Social media has grown to become of the largest ways where business organisations can interact with the customers in an effective way. Social media sites or tools such as Google +, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Youtube are some of the most popular sites used both by an organization’s management team and by its employees to interact with the organization’s stakeholders (Bradley & McDonald). The increased use of social media in business environment have led to an increased the legal risks associated with social media usage. One organisation that has identified major legal risks and come up with strategies and policies of preventing the identified risks from happening is Microsoft. The legal risks that can impact on an organisation negatively include leakage of important and sensitive data or information, postage of misstatements that may misrepresent the organisation position on an issue, defamation, breach of copyright, the tort of passing off, breach of privacy act, statutory risks among other risks. Today I will discuss the legal risks that can occur due to the usage of social media can affect Microsoft in a negative way.
The legal risks that can occur by using social media in Microsoft Inc :
Microsoft Inc. is a one of major computer software and systems producers in the world today. Through the use of social media, the organisation is open to a number of legal risks that can impact on the organisation in a negative way if not handled correctly. One major risk that the organisation may face is lack of confidentiality. This may generally occur when an employee posts very important information or data about the organisation in their personal or organization’s social media account. For example, an over enthusiastic employee may post information about a new product that is still being developed on their Facebook pages. Other industry players can use this information to develop a similar product hence denying Microsoft Inc. the competitive advantage they may have enjoyed has the information remained confidential. Another risk that may affect Microsoft Inc. in a negative way is the risk of misrepresentation of the organisation by posts posted on social media accounts by either the employees or the organisations management team. Posting messages on Facebook and other social media accounts is very easy and fast. For this reason, an employee who does not take due diligence may post messages that may represent their organisation in a negative way. Misrepresentation of an organisation may impact the organization’s reputation in a negative way.
How protect the organisations from these risks:
For the above discussion, an organisations management teams should come up with strategies and policies that can help protect the organisations from these risks . In the case of Microsoft Inc. for example, the management team can come up with an employee handbook with directions that all employees should follow when posting issues on social media. One major rule that should be contained in the employee handbook is that all employees should avoid as much as they can the use of social media while at work. Avoiding the usage of social media would reduce the chances of legal risks from happening . In the event that an employee has to access social media sites, then a senior employee should supervise such usage to ensure the organisation is not affected in any way. The organisation should also ensure that all information posted on media sites regarding the organisation should be verified and approved by senior employees. This is very important as it can reduce the chances of posting messages that can misrepresent the organisation or paint it in a negative way.