Social media delivers benefits to the wider community, but it also exposes both individuals and organisations to enormous risks.
The continued rise of social media has made it necessary for those in the business community to understand how it fits in with the law.
Social Media and the Law is the newly published book that covers employment law, privacy, defamation, competition and consumer laws, copyright, litigation and the criminal justice system.
It is said to be essential reading for legal practitioners as well as academics, business and corporate managers, HR departments and the broader business community.
One chapter is Social Media and Employment Law. Employers who don’t have a comprehensive strategy on social media in place put themselves at risk, and employees can face dismissal due to social media. This section focuses on the balance between social media and workplace relations and aims to provide readers with the tools necessary avoid undesirable situations.
This section looks at how social media makes the boundaries between conduct and work and conduct at home less clear, while also highlighting the consequences of ill-judged comments and actions.
Other topics covered includes how workplace issues such as bullying, harassment and vilification can continue on social media, and the fact that it can be used to complete pre-employment screening and workplace surveillance.
Social Media and Privacy is another key section that looks at and individuals right to privacy as social media can quickly spread personal and private information.
There are a number of high-profile defamation cases relating to social media. Recently, Australia has seen its first social media defamation case - it proceeded to determination and resulted in a judgement for $105,000.
“[Social media] is the new frontier in communications and as with all new frontiers it is fraught with risks," says Dr Marc Peter, LexisNexis Pacific’s Chief Operating Officer. "And while most are generally aware of the old rules, how they apply is a very different matter making Social Media and the Law essential reading for providers and users."