The 11 sacked officials are among 116 DWP employees to have faced disciplinary action for blogging
and social networking
since January 2009, according to figures revealed under the Freedom of Information Act. Of these 116, 34 were given a final written warning, 35 received a written warning and 36 were reprimanded orally for their use of social media
The DWP said use of Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites was "completely restricted" for most of its workers. The only employees allowed to use the sites are those who have a "genuine requirement for access". The department's official Twitter account
is run by the DWP press office.
A DWP spokeswoman said: "The DWP has clear guidelines for staff on the use of the internet and social media. The vast majority of staff abide by these rules. For the small minority who don't, we have strict disciplinary measures in place, ranging from a warning to dismissal."Comment
In terms of managing your risk as an employee its a good idea to do the following:
- Familiarise yourself with the business’s social media policy;
- Regularly review the content of their personal social media channels;
- Ensure all privacy settings are up to date;
- Understand where the line between professional ends and private begins;
- Logout of social media platforms when not at the computer; and
- Think before uploading content as you may not be able to control who reads it.
Really it just comes down to the point that if you wouldt say it in work or to a customer, dont do it on a platform where the text is permenant, easily searchable and you cant control how it is disseminated by others.
You may wonder, what if I've done something, is it too late to fix it? Well not necessarily. A good demonstration of why this is important comes from the case of Stephens v Halfords Plc ET/1700796/10, where an employee who was being consulted over a workplace reorganisation put up a Facebook page entitled “Halfords workers against working 3 out of 4 weekends
”. When he read the company’s social networking policy two days later and realised his page might be in breach of the policy, he immediately took it down. His dismissal was held to be unfair as he had a clean disciplinary record, had removed the page as soon as he realised it was in breach of the company’s policy and he had apologised.
There are many benefits to using social media if it is engaged with responsibly and many firsm pollicies do recognise this, however for employees its worth taking that bit of time to look into the policy and what you can and cant do. A good example of this is offered by Preece v JD Wetherspoons Plc ET2104806/10
the employer was found to have acted reasonably in dismissing a manager for posting derogatory comments about a customer on Facebook during her shift. She thought only a handful of people would see them but in fact hundreds did, including the daughter of the abusive customer. Wetherspoons relied on its clear
social networking policy which prohibited disparaging customers on Facebook, the availability of an employee hotline and that the remarks took place during an ongoing conversation rather than in the heat of the moment. Significantly the Tribunal held that even if the comments were made in the employee’s own time Wetherspoons may still have been able to act in the same way.
A popular british newspaper today published an article claiming that the postings on social media sites by students is making them unemployable. Why you may ask. Well the reason is that the tales of bed hopping that would make Samantha from Sex and the City blush and the photos of nights out are making emplyers think twice about what lies beneath the impecable CV before them.
We live in the age of TMI. Happily we share the most intimate details of our lives with relative strangers and worse our friends tag us in those photos we would rather forget. One Facebook site, Swansea Uni Confessions, has been slammed by the university and its student union.
In a joint statement, registrar Raymond Ciborowski and Students' Union president Tom Upton said: "We are seriously concerned about the nature and content of these pages. The Union have stated "Irresponsible use of social media can damage their future employment prospects as companies are increasingly searching for information on job applicants." Undergraduates use the Facebook pages to post tales of what they get up to after moving away from home. Most of the confessions are anonymous – students email their stories to an unknown administrator who then posts it on the internet for everyone to see.
The statement added: "Students are sharing personal information, including explicit content, with an anonymous page administrator, who has no accountability. "As a result, participants' personal details could potentially be made publicly available for viewing by fellow students, staff, public, press, potential employers.
As if that wasnt scary enough your eeven risking your place at university, with Swansea stating "University regulations clearly state that it is a disciplinary offence to engage in behaviour which could bring the University into disrepute – this includes social media activity. The internet and social media are governed by laws relating to defamation and public order, and as a result, there is no such thing as absolute freedom of speech." Comment
The contents of the statements made by the University arent controversial. In the age of social media, students are fairly savvy with what they upload but with the best of intentions sometimes its easy to forget yourself and post something silly or get caught in a cringeworthy photo. It may seem funny but its serious. What if you get caught "trophying" an item and then the police come knocking at your door with photographic evidence that you have committed theft or vanadalism? Do you really want to potentially end up disclosing a criminal conviction on a job application? What will the investment bank think about the rugby club cow tipping event 2013? I dont think you really want to find out the answers to that questions when youre up against a string of equally qualified applicants.
