Is Social Media Governance Obsolete?

Social media governance is supposed to help make sure employees use public social networks responsibly.

No one wants to be publicly humiliated, embarrassed or sued for social media misuse.

But is it time for social media governance to evolve into something that covers all things digital?

Shouldn’t social media governance address social media ethicssocial media securitysocial media privacy and social media surveillance as well?

story in the NY Times about an NLRB decision that prohibits managers from blocking employee use of company email to unionize and this Defamer post (among many others) revealing the embarrassing emails between studio executives and others in the movie business are both about private, internal communications being made public.

In the first case, internal company emails between employees seeking to unionize at Purple Communications were released lawfully to government regulators as part of an investigation.

In the former case, emails between Hollywood luminaries were stolen through an illegal hack of the Sony Pictures corporate network.

In both cases, the reputations of the companies at which the incidents took place were negatively impacted.

Purple Communications looked bad for trying to censor internal, employee efforts to improve their compensation.  And Sony wound up looking foolish when the racially insensitive and childish emails of its Motion Pictures Group co-Chair were laid bare for all to see.

In context of these two newsbreaks, ask yourself, should corporate social media governance be broadened to address all aspects of digital communications? And should all digital communications be written to withstand public scrutiny, whether they’re intended to be private or not?

Does personal responsibility now extend to email and instant messenger as well? And is it time all employees understand the legal and ethical implications of there digital communications?

If you provide everyone with clear-cut, easy-to-follow guidelines to distinguish between conversations that can happen in public, and conversations that need to be kept private, should all digital communications be governed equally, whether public or private?

And should digital governance roll social media and information security into one corporate policy, training and assessment effort?

What do you think?

Leave a comment here or via Twitter using #socialgovernance

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