The 37th Social Media Breakfast -“Legal Aspects of Social Media”- The Kolkata Chapter

The Social Media is  becoming popular in India. Facebook and Twitter are no longer alien names for the modern tech savvy generation of India. The Social Media has opened the floodgate of enormous opportunities in terms of knowledge sharing, communication, exchanging ideas as well as commercial before the Indian communities. Along with that complications associated with Social Media is also on a rise.

On 17th June 2011 the MeetUp group gathered at Compare Knowledge Center, Kolkata at 9:30 am to attend the 37th Social Media Breakfast session, sponsored by TwitSnaps.com, a Compare Infobase Limited project to discuss what legal precautions that one needs to exercise at the face of growing craze of Social Media and its probable misuses.

The topic of the discussion was planned to shed light over the issues of,

  • Protecting the intellectual property rights of the company.
  • Formulating policies to stop employees from misusing Social Media.

The meeting started with a real life example where a client took a proposal from a Social Media firm, used its ideas to promote his company but refused to pay the firm. The question asked was ‘what to be done to protect such companies from losing businesses’.

Several interesting suggestions were proposed by the participants. Some of which are,

  • Companies are now facing threats from social media from within as well as outside since it is facilitating more open communication.
  • Social Media firms should have some laws in place to protect themselves from being misused.
  • For the time the law isn’t proposed the social media firm has intended to use loads of jargon in their proposals, which the client will have difficulties in understanding.
  • Companies can decided not to endorse or subscribe to ideas shared by their employees over the Social Media.
  • The company can block Social Media sites if they consider it’s been affecting the productivity of their employees.
  • Accountability and responsible use of Social Media are the key factors to avoid legal consequences.
  • An increasing number of companies are now monitoring the Social Media behavior of their employees and are intending to take legal actions against libelous comments posted by them.
  • The Social Media policies of the company should be mentioned in clear words in the company HR policy.
  • The punishment for the employee who breaches the company policy can even be spot termination.

All in the meeting agreed that it is easier to monitor internal misuses but it becomes harder to tackle when the damage is done from outside. The meeting ended with everyone agreeing that one needs to be responsible while using social media and ethics will play the most crucial role.

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