Social Media and Use of Mandatory Policies

Facebook, Twitter, and other social media are helpful tools to disseminate information quickly. However, they also lead to security and legal liability issues for employers. Besides, there is relatively limited case law that can help organizations in gauging the risk. According to Stohl et al. (2017), the risks in using social media to communicate information quickly include. Firstly, the hackers have a high likelihood of committing fraud and launching attacks by spam and virus. Secondly, there is also a risk of people becoming prey to online scams that appear genuine, resulting in the theft of vital data and the identity of people, or compromising the company’s computer security, thereby exposing the company networks and losing information strategic to the company. Thirdly, it acts as a likely negative comments outlet from employees regarding organizational matters. Lastly, there are legal consequences for compliance violations when employees use the sites to view or distribute materials that are objectionable, offensive, and illicit. Due to the quick spread of consumer opinions through social media, the company’s reputation can be lost when such a crisis occurs.

According to Stohl et al. (2017), social media has changed the way people communicate. Therefore, it is in the best interest to be informed regarding new possibilities to manage online reputation. There are numerous advantages when using social media to communicate information quickly; firstly, it builds relationships. By using social media, it allows people to connect and grow professionally. Secondly, it offers an opportunity for sharing expertise that helps attract potential professional and personal connections. Thirdly, social media increases individual visibility, where an individual spends time honing in areas of expertise. As individuals communicate through social media, they hone their skills, educate themselves, and evaluate performance. Lastly, social media allows instant connection with people, reaching large audiences and improving company productivity. Therefore, these advantages help offset the risks of using social media.

According to Stohl et al. (2017) and Froissart (2018), when acting as an employer in contract negotiations, policies to develop about social media use include security policy, disclaimer, engagement policy, employee access policy, social media account policy, and code of conduct policies.

Employee access policy: the company should specify the site employees are allowed to use at work and state the boundaries regarding using such social media sites. Describe the goal of social media use.

Use of official accounts: policy about establishing an official account allows only authorized personnel to create, delete, and maintain official company accounts. Define procedures for accessing and posting to social media accounts.

Acceptable use and code of conduct policies: the policies developed must tie in with company policies and address both official use and personal use of social media. Describe prohibited behaviour in-depth and code governing company confidentiality of information and monitor and enforce social media activities within the company.

According to Stohl et al. (2017), the policies to develop regarding social media use in the union will include confidentiality policies, the definition of code of conduct for union regarding acceptable use of social media, and social media comment and access policy. Access policy defines who has the right for using the social media account of the union. In contrast, comment policy describes who or when is it appropriate to comment on behalf of the union. In addition, privacy and confidentiality policies are essential to guarantee the security and safety of sensitive information of the union members. Generally, social media use by a union will entail mandatory policies, permissive policies, and illegal policies. Mandatory policies describe what the union members must adhere to, while permissive policies include rules allowed to be applied in social media use.


Stohl, C., Etter, M., Banghart, S., & Woo, D. (2017). Social media policies: Implications for contemporary notions of corporate social responsibility. Journal of business ethics, 142(3), 413-436.

Froissart, C. (2018). Negotiating authoritarianism and its limits: Worker-led collective bargaining in Guangdong Province. China Information, 32(1), 23-45.

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