Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Beware: “Social Media Faux Pas”

Posted by Amanda Walsh

When beginning to engage in social media, remember to proceed with caution and don’t be afraid to ask for advice or guidance from professionals along the way – being vigilant may just save you from headaches in the end.

In fact, if you are signing up for social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter or the like, it is important to remember that what you are putting out into the public domain is just that – viewed by the public!

Some “gaffes” made by Americans from all walks of life have been summed up in this ABC News report. I’m posting these blunders not to discourage people from engaging in social media but to encourage new users to learn from others’ mistakes, as technology and social media are certainly the tools changing our world today.

Two concerns should be kept top of mind when using social media tools. One concern is being aware of what you post and its effect on your personal reputation. Another concern is how your posts reflect the company that you work for.

Some users have learned the hard way in regards to tweeting about a company. Recently, a case against Twitter user, Amanda Bonnen, was featured in the Chicago Sun-Times. The coverage highlighted that a lawsuit was filed against her for libel after posting a tweet about the former management company of her apartment in Chicago. Bonnen’s tweet read, “Who said sleeping in a moldy apartment was bad for you? Horizon realty thinks it's okay." Horizon Group Management then sued her for “publishing a false and defamatory tweet” on May 12 about their company. The suit claims that Bonnen’s remark went out to the world because her profile was public, although she only had 20 “followers” at the time. The suit was filed for $50,000 in damages!

I will keep you posted on new updates in regards to this case as the results of the lawsuit become public.


tnlisa said...

thanks for sharing, good post. Has their been any updates on the case?

the pr lawyer said...

I'm not sure where the case stands now but if I hear anything, I'll post it here. Thanks for your thoughts.