Legal Matters: The Dangers of Social Media for Your Nonprofit
4. Adopt a social media policy. A social media policy sets forth the company’s guidelines for social media communications and is a company’s first line of defense to reduce risk. Be sure to include provisions in the policy that address trade secret protection and employees’ statements about the company’s and competitors’ products. In addition, consider including provisions that address ownership of social media accounts, user names and content. The following are some ideas for what should be contained in a social media policy:
- Posts should not disclose any confidential or proprietary information of the company or any third party.
- Employees should not comment on any aspect of the company’s business; if they do, they must clearly identify themselves as employees and include a disclaimer that the views expressed are solely those of the employee and do not reflect the views of the company.
- Employees’ Internet postings must respect intellectual property, privacy and other laws.
- Employees must obtain company approval when posting about the company’s business and competitors.
- The company reserves the right to request that certain posts or other content be removed from social media sites.
These are just a few examples of guidelines for a social media policy. In the meantime, let’s hope your employees’ Facebook or Twitter postings don’t end up being used against your company in a dispute.