However communicating with the masses can sometimes be a risky business. It certainly isn’t uncommon to hear that a high profile individual is in trouble over an inappropriate or ill-advised comment or post on social media. Justin Bieber certainly found himself causing a backlash after posting a photo of a Yasukuni Shrine which caused great offence to his Chinese and South Korean fans.
And it’s not just a cultural awareness that is needed. Many people can think of a time when they have responded angrily or inappropriately in the heat of the moment. The difference with social media is reach. An incident that might have reached a dozen people 20 years ago can now reach thousands or even millions, in minutes.
A comment therefore about a particular individual can have serious consequences. Kelly Osbourne is currently being sued over her tweets about the woman her father is believed to have had an extra-marital affair with. It is claimed Kelly’s actions, which included the publication of what is thought to be the woman’s phone number, led to cyber-bullying and Kelly facing a lawsuit for liable and defamation.
Manage your reputationSocial media has real benefits, it has launched and aided the career of many an individual. However it is worth thinking about how you manage your online reputation and personal brand.
- Are you sure you want to say that?
It sounds obvious but it’s worth taking the time to consider whether you actually want to make a particular statement. Yes, short term the post could raise your profile, number of followers etc but what about the longer term effect? Comedian Gilbert Gottfried lost his job after his inappropriate tweets about the tsunami in Japan.
- Are you sure you have all the facts?
It’s easy to get caught up in a trending story or high profile situation and want to share your opinion. After all, this is what people will be discussing in their own homes or at the pub so posting your view on social media is no different, right? Not so, as Sally Bercow discovered when she was sued for defamation following her now infamous tweet
It is worth remembering, that even if you don’t name an individual in your post if their identity can be deduced you can still be held liable for defamation.
- Are you sure you want to retweet or share?
By retweeting or sharing a post you can be seen to endorse a particular view so can be held liable. As Alan Davies a panellist on QI discovered when he retweeted a post relating to Lord McAlpine.
If you would more information or could benefit from some independent advice please get in touch with us via www.carterchase.com.