And since the social media boom is still growing, it’s not clear how it will change to the legal aspect of our life, and what other legal related traps it will create.

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9 thoughts on “Why social media is legally risky?

  1. You have clearly read a lot about legal risks of social media .. I can see that on the examples you’ve mentioned. You’ve covered most of the aspects and presented in a very interesting way
    I really enjoyed reading it
    🙂

  2. I agree with its totally risky for employees and employers as well.
    Employees will suffer of the judgments and perceptions which is based on their profile apperance,posts,comments and what they like which is clearly their interests.The conflict comes when you practice attitude and behavior in your Profile which does not reflect the person you suppose to be at work place and office.Though that sounds weired and personal privacy it helps employers in being alert to any unwelcome behaviors or attitude and draw the lines of preparation to new policies and contract terms.
    In this regard I heard that new policies will come over with the birth of reports about what do you do on FB.
    Great topic

    1. Hi Bandar
      Thanks a lot for the replay, you have a good point about the difference between my appearance on work and outside, I may look stupid in a camping or party photo in Facebook but so clever at work

  3. IMPO, I wouldn’t care if I was an employer whether the potential candidate is a social network user or not and how s/he behaves there. Why would I play the detective role and pick his online mistakes? With doing so, this might build a “personal” impression that could affect the employment decision. What I would care about is his experience and qualifications. That being said, I am so keen to archive my appearance in the best I can do/manage. No personal matters shall me discussed online with the public, that’s why they invented the phone. Pictures? only show those that will not make you ashamed of later on. Most importantly, READ THE PRIVACY STATEMENT of your social network provider to know what counts for/against you.

    1. Hi Firas
      So true, as an employer, do you expect you will get the best talents when they know that you judge them based upon their personal life like Facebook profile?

      Thanks a lot for the valuable comment

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