3 Legal Tips for Twitter Users

June 9, 2014

Twitter’s new small business guide may include helpful tips on netting new followers, but it left out three important legal considerations, according to attorney and senior writer for FindLaw for Consumers, Brett Snider. He says small business owners should:

  1. Define account ownership clearly. This tip is especially for those who are using any sort of help to run their Twitter feed, whether it’s a 19-year-old intern or an outside social media management company. “The law isn't very clear-cut about who actually "owns" many business Twitter accounts,” says Snider. He advises small businesses to “be clear in any employee/contractor agreement that your business owns its Twitter account and all of its followers.” Also, be sure you control the account’s password.
  2. Make sure employees know how to avoid phishing. Just as nefarious e-mails can sneak infected links into your inbox, so too can tweets and direct messages within Twitter carry the same problematic URLs. Snider says some businesses might even consider sending fake phishing tweets to test the people who work on a social media team.
  3. Ask your employees to add disclaimers to their personal profiles. People tweet about their jobs, and your employees can be your best social marketers. However, Snider says employees may want to include a "my opinions are my own" disclaimer in their Twitter profiles while also stating that they work for your company. And everyone should be aware that they can legally be fired for tweeting anything inflammatory or damaging to the business that employs them.

Source: “Twitter's New Guide for Small Businesses: 3 Legal Tips to Add,” FindLaw for Consumers (June 3, 2014)

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