Posts Tagged ‘privacy in social media’
Two articles this morning got me to thinking about privacy online and in social media. The first article came from eMarketer that featured a study that privacy concerns fail to slow the growth of social media. Even privacy concerns, threats of boycotts of Facebook, and sites like PleaseRobMe.com which expose social media sites for ulterior purposes haven’t slowed the growth of social media. People just have this “want” to share, and boy are they ever because communities like Facebook and Foursquare make it very easy to share personal experiences with your network of friends, family and colleagues.
But really, how much is too much to share with your networks? Does it depend on your age? Your title or position at your job? Where you live? Your personality? Actually anyone of those things can be a factor. Take age for example.
Kids Are Oblivious to Privacy
Kids these days (I’m talking about those under 18) have grown up in the world of MySpace and Facebook and see absolutely nothing wrong with sharing where they are going with their network of friends on Facebook. The only problem with that is, they forget to lock down their profiles (for privacy) so that the entire world can see what they are doing and where they are going – including sexual predators. Contrary to popular belief sexual predators don’t just hang out on MySpace anymore. Parents who don’t realize that their children are sharing things like their daily routines with their friends, and unaware of changes in the TOS on Facebook might be shocked how much “private” information is out there about their children, potentially placing them in danger.
Sharing Too Much With Your Job
Then there’s how much is too much to share if you are in a particular position in your company. The second article that I read this morning comes from Crisis Blogger about a Washington Post Conservative Blogger and what he shared via an email listserv in the way of his feelings towards “big wig” conservatives. Now while email is private, listservs aren’t exactly as private, plus the person in question was a blogger, a social media butterfly or maven of sorts. By sharing his thoughts via email, it cost Dave Weigel his job at the Post.
There’s many other examples out there, one of my favorites is highlighted in Social Media Marketing: Strategies for Engaging in Facebook, Twitter & Other Social Media. Just over a year ago an employee of the Philadelphia Eagles expressed his extreme dislike of the Eagles decision to not offer Brian Dawkins the same amount of money the Denver Broncos did to keep the fan favorite in Philadelphia. He posted his feelings on Facebook. The Eagles management subsequently called him up and fired him for posting those remarks. They didn’t take into account this man was a long time worker at the Eagles west gate, won many “employee of the month” type awards and also had a disability. The Philadelphia Eagles also did not have a social media policy in place. The only thing the Philadelphia Eagles had was that Pennsylvania is a “Right to Hire” state which means, they can pretty much fire you for anything. What ensued was a firestorm of controversy for the Philadelphia Eagles from both angry fans and upset media, which continues to plague them even today, especially when Brian Dawkins comes to town to play his old team.
Are You Planning Policies & Teaching Your Employees About What Not to Share?
So as a company are you planning social media policies that include how much is too much to share? What will be tolerated and what is unacceptable actions (vulgar language, opposing views, etc.) for your employees engaging in social media? Have you taken the time to consult not just legal counsel, but human resources and your marketing teams about the policies? Do they make sense?
Understanding how social media is affecting not just your company but your employees’ everyday lives is important, because as humans we all crave to share and connect and with the internet and social media communities that become increasingly easier to do. Preparing for that is tough, but not impossible. Teaching your employees about social media and the affects it can have when they share too much (or even too little) can go a long way to ensuring your company has a successful venture into social media.