What is Social Media?

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Social Media and HR - What are the legal risks?

The explosion in the use of social media by employees and customers has dramatically increased the level of exposure for organizations to reputational risk, IP leakage, copyright infringements, anti-trust issues and more. 

Social media has created a minefield, especially in the area of HR management, with the widespread use of online tools to find, vet, recruit and manage staff.

Now that every employee has a virtual megaphone to the world to share confidential information, intentionally or through poor judgement, organizations need to understand what the risks are and how to defend against them through education, sound social media strategy and appropriate policies.

Finding a legal expert that understands these issues is not easy.

Fortunately for Scripps Networks Interactive Inc., Cynthia Gibson (Vice President Legal) is an expert that understands HR and the evolving area of social media related legal risk management. 

Recently, Mrs. Gibson delivered an incredibly informative 90 miunute webinar that was packed full of practical information, including:

Which laws apply?

Not only did Ms. Gibson review the applicable laws but she also cited recent cases and examples.

• The Electronic Communications Privacy Act

• The Stored Communications Act

• Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

• National Labor Relations Act

• Privacy Rights

• Free Speech Rights

• Federal Trade Commission

• Whistleblowers

• Lawful Non-Work Activity Statutes

• Reporter’s Privilege

• Limitations

What are the Challenges for HR & Management:

Social media is a powerful new tool for both recruitment and management but it comes with a host of challenges for managers.

• Background checks

• Discrimination

• Harassment and Retaliation

• Disloyalty

• Insubordination

• Employee monitoring

What are the Risks to your Organization

Senior management needs to always have an eye on risk management. Many of the legal risks associated with social media are actually not new. What is new is that now every employee in your organization has the capacity to do far greater damage must faster and wider than ever before, requiring a new degree of diligence.

• Litigation

• Disclosure of confidential information and trade secrets

• Defamation

• Copyright violations

• Unfair competition

• Competitive intelligence

• Negligent hiring and retention

• Damage to reputation

Social Media Opportunities and Best Practices

Not everything to do with social media represents risk and downside, there is of course, great opportunity to grow your organization, improve communications, gain new customers, find outstanding employees and earn new revenue.

The goal is to be able to leverage all of the positive opportunities that social media promises without incurring undo risk. Ms. Gibson does an excellent job of explaining the risks that exists, citing examples of recent cases, and providing some straight forward advice for managers on how to leverage social media wisely. 


NOTE: Access to the recorded webinar session is still available. For just $149.00 you get:

•Instant Access to the recorded Webinar for 6 months!  

•Copy of the presentation slides

• Free bonus materials: “Online Community Management Guidelines and Checklist”!