Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How Much Trouble Can You Get in With 140 Characters?

In Social Networks and Life-Changing Consequences, I shared a story of how an education student suffered unhappy consequences from a MySpace photo. The risks inherent in posting content to MySpace and Facebook are fairly obvious and well-documented. I hadn't really considered the risks associated with other web 2.0 tools such as Twitter and Friendfeed. It's startling to think that someone could get themselves in trouble with the 140 character limit imposed by Twitter, but that's just what this story warns of - Twitter Lawsuits: 4 Reasons Your Tweets Might Be Trouble. I wonder if photos you "favorite" in flickr or stories or posts you "like" in friendfeed could also come back to bite you. We're really in uncharted waters.
the National Law Journal has warned that those 140 characters could land you in a courtroom.

The greatest risk factors, they claim:

1. Exposure of company secrets

2. Invasion of privacy and defamation

3. Trademark violations (claiming a relationship with a company when no such relationship exists)

4. Wrongful termination claims (where employees claim to have been wrongfully fired based on Tweets about their employer)

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