23 min read

Social media

Last updated May 2022

This chapter outlines the legal risks of using social media in your business, and explains how to minimise those risks.

Risks of social media use in your business

Social media may be an effective business tool, but it comes with several legal risks.

Your business may use social media for many reasons, including to:

  • promote or enhance your business;
  • advertise your products or services;
  • connect with potential customers;
  • network with clients, colleagues and employers; or
  • announce business changes and restructures.
Definition: Social Media

Social media refers to web-based media used for social interaction. It includes blogs and forums, and sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Important: While social media is an effective business tool, it requires strict control and careful monitoring to minimise the risk of legal liability.

The legal risks that may arise from social media include:

  • disclosure of personal information without consent;
  • disclosure or misuse of confidential information;
  • infringement of copyright, trademark or other intellectual property (IP) rights;
  • sexual harassment, bullying, vilification or discrimination;
  • defamation; or
  • misleading or deceiving the public.
Caution: Be careful when using social media as a recruitment tool. It comes with many of the risks listed above.
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