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
10. Social media adds litigation considerations.

Read More

Drugmaker Merck challenges Facebook after ‘losing’ page

The German drug maker Merck KGaA has begun legal action against Facebook after discovering what its lawyer described as the “the apparent takeover of its Facebook page”.

The webpage is being used by the German firm’s US rival Merck & Co.

Merck KGaA said that the social network “is an important marketing device [and] the page is of great value”, adding that since its competitor was benefiting from the move “time is of the essence.”

This kind of happening has been in the making for a long time and again demonstrate Facebook’s disregards for due process and communication, something fairly typical of social media platforms in general.  Somehow, the basic social media rules do not seem to apply to social media companies.

As social media becomes increasingly important to communicate with and engage a company’s constituencies, social media companies will need to be more responsive and accountable, and if they want to attract more advertisers, they will have to implement systems to communicate with their own constituencies, something their customers learned a long time ago.

This event though, illustrates and reinforces the need to understand that an organization should not build their online presence and strategy around the social networks, but around something they have actual control and ownership over, their website and develop their website into an interactive platform.  They then should use social media to drive traffic to their website, something Facebook has been steadily trying to curtail.

This legal action from a major companies could benefit us all by making Facebook more accountable

Read the full article