WRITING A SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
Writing a social media policy can be like walking on eggshells. It is a potentially overwhelming process with many things to take into consideration, from legal matters to employees’ perceptions of privacy. There are certain best practices to keep in mind when drafting your company’s social media policy: it should be comprehensive, without being too broad, and must be readily understood by all employees. Below are some guidelines and examples to help you get started on writing your own policy.
With the increasing use of social media in both our business and personal lives, it is more important than ever for companies to protect their reputations. There are several issues of importance to any company when it comes to social media use, including productivity, privacy, and host of legal matters. Therefore, organisations of all sizes, across all sectors, should seriously consider developing a formal social media policy. At the very least, a formal policy should serve as a reminder for employees to use common sense when it comes to social media, and to remind them that their online activities can have consequences for the entire organisation.
The Human Rights Act 1998 provides a ‘right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence.’ Relevant case law surrounding the Human Rights Act indicates that employees have a reasonable expectation of privacy when it comes to separating their private lives from the workplace. The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 has implications for the extent to which employers can monitor or record communications that take place through the company’s networks. There are only two conditions under which an employer may lawfully intercept communications: 1) there is reasonable belief of consent on the part of the sender and recipient, or 2) the employer does not have consent, but is acting in order to protect their business, comply with financial regulations or prevent crime....
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