News Article



Social media – an important part of risk

Risk consultants need to remain cognisant that social media activity and spontaneous comments can cause irreparable damage to an organisation and its people. In fact, social media activity posted can potentially be used against an organisation and its people.

An active and unprotected social media account can result in devastating consequences. A recent example was the demise of the former Energy Watch co-founder who was alleged to have made sexist, racist and offensive rants on his Facebook account. Just hours after the news broke Melbourne Football Club terminated its $2M sponsorship deal labelling his rants as “disgraceful and abhorrent.” He subsequently stepped down from his role.

Risk consultants should be advising their clients about social media usage and the importance of privacy settings, security and usage.  Advice should include:

  • Use privacy settings for each social media account;
  • Define suitable content i.e. don’t post anything that would offend your CEO or grandmother;
  • Delete account contacts who are no longer working at the organisation or to whom you are no longer acquainted;
  • Review storage and security of passwords; and
  • Remember that a social media posting is an irreversible entry into the virtual world forever!

Recent legal proceedings have also resulted in witnesses being cross examined on their social media activity. In fact, current trends for lawyers, police and private investigators is to explore the social media presence of individuals as part of their investigation prior to any proceedings. Of course, due diligence by some recruiters of personnel also involves a review of their social media postings.

As professionals, you owe it to your clients to ensure they are suitably warned.