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Social media liability risks

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Here are some comments from Travelers Insurance. For more info, check www.gbwinsurance.com
“Uncontrolled Messaging From Three Directions
Today, many companies see social media as a valuable component of their marketing strategy. Some use it to spread the word about new products, keep in touch with existing customers and promote awareness of the company’s brand.
Social media sites, however, are also an uncontrolled environment where a company’s employees, customers and competitors can say just about anything they want. That may lead to liability, as these three examples illustrate: • An employee brags about his involvement with a new
celebrity customer, inadvertently releasing information that jeopardizes the business relationship and the celebrity’s publicity rights.
• A customer posts an angry outburst about a company’s product. Someone from the company responds, and the comments are later cited in the product liability suit filed by the customer.
• A competitor tweets about the poor warranty service provided by the company. An employee responds in a manner which defames the competitor with derogatory language about “lying” and “cheating.”
Companies Not Keeping Up
An effective strategy for managing risk from the online postings of customers and competitors focuses on monitoring and controlling the content of any response. When it comes to employees, however, companies have the opportunity to be more directive, establishing policies that restrict the use of social networking. Few companies have done so.
In the Travelers survey, about two-thirds of respondents said their companies do not have a policy regarding social media usage — or that they are not aware of one if it exists. This is a problem. The survey also indicated that one out of eight respondents post work-related information on social media websites, and 30 percent feel such postings are acceptable as long as they believe the information is true. In addition, 75 percent said they were “not at all” or “not very” concerned about online postings causing professional damage.”

Written by gbwinsurance

October 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm

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