Tech Blog

Social Media Disclaimers Don't Work

by Blogger on ‎02-20-2012 11:08 AM

You see Twitter disclaimers more and more these days. It's a variation on the "the views are mine and not my employer", or "opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone" theme.

Guess what?

Those opinions may be yours and they may not reflect the opinions of your employer, but they reflect you.

Which brand do you care more about?

Whenever I see that disclaimer I immediately think this person is saying "Yo, I'm reckless on teh internets. Please don't tell my boss."

If you need to put a warning ahead of your tweets that your behaviour may not be acceptable in the staff room, then you need to check your behaviour. Yes, personal time is personal time and we all can't be expected to be on the clock 24/7; however, when it comes to social media, anything you tweet or facebook can and will be used against you.

Just ask former Rogers Sportsnet anchor Damian Goddard. Moments after Goddard tweeted support of an agent attacking Sean Avery for appearing in a gay marriage ad he was fired.

Goddard had the disclaimer on his account, but it didn't matter. Everyone knew who he was, what he did and which company he represented.

I consistently quote Gillian Shaw from the Vancouver Sun and her social media advice: "if you don't want it on the front page of the newspaper, don't tweet it."

Putting "these opinions are mine" doesn't change the comments you make. Especially when your name and occupation are listed in your Twitter bio or easily found.

When you say something stupid they don't include your disclaimer on the front page of the paper, they just say "Joe Schmo from Asshat Industries said ..."

Think twice. Tweet once. Look after the most important brand in your career - your own.

Comments
by Trusted Expert on ‎02-20-2012 11:44 AM

This is the only website where I use the disclaimer about my opinions being mine, since I don't want to be viewed as speaking on behalf of Future Shop when I am not doing so.

 

Other than that, disclaimers are silly.  What you say in the public eye matters, whether you are on the clock or not, and if something an be tied back to you, then it's your own fault for saying it in the first place.  The most damning part of it is that a lot of people don't recognize that posting these types of things on social media websites puts these things IN WRITING.  It's not just a "your word against theirs" thing anymore.  There's irrefutable proof of what you said and when you said it.

 

JB

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