As for your "gap-yah'. Please no photos of your escapades with the lashional front and no photos of where you chundered everywhar. I dont even care if half your face is covered by your lashmina. Delete it.
1. Set your privacy settings accordingly. Dont know how to do it? http://www.socialmedialawsite.com/1/post/2013/01/new-years-resolutions-to-protect-your-privacy-online-5-top-tips.html and http://www.socialmedialawsite.com/tips-and-links.html
2. Think before you post.
3. De tag yourself from things you dont want to be associted with (or better still what do you think your parents would freak over? Delete that too)
4. Do not post confessions on websites. Your user IP can be found. Its never truly anonymous.
5. Had an argument with the other half? Do yourself a favour, give your best friend your phone. Nobody wants to read the Tweets they sent when drunk or read them a year later. There isnt a big enough duvet to crawl under and die of shame.
Think its all just scaremongering? Well when I was at Uni I remember vividly a very public row between a couple on Facebook where the guy was accused of being a lying cheat, everyone waded in on it. The couple broke up evertually, things moved on and months later he was chatting to a recruiter. The recruiter said straightout he woudnt employ the guy and cited the Facebook row as the reason why. The guy was utterly dumbfounded as to how the recruiter even knew about it. Turns out the recruiter graduated two years earlier but had been friends with both the people on Facebook and added them in freshers week. Guys, its not an urban myth. Think carefully when using Facebook.
As I was updating the site today and looking at my Twitter Feed I came across a Tweet by Solihull Police which made have to read it not once but three times. Te Tweets stated:Solihull Police
@SolihullPolice Not a scam: If you’ve committed a burglary in the Solihull area within the last week - come to our police station & claim a FREE iPad. @SolihullPolice Re the free iPad for burglars, come to our police station with proof of your crime in the next 24hrs & we’ll throw in a special holiday too!
@SolihullPolice "Anyone lost a huge amount of cannabis in the Chelmsley Wood area? Don't panic, we found it. Please come to the police station to collect it." @SolihullPolice tweeted on December 7, sparking much mirth among Twitter users
After reading the Tweets I checked if there were other Twitter Feeds for Solihull Police or if this was a spoof. After a google search it revealed that it was the actual feed. This then caused me to read the feed again anf look at some other Tweets. I noted that people were also reporting crimes on Twitter, such as: @SolihullPolice 2gangs young teens violent arguing outside my house now finally gone if any1 on beat ask to scout around kingfisher drive ta
Solihull Police @SolihullPolice @Deanyster Hi, account isn't always monitored 24hrs, you're always better off calling 999 if it's happening there & then or 101 afterwards.
The member of the public replied by stating:@SolihullPolice that is what I did however ill gladly take photos of them next time and post them on here or is it illegal take pics of kids
I had several thoughts about the site and wondered if the tongue in cheek style is encouraging individuals to engage with the Police or if the informality of the medium may present issues in future. With 16,444 followers the feed has proved popular with Twitter users however the potential for naming and shaming individuals or posting photographs of them next to Tweets could lead to defamation cases if the outcome of the allegations turns out to be unfounded. And what of false reports of crimes? Is there a danger that individuals will post spoof Tweets which get mixed up with genuine reports of Crimes or that valuable rescouces will be taken up investigating false or joke allegations. What of the admissibility of such evidence if it later becomes discloseable in legal proceedings?
Its an issue I will be picking up in a specific post about defamtion online as I think there are several threads which require consideration. At the moment im doing some pieces for Law In Sport so look out for those on LIS's website later in the week.
A Facebook spokesperson has shared with us an updated statement:We have designed the memorialization process to be effective for grieving families and friends, while still providing precautions to protect against either erroneous or malicious efforts to memorialize the account of someone who is not deceased. We also provide an appeals process for the rare instances in which accounts are mistakenly reported or inadvertently memorialized.
An issue that lingers when a loved one passes may be how to handle their social media presence. Facebook dealt with this issue by providing a 'memorialisation facility' (see left: Photo credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images
When someone’s Facebook account is “memorialized”, the page becomes inaccessible, meaning that you cannot view any of their photos, videos, Timeline postings, or anything. It’s frozen so that no one else can take the account. The problem here is that anyone can do it to one of their friends or family members — if they’re still alive.
