Freedom of Expression vs. Social Networks

For social marketers, 2016 was an exciting year. New platforms, software and consumer preferences brought about a host of changes and opportunities.

Whenever, of Twitter users expect a response from brands they reach out to, and 53 seek for a response in less than few minutes. Any year the window for response becomes smaller and smaller, social media thrives on realtime engagement. In 2014, consumers complained about brands 879 million times on social media. As a result, amid the key strategies marketers need to implement in 2016 is faster response times. Therefore if you’re not quick to respond one of your competitors one thing you have to focus on. Considering the above said. Consumers also look for faster access to ‘real-time’, offline events. New platforms, software and consumer preferences brought about a host of changes and opportunities.

article-image-freedom-of-speech-social-media

 

Social Networks don’t Respect the Freedom of Expression?

If you’re not quick to respond one of your competitors one thing you should focus on. Consumers also look for faster access to ‘real time’, offline events. In 2015, consumers complained about brands 879 million times on social media. That’s where it starts getting really interesting. Whenever, of Twitter users expect a response from brands they reach out to, and 57-percentage look for a response in less than 60 minutes. Any year the window for response becomes smaller and smaller, social media thrives on real time engagement. In Game Retail Ltd v Laws, Mr Laws was employed by Game in a role which had responsibility for 100 of its stores.

Mr Laws had a personal Twitter account, that was followed by quite a few Game’s stores across the country. He posted quite a few tweets that were considered potentially offensive, including about towns he traveled to. It was not established that any member of the public or employee had seen them or associated the tweets with Game; and Game’s disciplinary policy did not clearly state that inappropriate personal social media use may lead to dismissal. Specifically, his tweets were posted for private use. On top of this, an employment tribunal found that Mr Laws had been unfairly dismissed on the basis that the decision to dismiss fell outside the band of reasonable responses. EAT also held that the offensive tweets did not need to relate to Game or to have identified himself as an employee. That said, the EAT disagreed with the tribunal’s conclusion. Actually the tribunal should have focused on if the tweets were offensive and whether other staff or customers may be seen by the Game stores that followed his feed. It held that the tribunal had not properly taken into account that Mr Laws had not put restrictions on his privacy settings.

bird-freedom

Whilst the EAT recognized Mr Laws’ right to freedom of expression. With that said, this was to be balanced with Game’s desire to remove or reduce reputation risk from the social media use of its employees. Further, there was no requirement for Game to show that the tweets had actually caused offence. Only that Game been actually able to reach the conclusion that they may have. It therefore remitted the case to another employment tribunal to decide the case. Instead, reiterated that the correct approach was for a tribunal to apply the range of reasonable responses test. As with all unfair dismissal cases. Unhelpfully, the EAT declined the opportunity to set out general guidance on social media and unfair dismissal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons