If you thought the untamed realm of social media is (or should be) free of legalese, think again. A growing trend for companies—especially large businesses—is to create a set of their own “terms and conditions” for Internet pedestrians to scan before becoming a follower of their Facebook page.
The extra steps companies are adding to the process of joining your online crew are (supposedly) for good reason. Take the fansite of Progressive’s new mascot, “The Messanger.” Before a patron becomes a fan, they are prompted to read specialized terms and conditions before clicking that “like” button. One excerpt reads, “You agree that you will not submit Content or otherwise use the Page in any manner that would interfere with or damage the Page, including, without limitation, through the use of viruses, cancel bots, Trojan horses, harmful code, flood pings, denial of service attacks, packet or IP spoofing, forged routing or electronic mail address information or similar methods or technology.”
In other words, don’t spam up the boards or try to scam our fans out of personal information and/or life savings.
So, should your company take the time to create and display a “terms and conditions” section for your Facebook page? In the short term, it’s difficult to see how a simple page of text would stop scammers and fraudsters, many of whom live far outside the boundaries of English-speaking countries in the first place, from posting fake login mirrors and advertisements for prescription medicine. However, as the legal issues and rights ascribed to social media firm up, having a terms page could be an important tool in policing your company’s digital rights. Worth a consideration, anyhow.
See you next time,