Are you aware that employers can be liable for their employee’s unlawful social media posts made in the course of their employment? It doesn’t matter if the unlawful post was made deliberately or unintentionally or even without the employer’s knowledge. This can sometimes include posts made outside of office hours and can be very costly as well as damaging to an organisation’s reputation.
Did you know that your business reputation can be damaged by negative online posts and reviews, causing loss of customers and profits? Your personal reputation can also suffer. Contrary to popular belief you do not have to stand by and do nothing if you are the subject of false online posts. In fact, there are many things that can be done to seek removal of the post/s and to restore damage to your reputation.
This week the Government published its long-awaited White Paper on “Online Harms” which contains proposals intended to reduce harmful content on the internet. The key proposals include the establishing of a new duty of care to legally oblige tech firms to take steps to protect their users. Compliance with this duty will be overseen by a new independent regulator and will be set out in new codes of practice. Tech companies that do not fulfil their duty of care could be fined, their senior managers held criminally liable or their website blocked entirely.
In this long running defamation claim Mrs Stocker posted on Facebook of her husband, Mr Stocker, the words “He tried to strangle me”. Mr Stocker claimed that these words meant that he had tried to kill his wife but she claimed instead that they meant only that he had gripped her neck, inhibiting her breathing so as to put her in fear of being killed, and not that he had intended to kill her.
Recruitment processes can only tell you so much about a job applicant. If an individual is active on social media, surely it is prudent for recruiting employers to examine their online profile to find out more? The practice of on-line screening is becoming widespread but, as Katherine Flashman Kitson, employment law specialist at Parnalls Solicitors in Launceston, Cornwall explains, employers need to be careful about when they screen and what they do with the information they obtain.