Facebook has a special form for those interested in having an account memorialized. You will need the name of the deceased person, their email address on record, profile URL, your relationship to the individual, and what your proof is that they’re no longer here. False Reports
However in come instances this has led to individuals who are alive being locked out of their feed. Facebook however can still get into the account. Facebook have stated that “We try to take all necessary precautions when processing user requests and provide an appeals process for any possible mistake we may make.”
Those who have found their accounts to have been mistakenly memorialized can fill out a form
on the site, but it will most likely take a while before access is restored.
On 3rd January 2013 the Court of Appeal took the descision to direct an independent watchdog, the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), to consider the fairness of a criminal trial after it emerged that the defendant had 22 mutual Facebook ‘friends’ with a member of the jury.
The case in question involved queries over jury impartiality in a case involving an offence of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. The trial judge had refused to discharge the juror after she admitted knowing the landlady of a pub where the defendant had first confronted the victim of the alleged attack. Since the trial, the defendant’s lawyers argue that a series of other ‘small town’ links have been revealed between the defendant and the juror.
Concerning evidence was produced which showed that the juror had "liked" a comment by a friend, which stated: ‘If it was me, I would send them all down’. It had also emerged that the landlady had managed another pub where the defendant had committed previous criminal damage and violent disorder offences.
As well as the Facebook connection, it had come out since the trial that the juror's daughter had witnessed the defendant’s arrest and was a friend of a member of the defendant’s family. Witness statements had also revealed that the juror had previously drunk at the same pub and had formerly lived near the defendant.
Mr Justice Kenneth Parker said: ‘It is alleged in witness statements that there is significant Facebook linkage between the juror in question and the defendant. At the moment that linkage seems indirect but, nonetheless, it is submitted that it is substantial. In the circumstances we have decided to adjourn the appeal and we also believe that it is appropriate in this case that the matter be referred to the CCRC in order that it should be able to carry out an investigation.’
It will be interesting to follow the outcome of the independent investigation and we will revisit the issue of Facebook in Court when we look at discloseable information in civil proceedings later in the week. Specifically we will look at showing inappropriate links between defendants and the admissibility of evidence by reference to landmark cases. We will also consider if by extension this can be used to admit evidence in criminal trials and how this interacts with Jury tampering and attempts to pervert the course of justice.
Following on from a series of requests from a group of Councillors Rutlands Council are considering if they will bring a claim for defamation against as a result of allegations made by three independents who call themselves Rutland Anti-Corruption Group (RACP).
Lawyers said the council's reputation had been damaged and suggested they could sue under the Localism Act 2011. The group said that Councillors Richard Gale, Nick Wainwright and David Richardson, said they had established RACP to hold the Conservative-controlled council to account on a number of issues.
But the leader of the council Roger Begy said the volume of requests for information was "costly and pointless", and, after a full council meeting in October, the authority commissioned a report by lawyers Bevan Brittan.
Rutland Anti-Corruption Group claim that they were simply doing their job - looking for openness and transparency and asking legitimate questions about council business. Amember of the group stated "The fact is, we are elected by the people, we are elected by them to represent them and to do the best for them. We can only do that if we have the proper information in front of us."
But leader of the council Mr Begy said he wished to put a stop to the "costly and pointless" requests.
He said: "We have a group of people making wild accusations and costing our authority a great deal of money, trying to find something that they believe is there that isn't." Rutland County Council also suggests the group's correspondence could be seen as becoming personal, persistent and even defamatory. The authority says it's as open as any other council and has nothing to hide. But leader of the council Mr Begy said he wished to put a stop to the "costly and pointless" requests. We have a group of people making wild accusations and costing our authority a great deal of money, trying to find something that they believe is there that isn't."
It will be interesting to see how this story develops and we will revist it once the special full report is released on Thursday. Perhaps of specific interest is that whilst once the preserve of individuals, the Localism Act could now extend that to local government bodies. The defamation action would be possible thanks to the Localism Act 2011 which grants local authorities the power to act like an individual. Look out for a post in the week looking at the legal position.
Since Ive been getting lots of positive feedback for the site I have been wondering what else to write. Social Media is an evolving area with many different concerns for its users.
