I just believe that Kraig Baker really kicked butt with his info-laden but not jargon-laden talk on the legal risks of social media yesterday morning. Clear, thought-provoking and funny, he walked us through defamation, copyright infringement and even told us the biggest real risk organizations face.
My favorite tidbits:
"Everybody has a free, non-legal remedy [to conflict]. It's called a Twitter feed."
- Before worrying about the liability of social media engagement, ask yourself the question, "Why are you there?" The reason for social media participation should come before the details.
- If you defame someone, it doesn't matter what platform you used to do it. It's still defamation. And BTW, defamation is fact (not opinion) about a living, identifiable person or entity and substantially false.
- Not everyone thinks a viral hit is valuable - driving traffic to a site is not a valid defense against copyright infringement.
- Just because content is posted on the internet or on a social media site doesn't mean you can do whatever you want with it. Copyright still applies.
- Be careful about making promises. A promise by an enthusiastic employee can create liability where none would have existed previously. And even if you don't have legal liability, organizations might experience huge PR headaches and ramifications.
- Nothing will protect you against stupidity - there's no expectation of privacy apart from home and work.
- The NLRB calls Facebook "the new water cooler" and has fought and won against firing employees for work-related negative comments on that social network.
- And more wise words: "Don't confuse not getting caught with being legal." How many of us broke laws just getting here today? That doesn't mean you can't get caught or sued the next time!
Slides of Baker's info-rich and example-rich talk:
But it's really not the same without the video, is it? Every social media pro NEEDS to watch this!