Leonel Cesar Rodrigues, Ph.
Almost assuredly everyone reading this blog is employed by or a member of a healthcare organization that has a social media presence.
That presence can be beneficial to you and your organization. However, that presence might be harmful. What is social media?
We have online communities that enable content to be shared. That sharing and content can be problematical. Social media usage enables us to communicate and interact with many people. Those communications and interactions might have legal consequences.
Some people may not be familiar with the concepts of actual, apparent, or implied authority. The organization might find that it has entered into a contract or committed a wrongful act through the contact of an employee or representative regardless of whether the organization intended to do so.
Social media is NOT conducive to either concept. Public communications are, by their very nature, available for all to see and, accordingly, NOTHING that you or your organization considers to be private or confidential should be communicated in this manner.
The law requires that an individual have both a subjective AND objective expectation of privacy in a communication. In other words, you have to believe you are entitled to privacy. Who owns social media content is another question that might be posed. For example, assume that you are an employee of an organization and are communicating through a social media site such as LinkedIn.
Then assume that, under either example, whatever you are doing has some value. What comes to mind might be a customer list.
Who owns what you have done? You, who might want to take that hypothetical list to a new employer, or the organization, who employed you at the time the list was created? This is another area in which some terms and conditions of employee use of social media might be beneficial. Raising Awareness for Social Media Users Those who use social media, either as individuals or as representatives of organization, need to be aware of the potential ramifications of even the smallest action.
Bear in mind that there are a number of other issues that can arise from social media use. Social media use can lead to both good and bad consequences. The views expressed in this column are those of the author alone and should not be interpreted otherwise or as advice.
Retrieved October 21,from Journal of Ahima:Social Media has generated a lot of interest – and many legal concerns. The profound impact of social media on the workplace has made it both a boon and a bane for modern business. To help protect against incurring preventable legal liability, school districts should work with their legal counsel to proactively educate students, teachers and administrators about the issues inherent in social media.
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