Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tweeting in the Workplace

The July 2009 issue of the Nebraska Lawyer has an fascinating article on social media and discovery titled “Capturing Quicksilver: Records Management for Blogs, Twittering and Social Networks.” This excellent article written Sharon D. Nelson, Esq. and John W. Simek discuses the concerns raised by Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and other forms of “informal” communication that can create a damaging permanent record.

According to Ms. Nelson and Mr. Simek, all companies should have policies about blogging, tweeing and/or other such postings while at work. In fact, many experts advise companies to block access to social networking sites at work, unless there is a legitimate business need to such access.

Laws relating to these social networks and blogging websites are incredibly underdeveloped which presents a challenge to both employers and employees; however, there is case law to support employers who wish to prevent employees from accessing these sites at work.

Douglas Winter, head of the electronic discovery unit at Bryan Cave, stresses that “tweets” on Twitter are no different from letters, emails, or texts which can be damaging and discoverable. People don’t realize that postings on Twitter create a permanent record and they can end up anyway

Another recommendation from the article is for employers to check social networking sites to look for damaging information about potential employees to get a sense if there will be future trouble or a lack of discretion. As such, potential employees should check themselves before applying to find out what may be uncovered by a potential employer.

For more information, I would strongly encourage seeking out the July 2009 issue of the Nebraska Lawyer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Matt:

I don't know if you've seen it yet but as of today, Marines are not allowed on SNS's at all. Home page of CNN.