ALERT - Social Media Awareness Trap

How Careful Do We Need To Be?

The dangers of using social media have been highlighted recently and we tend to dismiss these as only for those who are irresponsible or foolish in what they post online - however I was challenged when I read details from a website compiled by Ryan Murphy - a law student who has been looking into this.

All these things will happen at some point in your business. But I am continually discovering that many people do not do things differently because they don't know what to do.

What Are We Agreeing To When We Sign Up?

When you click that 'I Agree' button, what does it mean for any images, content or ideas you might place on the site?

Ryan states: By agreeing to Facebook's "Statement of Rights & Responsibility", you have granted them a "non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook". Confused? Basically you have given them the right to do whatever they want with any content (or ideas) that you post on their site. This includes any music you have composed, any poetry you have written, any scientific discoveries you have made, any secret recipes you may have for fried chicken… basically any idea over which you hold intellectual property rights.

Click Here To Transfer Your Soul!

Do any of us READ the terms and conditions?

In 2010 a UK computer game retailer decided to change their Terms & Conditions to include an 'immortal soul' clause, you know, just for a bit of April Fools fun (I guess?!)… Over the next few days any orders placed online were asked to agree to the new terms & conditions of the site, which included a clause agreeing to effectively transfer the soul of any purchaser to the gaming company, for eternity. Within a few days they had legally acquired over 7,500 souls. They even reserved the right to give their notice in 6-foot high letters of fire, but refused to be held liable if that fire happened to cause injury to person or property (how typically legal of them).

Please, please, please read the terms. Who knows, by doing so, you may just save your soul.

What About The Things I Tweet?

Listen up: Your 'private' tweets and status updates could get you sued for defamation, which could cost you thousands, even millions of dollars in damages.

What we need you to understand is that what you type online is NOT private information. Even your 'private' messages online may be used by Facebook, or used as evidence in a law suit.

Think Before You Post!

Social media is a great tool and many businesses today have tapped into it successfully. Just be aware that it is very much a public arena, just like any media advertising - any claims made or information you post should be totally accurate.

To learn more go to

Thanks to Ryan Murphy for the alert.

Peter Irvine
Peter is Co-Founder of Gloria Jean’s Coffees, author of "Win In Business", speaker and business consultant.

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