As such I have decided to blog today a request for your ideas and concerns with Social Media. What is it that you want to see and know. Ive already recived some really great Tweets today which have made me look at the blog and see that readers want to really look in depth at some of the areas I have already posted about.
So if you have a burning question or just want to know why the law is what it is, feel free to Tweet, comment or e-mail and ill try to come back with answers to your queries. Much like Twitter itself this blog is all about interaction, I want readers to have a sense of ownership and be able to interact with the blog and donr forget the forum!
Have a wonderful weekend wherever you are!
First it was about photos, then messaging and now Facebook has moved into the world of sound. Today it released an update for its standalone Messenger for iOS
and Android apps
that lets users send up to one minute long voice messages.
Facebook is also testing open source VoIP calling between Canadian iOS Messenger users that runs over a user’s existing data plan. Both power hands-free communication between friends that helps drivers and reduces mobile typing.
Although we rarely actually dial our voicemail, Facebook sees the move as a new opportunity in making voice messaging a seamless part of a conversation, not a replacement or a bridge to it.How it works
With voice messaging in Messenger, you open a conversation (new or existing) and are shown a red “record” button. Similar to Facebook Poke’s video recording interface, you press and hold the button, talk or record a sound up to one minute in length, and then release the button to stop recording. You can then send then audio message which appears in the conversation stream as a little wave form that can be listened to. Voice messages will also be available for listening from the web interface.
Although you may wonder why you wouldnt just type the information, it may be useful if you want to send a short but sweet message from your child to a parent away on work or send someone a complex set of instuction susch as for driving to a specific location or finding an address or location.
Perhaps ironic given that its kit logo is a bird Norwich City winger Robert Snodgrass has avoided face disciplinary action after criticising referee Mark Clattenburg on Twitter.
Clattenburg was the centre of attention at Upton Park after awarding the Hammers a penalty for an innocuous looking shirt pull by Ryan Bennett on Winston Reid inside the opening two minutes.
The decision left City’s players and boss Chris Hughton fuming, while he also failed to award a free-kick following Carlton Cole’s foul on Alexander Tettey in the lead up to West Ham’s second goal.
Snodgrass took to Twitter to unleash his fury at referee Mark Clattenburg following Norwich’s defeat, tweeting: “The referee kills the game #gamesgone.
“If that’s a pen you will need to give 100 pens a season, small decisions change games. Win some you lose some. Great support again.”
The FA confirmed there will be no action against Snodgrass - players and managers can criticise refereeing decisions so long as they do not imply any bias.
The FA's social media rules state action may be taken for "comments about match officials which imply bias, attack the officials' integrity or which are personally offensive in nature".
Boss Hughton also hit out at Clattenburg after his side fell to a fourth consecutive defeat by a single goal.
“You accept sometimes referee’s get it wrong or they don’t see it,” said the former Newcastle and Birmingham manager.
“But the one that really hurts is when penalties are given when they shouldn’t be. The penalty obviously affects the game.
“You get a penalty against you two minutes into the game, which gives these fans a
great lift here, and you could see by the reaction of our players at the time how disappointed they were.
“Even if the penalty stands, you’re not seriously going to tell me the Alex Tettey incident wasn’t a foul. Absolutely it was.
“That’s knocked us a little bit.”
Just like any other employee/employer relationship, the policy should set out what players can and should not comment on and needs to be communicated to players effectively. In order to do this it is important for clubs to educate their players as to the potential pitfalls of inappropriate use of social media and the likely sanctions they will face for non-compliance such as a ban from playing as well as fines from the governing body or players club.
Control Content and Privacy Settings
In order to effectively communicate the parameters of what players can post about via social media a number of clubs have set strict guidelines in relation to issues such as matters relating to the club e.g. team selection, comments on fellow players or officials and transfer speculation. However, while guidelines are in place, any policy is only likely to be as good as its enforcement, if this is not the case then there is no guarantee that such policies followed by players (see for example Joey Barton’s tweets (@Joey7Barton) for a number of examples of disputes with fellow players).
