Cantor Floman’s own Attorney Allison DePaola recently gave a presentation on the presence of legal issues as it pertains to Social Media. One of the major takeaways should have been that Social Media Policies are not something only large companies with numerous employees need to consider. It is something companies of all sizes and in all industries should implement. This is something a popular sports and entertainment based blog has learned the hard way.
One would think that a blog, which utilizes everyone else’s internet and media missteps would not need such a policy. However, a social media policy does not necessarily only lay out what not to do but can also be very useful to set forth how to do something. With no apparent social media policy in place for its bloggers and contributors barstoolsports.com uploaded to its website, via YouTube a video created by one of it’s own: “How to trick people into thinking your good looking”. The video became one of the top viral videos in the world, with approximately 1.4 million views in 2 days and over 6 million to date. The video was featured on YouTube, Reddit, Digg, as well as in The Sun and on NECN in a television segment.
In the words of barstool’s president himself, “[a]wesome right? Well yeah except nobody knew who [ ] Jenna was because she didn’t say she worked for Barstool and there was no logo, no nothing on it. Just a virtuoso performance by the Barstool Dream Team.” When the point of a blog is to generate readership for advertising and promotion of events, losing out on recognition by 6 million people is tough, to say the least.
If there was a policy in place that advised contributors to imbed a watermark logo on to all original content this is perhaps something that could have been avoided. It’s not realistic to think that a single policy can account for all permutations of situations that are liable to arise. However, it is possible to plan in general terms so that large issues can be avoided in the future.