Tonight on the HR Happy Hour Show we will be re-visiting the topic of 'Social Media, The Company, and The Law', with special guest, Employment Law expert Eric Meyer. It has been some time since we covered this ground on the show and tonight I am sure that Eric will do a great job getting us all back up to speed so to speak, with the ever-changing and fast-moving world that is the intersection and tension between social media, social networking, company objectives, employee rights, and the law.
It will be an interesting and fun show, and I do hope you can join us tonight at 8:00PM ET as we kick around the topic.
You can listen to the show tonight on the show page here, by calling in to the listener line - 646-378-1086, or via the widget player below:
This week, as luck would have it, another great set of 'possibly inappropriate examples of social media use by employees' popped up - from my favorite professional sports league no less, the NBA.
Submitted for your consideration are two Twitter status updates, both that originally contained a linked picture or 'Twitpic', and both from current NBA players, (though not from the same team).
Exhibit 'A' - New York Knicks forward J.R. Smith tweets a very NSFW picture of a female friend in a state of very little dress, with an accompanying joke commenting about an aspect of her physique, (note Smith has since deleted the original Tweet).
Exhibit 'B' - New Orleans Hornets center Chris Kaman tweets a picture of himself holding up what appears to be a very lifeless cat along with some commentary along the lines of 'Look what we are going to do to the Bobcats tonight').
Both tweets were sent from the player's personal Twitter accounts, and not in conjunction with any official team or league activities. Just a couple of goofy NBA players messing around on Twitter in their free time. No doubts that Smith's and Kaman's updates and shared pictures could be described as (depending on your point of view), as inappropriate, crude, classless, vulgar, offensive, etc. And depending on the NBA or the individual team's written policies and contracts perhaps these kinds of updates would put the players in some kind of 'official' trouble with the league brass.
But here is the interesting thing, and the tie back to tonight's HR Happy Hour Show on social and the company and the law - the league fined Smith $25,000 for his actions, and as of this writing, has not taken any action against Kaman.
And that's the tricky part with dealing with employee's personal use of social media as an organization. Sometimes you have to make the tough call deciding what is more offensive - a NSFW picture of a woman not really dressed, or a guy on the starting five swinging a dead cat.