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February 20, 2012

Social Media: Lawyers are your new best friends

How can organisations start helping employees understand what is acceptable or unacceptable social media use in the workplace?

By Vinod

As social media is increasingly becoming a part of everyday work among business organisations, social media ethics and policies need to be clear cut for employees.

At Social Media Week London, law and social media professionals gave their opinion on social media policies in the workplace.

Jenny Afia, a partner at Schillings law firm, believes that social media policies should be clear cut for employees.


"It’s important to realise the reputation of a company. Companies need to get wiser about their social media policies. Have a conversation about tolerance level including management, lawyers, and HR. A private policy is needed and needs to make sense to employees."

It was just late last year that a British HR director took legal action claiming he was fired over posting his CV on LinkedIn and ticking the ‘career opportunities’ button on his profile.

CBR asked Nina Barakzai, Social Media Professional for Dell, to comment about jobs that have been lost in the past due to alleged social media misbehaviour. Barakzai told CBR:

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"Social media is what you make of it and you are responsible for you own data. Every employee has a code of conduct…any employee should be looking at their code of conduct" for social media issues."

Barakzai also pointed out that what you do in the social media sphere reflects who you are and some employees should be able to look and see the type of person that they have hired

"When you post something online it forces the employer to justify why they should retain you."

Organisations can avoid many instances of improper social media use among employees by properly setting out guidelines. Employees need to be properly informed that what they think as private may not be considered private by the company.

"At Dell we have clear policies on how to do social media," added Barakzai. "Privacy isn’t just for the rich and famous, you are responsible for what you do online in the social media sphere."


Please follow this author on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

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