The growing phenomenon of social media has become the subject of a number of recent studies measuring its use and impact among Americans and around the world. A recent study conducted by Nielsen shows that globally, time spent on social media sites increased 82 percent from December 2008 to December 2009, with social networks and blogs the most popular online category, followed by online games and instant messaging. (http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/global/led-by-facebook-twitter-global-time-spent-on-social-media-sites-up-82-year-over-year/). According to the study, Americans spend just over six hours a month on social media sites, second only to Australians, who clock in around seven hours a month. Facebook was the most accessed social networking site, with 67 percent of social media users visiting in December 2009. Twitter remains the fastest growing in terms of unique visitors (the term “unique” means that each visitor is only counted the first time she accesses a site during the relevant period). Twitter grew from 2.7 million unique visitors in December 2008 to 18.1 million in December 2009. More…
Social Media is Growing Increasingly Relevant but Americans Still Spend More Time Watching Television
How much privacy should employees have at work? The Ice Loop recently found a story on the Wall Street Journal reporting that employees sometimes have more privacy rights than they might expect when it comes to the corporate e-mail server, and that some courts are showing more consideration for employees who feel their employer has violated their privacy electronically.
Among the federal and state circuits in the past year, there were notable examples of disputes between employees and employers related to the employee’s Internet activities on blogs or other social networking sites. In Shaver v. Cooleemee Volunteer Fire Department, for example, plaintiff William Russell Shaver brought wrongful termination claims against his former employer, which apparently terminated him in part based on his Myspace page and the comments on a blog shared with his wife.
Another notable case last year involving an employer’s intrusion into the online affairs of its employees was that of Pietrylo v. Hillstone Restaurant Group, which actually reached a federal jury trial earlier in the summer of 2009. In a surprising verdict, the Pietrylo jury found in favor of the employees Pietrylo and Marino, and against employer Hillstone, for violating the Federal Stored Communications Act and New Jersey Wire Tapping and Electronic Surveillance laws.
The facts in Pietrylo were as follows: Hillstone operated a Houston’s restaurant in Hackensack, N.J. Hillstone’s employees created a Myspace group the purpose of which was to “vent about any BS we deal with [at] work without any outside eyes spying in on us…Let the s— talking begin.” After the formation of the group, one employee accessed the site in the presence of a manager, who then informed other managers about the site. Given that the Myspace group site included sexual remarks about restaurant management and other offensive content about customers, drugs, and violence, Pietrylo and Marino were fired, and eventually filed suit against Houston’s bringing a litany of claims.
Although the jury award in Pietrylo was not significant, Pietrylo provides employers with a firm caution about intruding into the personal affairs of their employees online.
For the original WSJ story, please click here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125859862658454923.html?mod=rss_Today’s_Most_Popular
To obtain more information about handling employees who blog or engage in other social networking activities, please contact Ice Miller or email@example.com.
The Wall Street journal recently reported that employees sometimes have more privacy rights than they might expect when it comes to the corporate email server. Legal experts say that courts in some instances are showing more consideration for employees who feel their employer has violated their privacy electronically.
ScrippsNews has reported that social media has become the newest holiday strategy for some retailers, who are hoping the technology can bring some luster to their efforts to reach customers who are holding tight to their money this year.
Full Story Here: http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/49343
A few weeks after comforting the family of U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum security guard Stephen T. Johns as he lay dying at George Washington University Hospital, Rabbi Tamara Miller — the hospital’s head of spiritual care — wrote about the experience. The essay was published in June on washingtonpost.com’s On Faith blog. Five weeks later, the hospital fired her.