10 Things To Know About Liability In The Social Media World

With the explosion of websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, in-house counsel should give careful consideration to the unique problems social media presents, how it affects the workplace, and how to address employees’ and third parties’ social media usage.

As with the rise of the Internet and blogs, existing employee and intellectual property issues play out in the social media world in sometimes surprising ways, creating new challenges and problems for in-house counsel. Social media has the capability to dramatically increase these problems and challenges by providing a much larger, well-connected audience. The following are some specific, brief considerations that in-house counsel should analyze and address with company employees.

1. Secrets are gone in a flash (or click).
2. Employee posts in social media may be protected speech
.
3. Employee posts may subject the company to liability.
4. Employee posts may prompt federal administrative action.
5. Social media provides an exponentially bigger, real-time audience for traditional employee-relations problems.
6. Using social media as a recruiting tool can backfire.
7. Registering user names is a cost-effective, protective measure.
8. Implementing social media policies is becoming a best practice
9. The best defense is a good offense
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10. Social media adds litigation considerations.

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Social Media and Disclosures, Learning from the Hyundai Case

Hyundai avoided a collision with the Federal Trade Commission on the treacherous social media marketing course. The FTC suggested yesterday that its decision not to recommend enforcement action against Hyundai for a blogger outreach effort designed to build buzz around the brand’s Super Bowl XLV ads could be a lesson for marketers.

Three rules of thumb for social media marketers:

  1. Mandate a disclosure policy that complies with the law
  2. Make sure people who work for you or with you know what the rules are
  3. Monitor what they’re doing on your behalf

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Social Media, Ethics, Disclosures and FTC

Andy Sernovitz, shares his recommendations on how to stay safe and ethical in social media covering the latest FTC updates, the fundamentals of proper disclosure, and how to make sure your agencies and vendors comply with your standards.

Disclosure Best Practices Toolkit (PDF)