Laurel Papworth @silkcharm reminds us that what's said in the social media spaces and places doesn't necessarily stay in the social media i.e. if you slander someone you might get sued in a physical space and place and lose real money.
In her example Pizza Kitchen owner Travis Redmon posted last month, "Donât EVER use Lowandtritt marketing firm" amongst other things and the lawsuit also says Redmon posted, "Crooks â stolen email list and have tried to pressure me by threat of lawsuit to sign a license agreement to use their marketing materials".
What is slander - think about it this way - what's not slander is saying something publicly which is accurate and can be shown to be accurate. If you can't show evidence to support your statements then you may have slandered, or defamed, the other party.
In Western Australia there is the current case of six prison workers who are waiting to find out if they will be sacked for criticising their bosses on Facebook.
- "What people do in their own time is their own business and shouldn't be subject to misconduct".
- "Talking on Facebook is the same as people talking in the pub letting off steam but the department is trying to say it's like going on ABC News at night."
- "We say it's somewhere in between the two, but much closer to the lower end of the spectrum."
The Facebook group was said to be "popular with hundreds of prison officers", and its members colloquially referred to themselves as "clamsters".
Do you think those reasons will hold much water in a court of law - industrial or civil?
Disclaimer: I don't know and am not making any judgments about the merits of any of these examples - the point is simply that public postings have led to difficult and potentially expensive circumstances between the various parties that some may have preferred to avoid.