Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Social Media Risk Management Tip

My social media risk management tip is simple, think twice before you type a message, post a picture or join a group. Why, you may ask? Think back to the days when kids in grade school would pass notes back and forth during class. Often those notes could have damaging words written on them. They could be words that haunt the person that wrote them, the person who received them or a third party all together. However, the beautiful thing about those written scraps of paper is that they eventually got thrown away and are sitting in a dump far from anyone who could read them. Today those passed notes are now in the form of tweets, texts or Facebook posts. Today, those passed notes could be stored in the Library of Congress. Recently the Library of Congress announced that it would archive all public Twitter posts dating back to 2006.

Yesterday I read a New York Times article titled “The Web Means the End of Forgetting”, written by Jeffrey Rosen. It was a great article and sited a few examples of how those old Facebook or MySpace photo posts or text posts can come back to haunt individuals. The most famous example being Stacy Snyder who lost her teaching job because of a picture she had on MySpace. She even fought the situation in court and after two years of legal battle she lost in a federal district court. Rosen also talks about people who were fired from their jobs because of things they wrote on Twitter. This blog article could go on and on with examples of how things put on social media sites have come back to hurt individuals.

This Oxford and Cincinnati insurance office is not saying never to post on social media or that it is bad. We are just doing our job as risk managers and encouraging you to have fun but to be cautious in what you write or post.