In terms of managing such risk, it may be prudent for clubs to consider the implementation of blackout periods for a few hours before, during and after a game when tensions are running high. An example of a situation which would have benefited from this involved a series of Tweets passing between Joey Barton, Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer after they were critical of Barton’s behaviour on the final day of the 2011/12 season. The incident saw Barton sent off and receive a 12 match ban. Barton also admitted during the exchange that he had deliberately tried to get a Manchester City player sent off which was one of the leading factors to him receiving the fourth longest match ban in the English games history. It is arguable that for situations such as Cole’s where disciplinary actions are being taken against other players, there should be additional strict rules on comments made in relation to ongoing FA panel decisions in continuing and recently decided investigations.
Digital media is a specialist area and the specialist skills required to fully utilise its capabilities should not be underestimated. However without the commitment of the key people any planned strategy is likely to be unsuccessful. In order to achieve ‘success’ (measured against internal key indicators) it will be necessary to highlight shortcomings, and quite possibly advisable in the case of skill sets, to bring in consultants and legal consultants to work alongside the existing employees to create, implement and maintain a viable and legally compliant strategy which is effectively communicated to players and enforceable by club officials.
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Social media offers a previously unparalleled opportunity for engagement with brands, companies and users due to the instantaneous access to significant part of the global population. Social media platforms are sophisticated enough to enable specific targeted advertisement (e.g. on Facebook) or to enable the club to provide adverts and links to existing offerings. However engaing with promotional activity online Celebrities and brnads need to think carefully about wether generating revenue may damage their reputation in the long term.
A health advocacy group has called on pop star Beyonce Knowles-Carter to end a multi-million dollar endorsement deal with PepsiCo Inc., saying the singer shouldn’t support unhealthy products. (Image courtesy of Pepsi.com)
She’s the latest celebrity to draw criticism over endorsement deals and product lines, joining the likes of Kathie Lee Gifford and Kim Kardashian.
Beyonce’s Pepsi deal was announced earlier this month by the soda maker. Neither the singer’s publicist, Yvette Noel-Schure, nor PepsiCo could be reached for comment.
“Your image is one of success, health, talent, fitness, and glamour,” CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson wrote in the letter to the pop star. “But by lending your name and image to PepsiCo, you are associating your positive attributes with a product that is quite literally sickening Americans. We doubt that PepsiCo would spend $50 million unless it was confident that it could recoup many more times that amount…”
“…I imagine that it must be hard for anyone to turn away $50 million,” he wrote.
Jacobson urged Beyonce to donate the money to charity if she continues with the deal, which includes performing during the halftime show at the National Football League’s Super Bowl on Feb. 3.
Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages like sports drinks, juice drinks, and soda comprises the largest source of added sugar in the diets of America’s youth, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Beyonce isn’t the first, nor likely to be the last, celebrity to hawk a product that’s been criticized. Endorsements are windfalls for celebs and can boost a company’s bottom line. Kim Kardashian and banned diet pills The reality TV star has been backing QuickTrim Suppress and Burn diet pills as a way to help lose weight, but the pills were banned in Australia after their effectiveness and safety were questioned. Kardashian and her sister Khloe also were named in a class action lawsuit this year over their backing of QuickTrim, according to EntertainmentWise.com. The lawsuit claims the dietary supplement is ineffective and unhealthy.
Nelly’s Pimp Juice The hip hop star sold this version of a non-carbonated energy drink inspired by his song of the same name. The drink quickly drew the ire of African American groups who said the drink degraded women, said Fox News. Nelly defended the beverage, which is no longer available.
Then there’s the celebrity endorsement deals the companies later wish they didn’t make.
Sure, companies love their celebrities when regular people like you and me buy their products. The love turns cold when the celebrity does something to fall out of favor. Tiger Woods and AT&T After his publicized sex scandal, pro golfer Tiger Woods lost deals with AT&T, Accenture, Gatorade, and luxury watchmaker Tag Heuer. Lance Armstrong and Nike After sponsoring the cycling great for more than a decade, Nike called it quits with Armstrong this fall after a report detailed allegations of doping.
Celebrities players need to consider the damage to goodwill with fans. The real opportunity Twitter presents famous people with an opportunity to be on Twitter as themselves and tweet messages which honestly represent something they think or are doing. If fans feel that they are being “used” this can cause irreparable damage to the relationship of trust as well as reputational damage to their brand. For advertisers who become associated with individuals who get caught amidst controvosy the importance of choosing representatives carefully is paramount.