Hollywood blocks twitter

October 21, 2009

Hollywood studios are inserting clauses into actors’ contracts to stop them leaking film information on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

A recent talent contract from Disney includes a new clause forbidding confidentiality breaches via “interactive media such as Facebook, Twitter, or any other interactive social network or personal blog.”

A growing number of businesses have internet and e-mail policies in place to prevent inappropriate or illegal use. However most of these won’t include social networking sites, especially ones with the immediacy of twitter which do not even require a computer to post messages. It may be a good time to look at what policy you have in place to see if it will prevent staff inadvertently or purposefully passing on confidential information.

If you are worried at what staff members might be posting about your company, it would probably be best not to follow the example of Waterstones, where, after some problems with a new distribution system for books, staff were stopped from accessing and leaving messages on the site thebookseller.com. Their response was to wait till they got home, where they fired up their own PC’s and left over 200 comments on an article criticising the Waterstones new system!

Interestingly one comment was “If they were being straight with staff and keeping us informed then maybe we would have no need to go onto this site”.  Having a well thought out and worded policy is important, but managing and communicating effectively is so much more so.

Thanks to the peerless Private Eye from where the waterstone story was swiped!


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