Organisational Risk Management Protocols when Dealing with the Web and Cyber Space Mediums
By the legal team at Lovegrove Solicitors
Commenting or publishing anything on the internet has the ability to go viral, copied and circulated infinitely and exponentially across the globe. Information or comments placed on blogs and other social networking sites can sometimes be taken as inappropriate or defamatory and therefore action can be taken. Below are a number of protocols that have been designed collectively by our legal firm.
- Assume that anything you blog on any site, on any topic, is able to be said with adverse repercussions. If you cannot say it face to face then don’t blog it.
- If you would not be happy to write it on the front cover of a newspaper then do not blog it.
- Choose your topic carefully and reflect on whether anyone should be named in that blog or not, if in doubt seek approval from a senior member of staff.
- Never criticise an individual or institution, period. Focus on the issue not the individual or institution and make sure you are accurate.
- Be very careful when commenting on that which is controversial.
- When commenting on an individual or issue use neutral terms. If compelled to comment on an individual or institution ensure that nothing said is disparaging or untoward. Appeal to the test “would I feel comfortable about that being said about myself or would I take offense?” and the old Buddhist maxim comes to mind “before you speak ill of someone roll your tongue around your mouth a million times”.
- No one in the organisation should blog anything at all unless they have been through an e-communication risk management induction.
- Beware the use of trigger words; always remember a given word with the wrong connotation can be deadly.
- When blogging quote facts and do not provide comment on that could be construed as advice upon which one could act upon.
- Spell check blogs.
- Never use rude or offensive derogatory language or any vilification vernacular.
- Ensure that nothing committed to print could ever be akin to bullying or harassment.
For a more details analyses of blogging and the effects it can have on individuals or institutions, Kim Lovegrove has written an article “Blogs, Tweets and Etalk – Risk Management and a New Legal Frontier” that goes more in-depth about the dangers of web communication. Click here to access the article.
The Lovegrove Solicitors E-Library is a free online resource of articles, which puts a wealth of information at your finger tips. The articles in the E- Library have been written by lawyers and a number of them have been published in the Australian, The Age and the Herald Sun. Some of the articles date back to the 1990’s. To access click here.
© 2012 Lovegrove Solicitors