Social Media: An Ethical Concern?

Social Media An Ethical ConcernAs more and more professionals of all ages embrace the use of social media, concerns regarding ethics and Professional Liability come into play. However, it is important to note the liability issues regarding this development and the ways in which professionals are able to grow their business while also limiting risk.

Increasing emphasis is being put on the usefulness of social media as part of a marketing effort for professionals of all types, says the American Bar Association. For example, consulting firms now exist for the sole purpose of assisting these professionals in marketing their products and services while remaining effective and lawful.  The most common types of social media presences are as follows.

Blogs- Or blawgs as they are referred to in law, can focus on a variety of subjects including news, latest developments, personal viewpoints, emerging issues, etc. However, some aspects of these blogs can create liability concerns as the purpose of the content is to be timely. As these have the potential to be shred virally, personal viewpoints can clash with those of the firm or colleagues. In addition, comments may often be posted in response to the blog which can lead to inappropriate forms of communication.

Social Networking- As Facebook and LinkedIn promote engagement throughout their sites, users may ask questions and advice from professionals and get immediate responses. However, if the information is incorrect or breaches the professional relationship’s contract, this could land them in hot water.

Microblogs- The most common platform for this type of social media is Twitter. As only a limited number of characters are allowed, small amounts of information are transmitted at once. Similar to blogs, the immediacy of this forum raises legal concerns for a variety of professions.

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