By: Dustin Humphrey
There’s no doubt social media has changed the way we communicate and interact during both working and leisure hours. While social media is wildly popular in part because it nurtures the spontaneous, individuals and businesses should think carefully about the messages they share through Twitter, Facebook, LinkIn and other social media platforms.
Consider a photo snapped at a business by an employee, customer or other visitor. It’s something that commonly pops up in social media and might seem harmless, even to the photographer. But suppose there’s a document containing confidential information in the photo’s background. Protecting confidentiality is one issue concerning social media and the law. One of the best ways to defend against accidental leaks is to review and update company policies often so employees and other stakeholders fully understand their responsibility to protect the business’ private information.
There are consequences for actions taken online just as there are in the offline world. If someone writes false information that damages the reputation of a person or organization in a blog post, Facebook status or as a comment on someone’s content, they may face legal action.
Job candidates’ and employees’ social media pages are becoming a more common source of information for employers. An employer might not even consider an applicant who has posted offensive text or inappropriate photos. It’s true social media can help companies make hiring decisions, but employers must be careful to be sure the information discovered is not used to unlawfully discriminate against a job applicant or employee.
These are some of the more common legal topics that apply to social media. If you have questions about the ever-changing social media landscape and law, consult an attorney to find out how you can protect yourself and your business.
Dustin joined the SBW&P team in 2010, coming to us from one of the oldest firms in Cincinnati. He earned his undergraduate degree from Bellarmine University, summa cum laude, and his law degree from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, where he graduated cum laude. Dustin’s law practice includes personal injury law, medical malpractice law, business law including corporations, LLCs and business planning, real estate law, probate law, estate planning, employment law, and family law.