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

What is concidered acceptable content on Facebook

I often get the question:  What is considered acceptable content and what will get me in trouble on Facebook?

There is no easy or clear cut answer. The Facebook TOS (Terms of Service) concerning acceptable content, as with many Facebook rules are pretty vague and murky and their application, at Facebook’s discretion with little if any recourse.

The TOS states: “You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence,”

The interpretation is subjective and left to a committee based in Ireland, one of the most puritan countries in Europe.  As we have seen in the past, the interpretation and application has been at best random, without due process and recourse.

To stay on the safe side, the best advice I can give is:  do not post anything you would not want your mother or grand mother to see.

If you are not confused enough as most of us are, this article titled: “Too far for Facebook? How the site decides what to ban” goes into more details.


I am looking for a job, why should I care about social media?

I hear that a lot and recently have been asked to do presentations to several job clubs.

They did not ask me to do my usual “how to” presentation, instead, they asked me to design and deliver a presentation explaining why their members should care about social media and why social media was so important to their job search.

They also mentioned that a number of their members had been asked by employers what they knew about social media and how they would leverage social media to help the company if they were to be hired.

LinkedIn reports earnings, base growing to 116M

LinkedIn reported its first earning since going public in May.  The company reported a $4.5M profit for the second quarter (2c a share) on $121M revenue, a 50% increase over last year.

Don’t get too excited on the earning side, at least in the short term, the company  declared that they were willing to sacrifice short term earnings to invest in new technology and product development.

On the user side, LinkedIn announced 116M users, a 61% increase over the same time last year.

The user numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt though.  Over the last year, we have seen spammers creating massive numbers of fake profiles to spam discussion groups and infiltrate personal networks.

LinkedIn has been notorious for their lack of action against spam and spammers, one might argue, to ring up higher number of “users”, it will be interesting to see if they will change course in the future and tackle that growing issue before it has an impact on their real base.

Let’s hope for us users that some of the investment in technology and new product will address that growing problem.


Using Social Media to Recruit Talent

UnitedHealth Group’s Director of Employment Marketing, Heather Polivka, shares how they are redefining the recruiting process with social media.

A great example of large company in a highly regulated environment mastering social media for recruiting purpose and later leading the way for other departments to dive into social media.

The keys to remember here are:

  • Preparation
  • Social media policy (as Heather states, the Navy and Air Force have a thorough template that can be easily adapted for any organization)
  • Training
  • Mentoring
  • Engagement on a personal level as well as professional.  It’s the “social” part in social media

Who would have thought that HR could lead the way? Congratulations Heather and the UnitedHealth social media team

See a copy of the US Air Force engagement policy mentioned in the video ( same as the Navy) bellow.