Beware: Your 'tweet' on Twitter could be trouble

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by cap1sucks, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. cap1sucks

    cap1sucks Well-Known Member


    Latest networking craze carries many legal risks.

    Tresa Baldas / Staff reporter National Law Journal

    December 22, 2008

    Twitter fans, listen up: Your "tweets" could land you or your employer in legal hot water.

    That's what lawyers are advising about the latest social networking craze known as Twitter, a free blogging service that lets users post short answers, known as "tweets," to one simple question: What are you doing? The answers can't be longer than 140 characters and are shared among designated friends and colleagues who follow one another in cyberspace.

    Lawyers caution, however, that Twitter carries a number of legal risks. Users posting tweets from corporate networks could expose company secrets. These conversations, lawyers note, are legally binding and subject to the legal rules of electronic discovery, which means tweets could be subpoenaed in a lawsuit.

    Twitter also raises invasion of privacy and defamation issues. Trademark violations could also be alleged if Twitter users appear to have a relationship with a company or product when one does not exist or post tweets to dilute a trademarked name.

    Twitter could also trigger more workplace retaliation and wrongful termination claims, whereby users will claim that they were retaliated against or fired over protected information they tweeted, such as being harassed at work or disclosing a safety violation.

    "Be careful what you say," warned attorney Douglas E. Winter, who heads the electronic discovery unit at Bryan Cave and advises companies about emerging technologies. "Twitter, like any electronic communication tool, is subject to a wide range of potential liability," he said. "I basically tell people that, yes, it's a new tool, and it's very trendy. But no electronic tool should be treated any differently as they emerge."

    Click here to read the rest of the story from the National Law Journal

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