I begin this cautionary blog with a story. After the story,
you'll understand why I began the blog as I have.
I wrote an article on holiday parties for Business Week. I
discussed the risks, including too much alcohol consumption and
sexual harassment. Of course, the two often are connected.
Well, the article included a little sarcasm. Perhaps a little
more than a little. So it was tweeted pretty heavily.
As you know, when people tweet, they can add their own message.
As I learned later, one tweeter included the words party, alcohol
and sexual. They forget the harassment. No Freudian miss there.
So one night I went to the movies and came home late (10 p.m.
for me) and decided to go to bed without checking my e-mail. I try
to do that twice a year to deceive myself into believing that I am
The next morning, I logged on and noticed that I had many new
Twitter followers. Twit that I am, I am very happy.
Until, I see the followers. They saw alcohol, sexual and party
and were very interested.
But they were not interested in legal issues. They were selling
sexual services, quite literally and explicitly.
I immediately sent messages: do not follow me. But I don't
think Candy Cane is a big reader.
So, now I decided it was time to ratchet things up. I copied my
bio (hoping a big law firm would intimidate) and, to my delight,
they went away. I would like to think that it was the law firm and
not the fact my bio has a picture!
After cleaning this up, I learned of a very important twitter
feature: block. And, when it comes to social media it is a critical
tool... beyond responding to sex workers.
All too often people tweet or follow and think more is better.
Social media is a form of communication. And, at the risk of the
obvious, it is a two way street.
Check your followers and make sure there is no one you do not
want following you. I have advised clients to do this, and they
have found among their followers piranhas masquerading as
plaintiff's lawyers. Block!
If you follow someone, read their tweets. If their tweets are
offensive or unseemly, unfollow. I followed a reporter. I thought
one of his tweets was sexist. Unfollow.
In social media, it is the quality of your relationships that
counts, not the number of them.
Gotta go. Wrote a blog last month for WeKnowNext on
Valentine's Day called "I Love You." They're
This article is for general information and does not include
full legal analysis of the matters presented. It should not be
construed or relied upon as legal advice or legal opinion on any
specific facts or circumstances. The description of the results of
any specific case or transaction contained herein does not mean or
suggest that similar results can or could be obtained in any other
matter. Each legal matter should be considered to be unique and
subject to varying results. The invitation to contact the authors
or attorneys in our firm is not a solicitation to provide
professional services and should not be construed as a statement as
to any availability to perform legal services in any jurisdiction
in which such attorney is not permitted to practice.
Duane Morris LLP, a full-service law firm with more than 700
attorneys in 24 offices in the United States and internationally,
offers innovative solutions to the legal and business challenges
presented by today's evolving global markets. Duane Morris LLP,
a full-service law firm with more than 700 attorneys in 24 offices
in the United States and internationally, offers innovative
solutions to the legal and business challenges presented by
today's evolving global markets. The
Duane Morris Institute provides training workshops for HR
professionals, in-house counsel, benefits administrators and senior
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
According to the FTC: "The basic consumer protection statute enforced by the Commission is Section 5(a) of the FTC Act, which provides that "unfair or deceptive acts or practices in or affecting commerce … are … declared unlawful."