Posts Tagged ‘social networking’

NLRB Takes on Employer re: Facebook Firing

May 20, 2011

True to their word, the NLRB is taking on another employer over the termination of five employees because they went to Facebook to discuss work load and staffing issues.  The employer, Hispanics United, is a nonprofit serving low income individuals and families.  An administrative judge is set to hear the case on June 22, 2011.

If you are interested in learning more about the issues a company faces handling social media issues, there will be a program on May 25, 2011 at noon where Jessica Braverman and myself will be discussing these issues at the Alameda County Bar Association Headquarters in Oakland.

Link to NLRB press release

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Remember:Your Facebook Page Isn’t Private

April 5, 2011

In the old days, teachers would come home with stories about their day to tell their husbands, family and friends.  Generally, they could feel safe – if they trusted these people – that what they said wouldn’t spread to the students and parents.  However, technology has changed this old paradigm both in the ability to snap photos on a cell phone and post them to Facebook.  While to many people, this activity may feel private in the same way as telling stories to friends and family, it’s not.

Case in point is this story of a Chicago teacher who took photos of a girl’s hair breaded with Jolly Rancher candies, posted them to Facebook and made snarky comments on her profile.  This teacher may have felt because her page is viewable only by her friends and family, that this was a private act. Wrong.

A mutual friend of the teacher and the student’s parent downloaded the photos and comments to a CD and shared it with the now furious student’s parent who is looking to sue. Lesson?  No matter who you are, think of yourself as a journalist when posting to Facebook not as the neighborhood gossip sharing stories over the the fence. This may take the fun out of Facebook but that’s better being the target of lawsuit.

Testing twitterfeed!

March 12, 2011

Increasingly social media dissemination needs to be customized to particular messages which is why it is great that twitterfeed allows users to choose which posts to share with Twitter and which not to.

This is my first attempt and I am hoping that you don’t see show up on my Twitter but only here and on my LinkedIn profile.

Judge in Debt Collection Case on Solid Ground

March 11, 2011

Yesterday I posted about a judge who prohibited a debt collector from contacting friends and family regarding money owed.  This article explains that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and many state laws prohibit collectors from disclosing to a third party that a debt is owed.  Furthermore, they can’t misrepresent or use deceptive means to connect with the debtor.

Given that, its hard to see how a collector can use social networking proactively to make contact with a debtor.  They could use the public information available on these websites to located the person through other legal means but not through the tools provided by Facebook etc.

Police & Social Media

March 9, 2011

I have written several posts about the use of social media by law enforcement.  One of the big issues is the lack of a policy for how to use social media.  This article is symptomatic of a disconnect.   It starts off talking about how the police alerted people about a water main break but not about a dangerous suspect being hunted on foot through residential neighborhoods.

Later in the article, it states that no real training is needed to post on Twitter or Facebook.  Really?  Perhaps the technical act of posting is pretty easy but that doesn’t mean that when, what and where to post what kind of information is that straightforward.

For Lawyers is LinkedIn Better than Facebook?

March 1, 2011

I was presenting on a webinar yesterday and we had several questions on whether Lawyers should focus more on LinkedIn than Facebook so  I’m re-posting something I wrote on this subject back in January.

Why choose?

One reason to choose is time – maintaining social networking profiles is an ongoing process, however its possible to stream blog content to both your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles.  You may find that you get more interaction on Facebook which makes it easier for people to engage with your content than does LinkedIn.  You may want to focus on Q&As with LinkedIn and interacting with people on your blog content through Facebook.

WSJ charts more Voir Dire via Social Media

February 22, 2011

Just the other day, I posted about a Texas District Attorney handing out iPads to prosecutors to check out potential jurors.  Now comes this Wall Street Journal article which suggest these types of practices are fairly common.

The same D.A. is thinking about offering up free Wi-Fi for jurors who allow his prosecutors to temporarily “friend” them so they can see more of their Facebook profile.  What if a potential juror says, no?  Will they face any consequences for refusing prosecutors, Facebook access?

Voir Dire by iPad

February 19, 2011

More evidence of how the social media revolution is impacting the court system.  A District Attorney in Texas equips his prosecutors with iPads so they can check out potential jurors’ Facebook page.

He claims that the department discards the information collected once the selection process is over.  I have a feeling he will need to do more than provide such weak assurances.

Social Networking & the 1st Amendment

February 15, 2011

Here is an article that lists out various attempts by employers and professional regulatory bodies and their attempts to restrict the use of social media by employees and others.

Public vs. Private

One aspect of the analysis to consider is whether the entity doing the restricting is in some sense “public.”  Therefore, police departments, school districts and municipalities may have a harder time restricting employee speech than do private entities such as professional football teams.

The restrictions of the Pueblo Police Department disallowing its officers to identify as working as police officers, seems overly broad.  Why shouldn’t officer receive training about what is and isn’t appropriate social media conduct?  They could even sign a form stating they abide by a code of conduct but to disallow them from factually disclosing their professional affiliations goes too far.

We Are in the Army Now – Social Media Edition

February 7, 2011

Last month the U.S. Army released its social media handbook, a 39 page document that outlines what works and doesn’t work for its personnel.  One thing that I like about the manual – it make a distinction between the responsibilities pertaining to personnel and leaders.  Too often companies try to make their policies a one size fits all affair and with social media, that doesn’t work.