By Alyse O'Shea
In my last blog post I discussed the benefits and risks of implementing Enterprise 2.0 into the business realm. While this is all well and good, we did not touch on the legal risk and implications to the company in regards to the use of Web 2.0 tools.
Grasping the legal implications that Enterprise 2.0 can have on your organization can be slightly confusing – businesses have found a new place to present themselves through social media sites. Having a channel available to communicate with customers in a non-formal way creates connection and awareness, though can leave a company vulnerable to their own Enterprise 2.0 success.
According to Dundas Lawyers:
“A Social Media Policy (SMP) is a document that suppliments a contract of employment to be legally enforceable by an organisation on its employees. The aim of an SMP is to clearly communicate what is acceptable conduct on Social Networking Sites by an organisations employees and contractors and what conduct is unacceptable and would make an employee liable to dismissal. An SMP is distinct from an organisations Social Media Strategy (SMS) which is a high level document that communicates how an organisation plans to participate in social media.”
A social media policy is a must have legal document for any company. An SMP may protect or attempt to address the company both internally and externally for the below:
The army, known to be one of the most strict jobs you are able to obtain. Introducing social media websites to the US army was seen to be a BIG NO, as they believed that in doing so would result to solider’s releasing confidential information to people back home.
There will always be risks involved when bringing social media into the army, but the army has given soldiers policies for when it comes to using social media:
With any company, using social media may tarnish the reputation of the company. The US army discharged a David Motari in 2008 for posting a video on Youtube showing himself in his US Marines uniform throwing a puppy off a cliff, this then went to make world news and giving the US army a terrible name.
Another case happen in the Australian Defense Force (ADF), where members of the service created a Facebook page that informed members of the public who was a homosexual in the army. To makes things worse – which I thought wasn’t possible – the ADF still has not punished the people responsible in anyway.
Even though there may be some terrible people out there that abuse the use of the social media sites, there are a lot of people that use it for the reason why it was given to them. Giving the army social media sites, allows them to communicate with people back home.