Social Media Compliance Risks And Archiving
Social media is ubiquitous in today’s workplace. Companies use social media to communicate with prospects and customers, and most companies use social media for recruiting. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media sites are officially part of the corporate landscape.
But the omnipresent nature of social media also creates risks. The use of social media can easily violate the law, such as through privacy, harassment, discrimination, intellectual property, or access-to-information violations. The risk of a social media violation is particularly high for regulated industries like financial services and health care, where compliance can be complex and the risks of a violation can quickly multiply.
Companies can mitigate the risk of a social media violation by enforcing social media policies, educating employees, and monitoring employee conduct. However, the most effective strategy may be archiving employee social media communications.
Companies can use archiving to avoid social media compliance risks in several ways.
1. Preserve evidence
Companies can use archiving to preserve evidence in connection with a social media compliance violation. Social media evidence can be especially valuable in litigation, since social media evidence is generally not self-authenticating. Therefore, courts often require companies to preserve social media evidence.
Social media archiving can help companies preserve social media evidence. In particular, archiving preserves social media metadata, such as the date, time, author, and recipient, along with the social media post itself. This information can be crucial in determining the content and context of the post.
The failure to preserve social media evidence can result in harsh penalties, including adverse inferences and spoliation sanctions. Archiving software allows companies to easily and quickly preserve social media data and keep it in a tamper-proof archive.
2. Monitor social media usage
A comprehensive social media policy can mitigate social media compliance risks by setting out clear protocols for employee use of social media. By providing employees with clear guidance, companies can minimize the risk of a social media violation.
However, a comprehensive social media policy may fail to prevent violations if employees are not following it.
Social media archiving software can monitor employee social media activity, allowing companies to identify potential policy and law violations.
Social media monitoring allows companies to identify whether employees are violating the company’s social media policy. Social media monitoring can be especially useful when the company is in a highly regulated industry.
Social media monitoring can help companies identify violations of their social media policy. It can also identify employees making inappropriate posts, including harassing or discriminatory posts, or posts revealing confidential information.
3. Investigate social media incidents
Social media incidents often result in serious repercussions. When an employee posts confidential information, posts harassing or discriminatory remarks, or posts offending material, the consequences can be significant.
Social media incidents frequently involve multiple employees. Social media archiving software allows companies to easily access the entire social media history of one employee or an entire group of employees. Social media archives are searchable, allowing companies to easily identify posts that are responsive to the incident.
Social media archives also preserve metadata and information that is not part of the post itself. In litigation, this extra information can be crucial in determining the content and context of the post.
4. Speed Up The eDiscovery Process
eDiscovery can be expensive and time-consuming.
Social media archiving software allows companies to more efficiently conduct eDiscovery on employee social media communications. Social media archives are searchable, allowing companies to quickly locate social media communications that are relevant to a matter.
Archives can be particularly valuable in litigation, where courts are increasingly accepting social media evidence.
Archiving software allows companies to easily share social media archives with other relevant parties. This feature allows companies to share social media evidence with in-house counsel, outside counsel, and outside experts. Social media archives can be especially useful in assisting outside counsel and experts in providing eDiscovery advice.
5. Avoid fines and reputational damage
Social media compliance risks are a growing concern for companies. The consequences of a violation can be significant, ranging from fines and penalties to reputational damage.
Social media evidence can be pivotal in litigation and can expose companies to significant fines and reputational damage.
Companies can avoid these consequences by effectively mitigating social media compliance risks. While social media archiving software can’t eliminate social media compliance risks, it is an important tool for mitigating those risks.
Archiving social media communications offers significant benefits for companies.
Social media archiving allows companies to preserve evidence, monitor employee social media usage, investigate social media incidents, speed up the eDiscovery process, and avoid fines and reputational damage.
Ultimately, social media archiving is a valuable tool in a company’s arsenal of tools used to mitigate social media compliance risks.
Avoid fines, penalties, and reputational damage by using archiving software to archive employee social media communications. Social media archives are searchable, allowing companies to quickly access social media communications that are relevant to a matter.