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Risky Business

Risk! Benefits! Yep that’s right those are the 2 words that come to mind when you think of social media in relation to organizations!

Sure there are huge benefits attached through the use of social media, such as reputation increase, getting the organizations name out there, however attached to benefits  risks. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube and other  Social Media Sites, have now become a part of our daily lives. To illustrate my point take a look at the photo below, the amount of social media used is alarming.

An interesting statistic was the fact that Facebook claims that 50% of active users log into the site each day.  Imagine within an organization 50% of employees could use social media during work. Meaning that at least 50% of workers could potentially do something that would put the company at some sort of risk. So what are some risks normally associated with social media? Risks could include:

  • Loss of confidential information;
  • Breach of copyright;
  • Defamation;
  • False statements and or misleading and deceptive conduct;
  • The tort of Passing off;
  • Reputation risk;
  • Statutory risks including:
    • Breaches of the Privacy Act;
    • Breach of continuous disclosure obligations in the case of listed public companies;
    • Discrimination;
    • Organisation and industry specific risks posed by the organisations operating environment.

There are ways to avoid, minimize these risks from entering an organisation, developing a social media policy is a great way making employees clear about how they should use social media. Social media policies communicate what is acceptable conduct on Social Networking Sites by an organisations employees and contractors and what conduct is unacceptable and would make an employee liable to dismissal.


Let’s look at the ABC (Australia Broadcasting Corporation)

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), is Australia’s national public broadcaster. With a total annual budget of A$1.18 billion,[5] the corporation provides television, radio, online and mobile services throughout metropolitan and regional Australia, as well as overseas through the Australia Network and Radio Australia. In brief the ABC’s social media policy states:

1. Do not mix the professional and the personal in ways likely to bring the ABC into disrepute.

2. Do not undermine your effectiveness at work.

3. Do not imply ABC endorsement of your personal  views.

4. Do not disclose confidential information obtained through work

5. Breach of this policy will be dealt with in accordance

What the policy is missing is some sort of notice, ABC does not specify how the employees can get access to social media policies easily, this can be an issue where employees do not know where the policies are kept or stored. In particular newer employees,  organisations should ensure that any policies the company adopts are easily accessible to employees. By having easy access of media policies if employees do do something against the policy they could say they didn’t have a copy of it or they weren’t handed one. A good way is to have the social media policy on the background desktop of each machine.

We can see that social media can bring risks towards people using it, that is why policies are set in place to ensure that everyone is using social media properly and professionally within a work place.



Duran. I (2011).Dangers of Social Networking Sites; Businesses, Job Seekers, Children and Adults Beware! Retrieved from


INN436- Week 5 Lecture Slides


7 thoughts on “Risky Business

  1. Hi, Andy. Nice posts.
    We can sure that benefits often accompanied by risk. Absolutely, high benefits have high risk. Some risk you are mentioned before, such as loss of confidential information and breach of copyright. Social media increase corporation has high efficiency of quality, however, they also occur negative working efficiency. For example, staffs cannot concentrate in their work because of use Facebook. Thus, corporation need to manage their social media.

    • Yes, without the proper social media policies, staff members will use social media when ever they feel because there are no consiquences for using social media.

  2. Good introduction of the risks of social medial policy for business. In my opinion is some policies proactively address potential legal issues by requiring the use of various disclaimers on social media sites

    • Thanks you, there should always be a social media policy in place for every business. With legal issues and copyright issues organisations must ensure that these polices are there to keep employees in place.

  3. Hi Andy,
    Good post you have! I agree on your point that ABC should specify the location of their social media policy. It is important especially for new employees , as they have to get familiarize with the company policies and procedures. In a situation whereby their actions result in financial loss or loss of reputation for the organization, they could not deny the fact that they did read the policies and procedures.

  4. Hello Andy, Lovely example.
    You have point out some ABC’s social media policy. With my option in many of media experience. Media circles news is leak quickly. Because many competitors sake maybe A company get the hot news first but B company be the first to use SNG connection car coverage of the news. Although the company has laid down some guidelines, but sometimes employees still need to rely on more extreme measures to implement. Ensure that their own work

    • Hey denni, thanks for the comment, yes i agree that even though company has laid down some sort of guidelines, but ultimately employees still need to know what they should and shouldn’t do regarding social media in a professional workplace 🙂

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