We reported this past May in our Socially Aware blog about efforts of law enforcement authorities in the United Kingdom to adapt existing laws to police potential offenses committed via social media. The UK government has just announced proposals that will make it easier to identify people who abuse social media. The UK government’s somewhat surprising announcement came just after a recent case that highlighted the problem that some law enforcement authorities seem to be having in deciding when to get involved.
Like it or not, we live in a digital-age, and how people choose to define themselves is often readily showcased on social networking sites such as Facebook. Given the candid manner many individuals express themselves on their social networking profiles, it’s only natural that employers have started to pay attention. Why wouldn’t they? Employers want to pick the right person for the job and that their employees do not disparage the company or act in a manner that threatens workplace security.
I would love to be able to tell my clients that the Internet and social media has created a very complex set of legal issues that requires them to hire me in order to help develop all new handbook policies, change the way they conduct background checks on applicants, and monitor their employees. However, unfortunately, this is not the case. Employers and employees need to calm down a bit.