Legal and Ethical Implications of Corporate Social Networks - from Springer

Legal and Ethical Implications of Corporate Social Networks - from Springer

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Legal and Ethical Implications of Corporate Social Networks Gundars Kaupins & Susan Park # Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010 Abstract Corporate social networking sites provide employees and employers with considerable opportunity to share information and become friends. Unfortunately, American and international laws do not directly address social networking site usage. The National Labor Relations Act, civil rights laws, and various common law doctrines such as employment at-will and defamation provide the pattern for future social networking laws. Ethical considerations such as productivity, security, goodwill, privacy, accuracy, and discipline fairness also affect future laws. Corporate policies on corporate social networking should balance the employer s and employee s interests. Existing laws and ethical issues associated with social networking should impact social networking policies related to configuration, communication, discipline, and evaluation of policies. Corporate social networking policies should be business-related, ensure user notification of monitoring, maintain adequate records, and provide for reliable, consistent, and impersonal evaluation of monitoring effectiveness. Key words corporate social networking . laws . ethics . organizational policy Social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter are making it possible for an organization to share information among employees, advertise its products and services, and relate to the customer in a new way on the Web. In February 2010, Facebook had 400 million active users (Owyang 2010 ). Facebook jumped ahead of Google by claiming 7.07 percent of U. S. traffic compared to Google s 7.03 percent in March 2010 (Maximumpc.com 2010 ). Facebook reaches 29.9% of global Internet users versus 22.4% for MySpace. MySpace continues to be the most profitable social network, having about $1 billion in revenue versus $300 million for Facebook (Ostrow 2009 ). Twitter, a site that allows users to post only 140 characters at a time, has stabilized to roughly 20 million users (Gross 2010 ). Employ Respons Rights J DOI 10.1007/s10672-010-9149-8 G. Kaupins : S. Park ( * ) Department of Management, Boise State University, 1910 University Dr., Boise, ID 83725, USA e-mail: spark@boisestate.edu G. Kaupins e-mail: gkaupins@boisestate.edu
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Internationally, social networks have a high percentage of reach among Western Europe s Internet audience. There were 282.7 million Internet users in Europe as of December 2008, 200 million of whom visited a social networking site. According to ComScore, the market reach is highest in the United Kingdom, with 79.8 percent, followed by Spain with 73.7 percent, Portugal with 72.9 percent, and Denmark with 69.7 percent (ComScore 2009 ). Russia is the fourth largest social networking market in Europe, behind the United Kingdom, Germany, and France (FreshNetworks Blog 2009 ).
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This note was uploaded on 09/02/2011 for the course GEN BUS 202 taught by Professor Parks during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.

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Legal and Ethical Implications of Corporate Social Networks - from Springer

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